Drone regulation must be coordinated and international if the technology is to thrive, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has said.
Interest in using small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has become a hot topic for the IUA's London company market underwriting committees responsible for dealing with aviation and general liability risks.
The industry body said it has corresponded with various supervisory bodies developing new rules governing UAS operations.
“A clear and harmonised system of regulation would greatly benefit the development of drone technology,” said Chris Jones, IUA market services director. “It would help insurers obtain a clear understanding about the potential size of the market and allow them to benchmark operators against recognised standards.
“In particular, it is important that there should be as much centralised data as possible about the number of drones in use and any accidents that have occurred. This would complement risk information procured as part of the insurance placing process and allow insurers to more accurately price essential cover,” said Jones.
Reactions has covered the insurance applications of drones and the international patchwork of UAS regulation in detail within the most recent issue of the magazine.
Read that feature on drones online here, including details on current regulations around the world.
The IUA said its member companies are already writing drone risks and working to offer new insurance products for drone use.
Expertise is needed to analyse potential physical losses represented by the aircraft itself and liability risks, the industry group noted.
The latter includes third-party bodily injury and property damage, product liability and privacy issues.
Jones added: “Growth projects for the use of unmanned aircraft systems are quite dramatic, but there are still a number of safety, security and privacy concerns.
“The insurance industry has an important role to play in addressing these issues and helping the technology fulfil its promise by delivering benefits across a range of commercial applications,” he concluded.