Liberty Mutual, REIN and AirMap Collaborate for On-Demand Drone Insurance

The integration of REIN’s DroneInsurance.com with AirMap’s app creates the option to add insurance coverage as part of AirMap’s pre-flight planning workflow.

(Image source: REIN.)

REIN (Chapel Hill, N.C.), creator of the DroneInsurance.com digital drone insurance portal has partnered with AirMap a Santa Monica, Calif.-based drone airspace management platform, to provide 24/7 ground and usage-based flight coverage for drones, sensors, and essential flight equipment for drone operators. Liberty Mutual (Boston) is underwriting the coverage, available through AirMap for Drones, AirMap’s iOS and Android applications, as an option to add insurance coverage as part of AirMap’s pre-flight planning workflow.

Brendan Smyth, SVP, Global Risk Solutions, Liberty Mutual.

Underwritten through Liberty Mutual’s Liberty Specialty Markets business unit, DroneInsurance.com is an automated platform offering what REIN calls dynamic policy solutions to address the unique risks, pain points, and insurance needs of commercial drone operators. Through the site and AirMap’s app, businesses can protect their ground operations for a monthly amount per drone. Operators can purchase flight liability coverage on-demand, for as little as a day, or as long as a year, with a range of limits, according to a REIN statement.

“We are excited to support the program and tools reinventing the traditional drone insurance business model,” comments Brendan Smyth, Senior VP, Global Risk Solutions, Liberty Mutual. “Understanding emerging technologies and seamlessly delivering innovative and comprehensive risk solutions to our customers is at the core of Liberty Mutual’s mission.”

Third-Party Partnerships Addressing Coverage Gaps

“This is an interesting example of bundling insurance coverage with a new service offering where customers are unlikely to have existing coverage, and a good example of partnering with third-parties to serve new risk markets,” comments Matthew Josefowicz, CEO of Boston-based research and advisory firm, Novarica.

Donald Light, Director, North America Property/Casualty Practice, Celent.

The AirMap for Drones mobile app is designed to be a comprehensive situational awareness tool that provides drone pilots with the rules, tools, and services they need to complete safe and successful drone missions, including compliance briefings, automated digital authorization, and traffic alerts. As such, it also serves as an appropriate platform for the kind of emerging on-demand insurance products that insurers are striving to provide.

The offering made possible through the AirMap/DroneInsurance.com integration is notable for being a three-way partnership among an insurtech distributor, an information provider for an emerging technology, and an established insurer, according to Donald Light, a Director in Boston-based research firm Celent’s North America Property/Casualty Insurance Practice. “It also provides a neat example of on-demand (or just-in-time) insurance coverage, which a few years ago was unheard of in conventional insurance circles but is now becoming a common alternative to policies with a standard six- or 12-month duration,” Light says.

Jason Griswold, COO and co-founder, REIN.

“This joint effort between AirMap and DroneInsurance.com is about empowering commercial drone operators,” comments Jason Griswold, COO and co-founder, REIN. “AirMap is brilliant at helping drone operators scale their businesses, and the addition of the DroneInsurance.com toolset inside the AirMap mobile apps will synergize operational, safety, and insurance tools to really help drone operators scale their operations. From commercial-grade liability limits for episodic flight coverage to sensors and physical damage coverage options, our product aims to solve the unmet needs in the commercial drone insurance industry.”

“Paired with our leading airspace management platform, AirMap users will get a lot of value from streamlined and easy-to-understand drone insurance,” comments Ben Marcus, co-founder and Chairman, AirMap.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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