(Image source: AAIS.)
National insurance advisory organization American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS; Lisle, Ill.) has announced new filings of Unmanned Aircraft Liability Coverage forms and rules in their Agricultural General Liability Program (AgGL), in response to demand for coverage for drones. AAIS has also filed a new Personal & Advertising Injury Liability Aircraft Exclusion created to address new liability exposures associated with this nascent technology. The new AgGL Unmanned Aircraft Coverage endorsements are approved in 34 states.
“As an industry leader in the farming and agriculture sector, we anticipated the need our members would have and their demand has been great,” comments Leslie Rippley, VP commercial lines, farm & agribusiness, AAIS. “Thus, our first filing for Agricultural General Liability Unmanned Aircraft coverage offers large commercial farm and agricultural operations a solution tailored to their more complex exposures.”
AAIS’ new endorsements were created in anticipation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) long-awaited Final sUAS Regulations for small commercial UAS (under 55 pounds). The new regulations were published June 21, 2016 and will become effective Aug. 29, 2016. The economic impact of the ruling is expected to be first felt in farm and agribusiness as it is the fastest growing commercial sector using drones.
AAIS provides two specialized Agricultural General Liability (AgGL) products: one to meet the needs of large farms and one for commercial agricultural exposures. The AgGL program includes coverage of more than 300 expert classes, thus writing a separate commercial general liability policy is not necessary with the AAIS coverage forms, the organization notes.
Uses of drones in agriculture could include monitoring livestock and increasing crop yields by identifying specific regions of irrigation problems, insect infestations, and other exposures that previously devastated operations, an AAIS statement notes. Using a specialized camera attached to the drone, infrared maps produce measurable data, photographs and valuable insights improving business production. The new FAA regulations will allow farm/ag operations to monitor from a maximum of 400 feet.
AAIS reports that it will also soon be releasing additional forms and rules for drones, including:
- A new Farmowners filing of Unmanned Aircraft Liability Coverage forms and rules, and new aircraft exclusions under Personal Injury and Personal & Advertising Injury Liability.
- Unmanned Aircraft forms for Farm Umbrella (personal and commercial) as well as Agricultural Umbrella Liability (AgXL) coverage forms.