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IRDAI forms panel on drone insurance


Insurance regulator IRDAI has constituted a working group to study and make recommendations on various aspects of insurance cover for drones.


“Drones are playing a significant role in the current COVID-19 situation, assisting various authorities in several activities. There is an immediate need to make available suitable insurance products covering the various risks involved in the use of drones,” the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India said in an order constituting the nine-member working group.


Comprising senior executives of insurers as well as a reinsurance company and officials of IRDAI, the working group for insurance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System/Drone Technology will study and understand the insurance needs of RPAS owners and operators.


Six weeks have been given to the group to make recommendations relating to design and development of products that meet the needs of RPAS owners and operators, including Third Party liability. It has also been asked by the Authority to give recommendations relating to underwriting of such risks, including from the re-insurance perspective.


The IRDAI move comes in the backdrop of drones emerging as one of the fastest growing technologies and being used for a variety of purposes. Their numbers are growing rapidly, the communication on the constitution of the working group said.


Earlier this month, private insurer HDFC ERGO said it has joined hands with TropoGo, a Deep Tech start-up to offer commercial drone owners and operators Third Party Liability claims cover for property damage and bodily injuries.


Despite the advantages drones offer to its commercial users, the safety towards Third Party assets remains unanswered. The insurer had said this, while pointing to how in the current pandemic, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones are being considered and used actively by State and Central governments in the fight against Covid-19.


“Drones are proving to be efficient and beneficial for public surveillance, crowd monitoring and; in certain areas even for delivery of essentials like medicines. Use of drones may also become central to various functions of different businesses in future, where humans may be unable to perform the tasks,” the company said.

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