So you have a drone: Does your insurance cover damage?

So you have a drone: Does your insurance cover damage?

Excerpted article was written by | By Elizabeth Dinan

PORTSMOUTH — State insurance regulators advise property owners who fly drones, or have family members who fly drones, to review their insurance policies to ensure they’re covered for liability, while some insurers are limiting or eliminating drone-related coverage.

“It is not unusual for the insurance market to develop forms to address new and emerging risks,” said Danielle Barrick, director of communications for the New Hampshire Insurance Department. “Drone liability would qualify as an emerging risk. To that extent, it is a new trend.”

Barrick said a standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for drone damage. What is new, she said, is that some insurers are adding an “exclusionary endorsement,” sometimes called a rider, that removes or limits coverage otherwise provided by the policy.

“Thus, if a drone user wishes to be protected or to have greater protection, the drone user should either have their current insurer issue a policy without an exclusionary endorsement related to drones, or find an insurer that will issue such a policy,” she said. “As the homeowners insurance market is a competitive one, the drone user should be able to obtain multiple quotes for the desired level of coverage.”

Professional drone photographer David Murray of New Castle said he has a specific insurance policy for his drone operation and thinks all drone operators should be responsible for any damage or injury they cause.

“Just like automobile operators,” he said.

But, Murray added he also thinks insurance companies shouldn’t back away from claims for damage caused by drones.

“I think kids playing in the back yard with a ball and bat can do similar damage,” he said, noting there aren’t insurance exclusions for those accidents. “Why one and not the other?”

Murray said there are insurance options that cover single drone flights and blanket policies to cover periods of time, like an auto insurance policy.
“Drones are new so people want to fixate on them and be afraid of them,” he said. “In terms of the danger they pose, you can do more damage with a car. And you certainly can do more damage with a gun. I think it’s appropriate to step back and reasonably look at it.”

According to the state Insurance Department, “the competitive homeowners insurance market allows residents to choose a policy that will provide coverage for drones.” Barrick said people with drones should ensure they have the coverage they want while the market also allows people without drones “to seek a policy that excludes liability coverage for drone use, which might result in a lower premium.”

“This is how a competitive market is designed to operate,” she said.

The Insurance Department does not collect data detailing how often an insurer includes “a particular endorsement,” like drone limits or exclusions, adding “exclusionary drone endorsements are a fairly new type of coverage form.”

Murray said drone hobbyists tend to fly small, lightweight drones and would “have to work pretty hard to cause some damage.”

“Most are made of toy-grade plastic and weigh less than two pounds,” he said. “Most have less mass than a seagull.”

He said some drone controls have more intelligence for piloting than others, meaning some require more work to control than others. He said it also takes many hours of practice to master drone flying.
“I think some people have a good experience when they start flying and get overconfident,” he added. Some insurance policies are also now citing exclusions of coverage for damage caused by drones that interfere with aircraft. Murray said that’s ”

Some insurance policies are also now citing exclusions of coverage for damage caused by drones that interfere with aircraft. Murray said that’s “a major source of potential concern” that could cause loss of life, but is highly unlikely to occur. He said anyone who flies a drone should know it’s prohibited within five miles of an airport or tower and that the law is printed on drone packaging.

He said that’s why the FAA requires all drones weighing more than a half pound to be registered and marked with identifying numbers.

“The department’s advice for drone owners and all insureds is to work with their insurer and/or insurance agent to ensure that they have the appropriate level of liability coverage and to not be reluctant to shop their insurance to find the insurer and policy that best fits their needs,” Barrick said.

Source: SeaCoastOnline

Scam Alert: How To Avoid Utility Fraud

Scam Alert: How To Avoid Utility Fraud

You may get a call about a late phone, gas or electric bill. Should you pay right away?

Chances are good that this call is a scam. According to Hiya, a company that makes caller blocking software, bogus utility callers claim to be calling from ConEd, Duke Energy, Georgia Power and Consumers Energy. Scammers even claim to be calling from General Electric, which isn’t even a utility company.

Here’s how the scam works: The caller will threaten to cut off power or other services and offer an “energy assistance” or payment plan. Once they get your payment information, they use that information to fleece you.

“Scammers are constantly looking for new ways to defraud consumers and we’ve seen triple digit growth in utility company scams in the past year,” said Jan Volzke, VP Reputation Data at Hiya.

“While many consumers now know to be wary of calls claiming to be from the IRS or offering a free cruise that seems too good to be true, the latest threat comes disguised in the form of the utility companies that we trust to provide our basic services, like gas and electricity.”

What You Can Do

Like most scams, the more urgent the message, the more you should avoid it, although most calls start out “we’re calling about your utility bill…”

And like the IRS, utilities rarely call customers. In most cases, it’s hard to get through to a human being when calling the companies. Here are some safeguards from the Better Business Bureau:

Prepaid debit cards are a red flag: If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card and will usually direct you to one of their payment locations.

Don’t cave to pressure: If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative.

Don’t let people into your home: Remember that electrical meters are the property of the utility company and would be the responsibility of the utility to replace or repair.

Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem.

Also, don’t get lured outside to view broken meters or point out property lines. Always ask utility employees for proper identification.

John F. Wasik is the author of  “Lightning Strikes,” “The Debt-Free Degree,” “Keynes’s Way to Wealth“and 13 other books on innovation, money and life. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.  

Top Reasons Why Drivers Should Always Have Auto Insurance

Top Reasons Why Drivers Should Always Have Auto Insurance

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2017 PRNewswire-iReach/ — has released a new blog post explaining why drivers should always have auto insurance.

Besides being mandatory in many states, auto insurance provides essential financial protection drivers cannot do without. Car owners should never drive without coverage, especially if it is illegal in their state. Being without coverage exposes the car owner to high financial and legal expenses. There is also the risk of seeing a cost increase when purchasing auto insurance.

How to buy the right auto insurance plan

Purchasing auto insurance is not always easy. There are many decisions to be made. Choosing an agency and a policy can be difficult, but car insurance is nevertheless an essential investment that all car owners have to make. Each driver can now benefit from important resources that will aid them in their search for better coverage.

Talking with a professional before purchasing an auto insurance plan is always recommended. Even a simple phone call can help clients make better decisions. Vehicle coverage can provide much needed financial protection in dire situations.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the right policy has important contacts with top insurance agencies in any area. Clients will be able to review multiple policies on the website because a professional search engine will display quotes relevant for them. The process is efficient and offers a quick way of shopping for vehicle coverage.

By comparing car insurance quotes, drivers can find better coverage options for their vehicles. Online auto insurance quotes are easy to get and can help drivers shop for coverage in a simple and efficient way.

“Online car insurance quotes will help you find appropriate coverage for your vehicle. Visit us and never drive without coverage again.” said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of Internet Marketing Company. is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc.

For more information, please visit

AXA Global Parametrics: insurance, simplified.

Today, we live in a digital age, with access to large amounts of data on virtually anything, anywhere. Through satellite images, for example, we have access to vast climate and vegetation data worldwide. Through connected objects, we are gathering statistics and trends in real-time. What does this data offer to insurers and their customers? Interestingly, thanks to today’s sophisticated data processing methods, in the end, any exposure that can be measured, can be insured.

Global Parametrics’ aim is to provide its customers with a seamless experience through a “parametric” approach. The method is very simple: based on an independent parameter that is correlated to the client’s losses, the insurance product is built and claims payments are triggered automatically if an agreed-upon threshold is reached.

For example, say a wind farm wishes for a cover against lack of wind causing a decrease in energy production – in case of a wind speed deviation of 10% below the 5-year average, for example, the payment is made automatically.

The possibilities are endless: once both parties agree on a reference parameter, we can imagine automatic covers when any type of unusual event occurs. A farmer’s yield can be insured, for example, as can a passenger’s transportation delay.

AXA already offers parametric insurance in 28 countries across the globe, covering diverse risks for numerous industries, mainly focused on large corporations and the public sector. For example, AXA covers solar panel farms in China against lack of sun causing a decrease in energy production. Additionally, in Ethiopia, AXA protects several tens of thousands of farmers against drought risks.

AXA Global Parametrics: a new entity expanding to SMEs and individuals

Through this dedicated subsidiary that acts as the AXA Group’s center of excellence and that is already recognized for its expertise and innovative insurance products, AXA Global Parametrics hopes to cover more risks, and more clients, worldwide.

NEWS: Hub announces the acquisition of California-based LISSC

Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired LISSC. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Based in Santa Ana, California, LISSC is a multi-lines insurance solutions provider. LISSC’s team will join Hub California. Angelo Maroutsos and Dennis Monahan, co-owners, and David Trevino, Vice President, of LISSC, will join Hub California and report to Peter Duncan, Executive Vice President, Hub California.

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise. For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Hub International Limited is a leading global insurance brokerage that provides property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services from offices located throughout North America. For more information, please visit

U.S. Top 10 Questions about Airbnb Liability Insurance

U.S. Top 10 Questions about Airbnb Liability Insurance

Jim Breeze | Learn Airbnb 

So you know you need Airbnb insurance, but you still have questions.  Below are the most frequently asked questions about Airbnb liability insurance.

  1. Why does my homeowner’s policy not cover my short-term rental?
    All homeowner’s policies carry a “business activity exclusion”.In other words, any claim involving a “business activity” could rightfully be denied.  Airbnb is considered a business, so your claims will most likely be denied.
  2. Is my short-term rental really a business?
    More and more cities like Austin, Santa Barbara, and Chicago are now requiring short-term rental owners to carry and pay for a business license.  The tax codes have changed and short-term rental owners are now required to file a business Schedule C on their income taxes.  Neither of these are requirements for a long-term lease rental.  NEW NOTE: San Francisco just passed a law to go in effect Feb. 2015 that all short-term rental owners (30 days or less) will be required by law to pay the cities 14% hotel tax, carry $500,000 in liability insurance, and register with the city.
  3. I have a landlord policy and have been told this covers my short-term rental, is this correct?
    Landlord policies also carry a “business activity” exclusion.Landlord policies are written for landlords, not business owners.  A long-term lease rental is not a business.  Let’s use a liability example:  A renter leases your home for six months.  Two months later he/she “slips and falls” in the shower because there is soap scum built up on the tub floor.  Does this liability fall on the landlord?  No, of course not, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to keep a clean tub.  Now, the same situation.  A vacationer rents a home for a week.  You better believe it’s the property owner’s responsibility to keep a clean tub. The vacationer assumed they were renting a clean/safe property.  No different than a hotel.  The liability falls on the property/business owner.
  4. How do I get covered for business activity?
    You buy a business insurance policy.
  5. If I insure my short-term rental as a business, can I also stay or live there?
    There are no standard occupancy restrictions on a business policy.  This means the property is insured while you stay there, friends or family, and of course paying guests.
  6. If I have a business policy do I keep my homeowner’s or landlord policy in place?
    The business policy is designed to fully replace the current coverage you have.  You would cancel your current policy.
  7. What is personal liability?
    Personal liability is found on homeowner’s policies.It covers you for personal negligence and follows you anywhere you go in the world.  It’s very important to carry personal liability.  This is why the business policy needs to add it in the event your short-term rental doubles as your primary residence.  There is no reason to add it in the event you carry a homeowner’s on another residence, as you would be “double insured”.
  8. Does my personal umbrella policy cover over my short-term rental?
    The same “business activity” exclusions apply as it’s personal.  However, standard personal umbrellas do cover over a long-term landlord property.  It’s not a business.
  9. What is a commercial umbrella?
    A commercial umbrella is a policy that covers “above and beyond” a standard business policies liability limits.Most business policies carry $1,000,000/$2,000,000 in commercial general liability, and would suffice as the underlying policy for a commercial umbrella.
  10. I have my short-term rental under a Corp is this OK?
    In fact, this is encouraged.  Since your short-term rental is a business it’s always smart to incorporate.  A standard business policy can have the named insured as an individual, partnership, LLC, Corp, or Trust.
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