Understanding Drone Insurance

Understanding Drone Insurance


Understanding Drone Insurance

with help from our friends at SkyWatch

As you begin building your business, drone insurance will become an important asset as it will protect you, your equipment, and your investment. Unlike other types of coverage, activating, and managing drone insurance is easier than ever.

Establishing yourself as a commercial drone pilot means being professional, detail and safety-oriented. After you’ve invested in your training and drone gear, and you will begin getting hired for jobs in which you will have to specifically prepare and plan for each mission. But (as many drone professionals know) no amount of time spent planning a mission can prepare you properly for a drone accident if you don’t have a liability policy to cover you or your customer’s loss. 

Luckily, today more than ever, drone insurance is simple, intuitive, and easy to manage. Before seamlessly activating your drone insurance policy, it is important to first understand the following basic key terms and concepts.

Here are all the important definitions that can help you understand what is included in your insurance policy:

*Please note: the following glossary is according to SkyWatch.AI Drone Insurance Policies.

Coverage Breakdown

Aviation Liability Insurance

A portion of the insurance policy which provides coverage against physical or property damage to a third party entity caused by drone operations.

Hull Insurance

An optional portion of the insurance policy which provides physical damage coverage to the drone in use. Includes drone loss, theft, flyaway, disappearance.

Aviation insurance provides the following types of liability coverages: 

  • Property Damage: Liability protection for physical damage to property caused by a pilot’s operations 
  • Bodily Injury: Liability protection against physical damage or trauma to an individual resulting from an accident by the drone pilot
  • Personal injury: Liability for an injury to an individual arising from libel, slander, invasion of privacy, etc. 

Liability limits range anywhere from $100,000 to $5,000,000. Canadian Drone regulations state that you must be certified for all drone operations, including recreational and commercial flights. When it comes to activating an insurance policy above $2M in liability, you will be asked to confirm that you have the required Pilot certificates for performing commercial RPAS operations. Secondly, while hull insurance is an optional coverage, it is only available for annual insurance policies and cannot be purchased short term, i.e by the hour or month. 

*Note that Aviation Liability insurance includes coverage specifically to your drone operations – which is not always covered by standard General Liability policies.


Certificates and Documentation

After purchasing drone insurance you want to make sure you are provided with two essential documents. First, you need a policy document which declares all the conditions, specific coverages, and exclusions. Secondly, a Certificate of Insurance (COI) will serve as proof of coverage for clients and local authorities. The COI is a flexible working tool that can be modified during the policy period to include your additional insured as well as the specific language required by certain clients.

Coverage Details 

Insurance jargon can be confusing. In order to simplify this, we’ve gathered some of the most frequently used terms in drone insurance policies to make sure you truly understand what it’s all about.

Additional Insured
An individual, business, co-pilot or entity that is added to the policy in order to be protected by the drone pilot’s insurance policy
Certificate of Insurance (COI)
A legal document providing important coverage details and serves as proof of coverage. This document is produced immediately after activating your policy.
An incident submitted by the drone pilot to the insurance company which needs to be covered for a loss.
Your Coverage Duration
The time period in which the policy is active. Hourly policies provide coverage for a given time of day at an hourly rate while monthly/annual policies provide longer coverage periods. While policies can be pre-booked for a future date it is important to make sure that the coverage duration is stated clearly on your policy and COI.
Your Title Deductible
A portion of the loss in which the drone pilot will be expected to pay in the event that a claim is filed.
Upon making changes to an active insurance policy, an endorsement is used as a legal extension to prove that the contract has been amended.  

For example, if you add hull coverage midway through your policy period, a new endorsement with the drone details will be produced and attached to the original policy.

Liability limit
The maximum limit for which an insurance policy will provide liability coverage.

The limit you select should be based on the requirements of your client, or the risk associated for your operation. The bigger the production, the bigger the risk. The most standard liability policy is the $1,000,000 limit; however, it is important that each pilot considers the risk of his/her operations and chooses the liability accordingly.

Name Insured
The person(s) to whom the policy is issued. 

The name insured can also be the name of your business. If the named insured is your company’s name, then any employee of that company will be included under the policy.

On-Demand Policy
A type of policy that can be activated at any time.
A total payment or a periodic portion of it which is used to keep the policy active over time.

For drone insurance policies, there are separate premiums. Every drone insurance policy will include a premium for the liability portion. Other coverages, such as optional hull insurance, will have an additional premium to be paid.

Waiver of Subrogation
A legal waiver that states the name insured has waived the rights of the insurance company to seek compensation for losses paid to the third party.

Often times clients will request that pilots provide this specific waiver when conducting operations on their behalf. This waiver will be required in order to get some operations approved.

Often times clients will request that pilots provide this specific waiver when conducting operations on their behalf. This waiver will be required in order to get some operations approved. 

More definitions can be found online at SkyWatch.AI’s drone insurance dictionary.

When working in a fast-paced environment such as the drone industry, the insurance demands and requirements are ever-changing. For this reason, drone insurance is designed to be flexible. As clients needs’ change, pilots can always modify and manage their insurance.

For more information visit https://www.skywatch.ai/ca/home

The SkyWatch.AI support team is happy to help you get your policy activated and answer any questions you may have at any time.


[email protected]

Coastal Drone Co launches Drone Training  to Best Buy Canada Ltd Customers.

Coastal Drone Co launches Drone Training  to Best Buy Canada Ltd Customers.


Coastal Drone Co launches Drone Training  to Best Buy Canada Ltd Customers.

(Vancouver, BC) 07/10/2020 – Coastal Drone Co, a part of the Westlund Group of Companies, have partnered with Best Buy Canada to offer “Drone Pilot Ground School | Basic” to all Best Buy Canada drone customers going forward. This innovative initiative will serve a growing community of drone hobbyists and professional pilots in Canada. 

On June 1st, 2019 Transport Canada enacted new regulations for flying drones in Canada requiring all pilots of drones weighing over 250g to acquire a pilot certificate. Coastal Drone has become one of Canada’s leaders in the drone education space training thousands of registered students in less than 2 years to pass their Transport Canada drone pilot certification requirements. The company was founded by Kate Klassen, Alec Wilson, Adam Besse and Vancouver entrepreneur Andrew Westlund in 2016. The company originally was founded to service the growing demand for professional drone consulting but transitioned to also include online training as its primary service offering.

“Partnering with Best Buy Canada was the right decision for Coastal Drone Co.” said Alec Wilson, Coastal Drone’s President. He continued, “We know that there is a growing ecosystem of pilots throughout Canada who partake in piloting drones for both personal and professional use. One of our passions at Coastal Drone is to educate pilots and connect them to the industry. Drone Pilot Certificates have become mandatory for drones over 250g, and the testing process isn’t easy. We want to make sure we provide pilots with as much value as possible and create a safe, and legal drone industry in Canada. Offering our “Drone Pilot Ground School | Basic” course to Best Buy Canada customers enables us to extend our reach to provide thousands of drone pilots with education and training”.

The online course offered at Best Buy covers the knowledge areas Transport Canada expects Basic Certified pilots to understand and apply to their flights. It also serves as an excellent primer on airspace, regulation, the aircraft, the environment and the human factors that are essential for any pilot to know to keep their drone flying safer, and longer. Coastal Drone also offers courses to aid in exam preparation, operational procedure development and advanced certification training which will be retailed at Best Buy in-store and online.

About the Westlund Group of Companies and Coastal Drone Co

Andrew Westlund founded Apex Wireless, one of Canada’s leading wireless dealers 20 years ago and grew the group of companies to 12. The diverse group also includes Sky Helicopters, Vinyl Labs, Agency Media, Your Workspace, Fluid Spa and Apex Managed It. Coastal Drone Co has become Canada’s go to source for drone regulation information with pilots Alec Wilson (Drone & Helicopter pilot) and Kate Klassen (Drone & Airplane Pilot) leading the team. The company offers free webinars and Q&A’s on social media so that Canada’s Drone Pilots can connect, have their questions answered and fully understand Canada’s legislation when it comes to piloting drones.


TP15263 Foreign Pilot Course

TP15263 Foreign Pilot Course

TP15263 Foreign Pilot Course


If you are not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a corporation which is incorporated by, or under federal or provincial jurisdiction, this course is for you!


1. Take a TP15263 compliant ground school

2. Apply for your SFOC with your ground school certificate
– Use this checklist to support your SFOC application.

3. Go Flying

As home to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet, it’s no surprise that Canada attracts thousands of visitors every year.  We know you want to fly your drone while in Canada, and we are here to help!  Let’s make sure that you are aware of the Canadian regulations before you start firing up your props.  Currently, Canadian residents need to acquire either the Basic or Advanced RPAS pilot certifcation depending on the type of flying they plan to do (more info here).  Unfortunately, at this time, these exams can only be taken by Canadians.  While the process for foreign pilots is a little more complicated, it is still possible to get permission to fly if you follow the right steps.



In order to fly your drone in Canada, you are going to need to prove that you have taken ground school training that meets the Canadian requirements for RPAS pilots (TP15263).  A requirement of TP 15263 is that the course is at least 20-hours in length. 

Coastal Drone Co has an all-online course for visitors to Canada!  Upon completion of the course, which you can do from anywhere, you will receive a certificate of completion that can be used to prove to Transport Canada that you have taken the appropriate course.


Once you have proof that you have taken the approved course, your final step will to be file for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC).  The SFOC will allow you to fly for the duration of your trip at the locations that you specify when you apply. Unlike a pilot’s certificate, the SFOC is limited to certain locations and times, but as long as you specify everywhere you plan on flying beforehand it should be enough to allow you to fly for the entirety of your visit.  If you need a hand with filing an SFOC, we are here to help.  Check out our guide to SFOC application completion here.

If your operations will take you into advanced environments, you will also need to complete a flight review while you’re in Canada.  This is an in-person assessment of your knowledge, documentation and flight skill. Check out our video here for more information! To schedule a foreign pilot flight review with Coastal Drone, send an email to [email protected]


Once you finish these steps, you will be set to do all the flying you want on your visit up to Canada!  It’s important to remember that most SFOCs only last for a limited amount of time, so if you are visiting the country more than once, you may need to file again for each trip you do. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] and we will be more than happy to answer your questions.






New TC AIM RPA Section 

Guidance for RPA Pilots

What is the AIM?

The AIM or Aeronautical Information Manual is a 500+ page online and print resource published by Transport Canada twice a year (March and October) to provide guidance and detailed information not available in the CARs. 

Excellent Reference Tool

While this document may not be something you want to sit down and read cover to cover, it’s an excellent reference tool when questions pop up regarding airspace, flying at night or SFOC requirements. Keep it bookmarked and definitely have open when you’re writing your certification exams!

Coastal’s Contribution

Coastal Drone is proud to have contributed to the content and editing of the new RPA AIM section! Collaboration with Transport Canada in this way helps ensure the industry gets the information it needs so we’re grateful for the ongoing opportunities to work closely with TC!

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

Dear Fellow Drone Pilots,

As Canada continues to escalate the response to COVID-19 in recent days, We are doing our very best to respect our front line workers, and to practice as much physical distancing as we can. From coast to coast, individuals, organizations, and all levels of government are working together to minimize impact on our communities. We stand united as we all do our part to protect our neighbours, friends and family.

We are open for business and available to answer any questions you have regarding our courses. Flight reviews are being conducted on a case-by-case basis at the Reviewers discretion by using a combination of online and in-person tools to ensure physical distancing requirements can be fully respected. Our memo to Flight Reviewers is available here with more details. 

Now is a great time to get your drone pilot certificate online from the comfort and safety of your own home.

On behalf of the entire team at Coastal Drone – Stay safe and fly safe.

Kate, Alec, Andrew, Adam and Leland

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

The Podcast

Coastal Drone Podcast Episode: Foreign Pilot Process Update

Flying A Drone In Canada if you are not a permanent resident, or Canadian Citizen.

The process to get certified to fly in Canada if you are not a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident has changed.

There is a bit of a stir online as Transport Canada has recently announced that they have changed the process available for foreign pilots.

If you are a foreign operator, meaning you are not a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident, or a corporation that is incorporated in Canada, and you want to fly in Canadian airspace you are going to want to listen to this episode.

Kate explains what you need to fly in Canada.