Many mainstream insurance companies are declining to provide coverage for drones flown by amateur pilots.
Unskilled part-time pilots, the high cost of repairs, the equipment’s relative fragility, the potential risk of injury and damage to property, and the complex legal framework surrounding the informal flying of drones, are among the reasons for this decision by insurers, according to a report by Business Insider South Africa.
By current best estimates, there are between 40,000 and 50,000 drones in South Africa. Almost all are flown by amateurs. It is not a legal requirement for hobby drone pilots to obtain licences.
Around 10% of drones that take to the air in South Africa are destroyed on their first flight, data from a repair specialist suggest – and many of the crashes are preventable. Mistakes include owners testing their drones indoors without a stable GPS signal, and not doing a proper preflight check before take-off.