An Australian insurer has made the move to become the first to offer public liability cover that includes businesses using drones to aid regular activities.

Vero has revised its public liability insurance in response to the growing threat of a fatality or major destruction being caused by a drone, and is the first-ever standard public liability policy on the market.

Suncorp Commercial Insurance National Manager Liability Underwriting David Leighton says drone use is diversifying and there is a growing need for cover.

“While it is lucky there hasn’t been a major incident in Australia yet, the growth of the commercial drone market means the risk of a serious injury or property damage is increasing,” Leighton says.

“Drones are rapidly being adopted by a diverse range of businesses, such as stadium managers and utilities management firms. For example, some maintenance contractors are now using drones with cameras to monitor and inspect assets, such as power lines, for any repairs.

“This update means that any Vero customer using, or considering using, a drone as part of their normal business activities, has clarity of what is covered if the vehicle causes an injury or property damage to a third party.”

However, the updated cover excludes business operations where drones complete primary functions of that business, only applicable to drones used as a tool to assist operations.

All drones must be controlled in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and within the controller’s line of sight.

Furthermore, the drone must weigh less than 10kg and is limited to carrying camera, surveillance, monitoring or measurement equipment.

For more on drones and insurance, see our magazine feature here.