Unmanned aircrafts (aka drones) are soon to be an integral part of the design and construction industry, and the insurance industry has been actively preparing coverage for drone use. The issue is not one of professional liability insurance coverage, but is more concerned with general liability exposure.
If a firm uses a drone to gather photos of the 15th story apartment planned for construction, and the view was improperly selected and the tenant sues the developer for false advertising who sues the architect for misdirecting the drone’s camera, this exposure will be covered under professional liability as a negligent act in the performance of professional services . But, if the drone loses control and crashes into a pedestrian causing a bodily injury, that will need to be specifically covered under the general liability policy.
Firms that are anticipating the legal use of drones should check with their brokers about their general liability coverage, and firms that subcontract drone operation services should make sure that the firm operating the drone has appropriate coverage for physical damages drones can cause and personal injury claims like invasion of privacy.