Lisle, IL – (August. 22, 2016) – American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS), the only non-for-profit national insurance advisory organization, announced new filings of Unmanned Aircraft Liability Coverage forms and rules in their Agricultural General Liability Program (AgGL), in response to consumer demand for coverage for unmanned aircraft or "drones." AAIS also filed a new Personal & Advertising Injury Liability Aircraft Exclusion created to address new liability exposures associated with this nascent technology. As of this release, the new AgGL Unmanned Aircraft Coverage endorsements are approved in 34 states.
AAIS' new endorsements were created in anticipation of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) long-awaited Final sUAS Regulations for small commercial UAS (under 55 pounds). The new regulations were published June 21, 2016 and will become effective August 29, 2016. The economic impact of this ruling is expected to be first felt in farm and agribusiness as it is the fastest growing commercial sector using drones.
AAIS leads the national Property & Casualty insurance advisory industry in providing two specialized Agricultural General Liability (AgGL) products: one to meet the needs of large farms and one for commercial agricultural exposures. The AgGL program includes coverage of more than 300 expert classes, thus writing a separate commercial general liability policy is not necessary with the AAIS coverage forms.
Unmanned aircraft is expected to revolutionize American farming and agricultural operations through increased commodities production in the United States. Drones can monitor livestock and increase crop yields by identifying specific regions of irrigation problems, insect infestations, and other exposures that previously devastated operations. Using a specialized camera attached to the drone, infrared maps produce measurable data, photographs and valuable insights improving business production. The soon to be effective sUAS FAA regulations allow farm/ag operations to monitor from a maximum of 400 feet.
AAIS will also soon be releasing additional forms and rules for drones, including:
- A new Farmowners filing of Unmanned Aircraft Liability Coverage forms and rules, and new aircraft exclusions under Personal Injury and Personal & Advertising Injury Liability.
- Unmanned Aircraft forms for Farm Umbrella (personal and commercial) as well as Agricultural Umbrella Liability (AgXL) coverage forms.
Leslie Rippley, AAIS vice president of commercial lines, farm & agribusiness, adds that AAIS recognizes the high consumer demand for drone usage in conducting farming and agricultural operations.
"As an industry leader in the farming and agriculture sector, we anticipated the need our members would have and their demand has been great," said Rippley, adding, "Thus, our first filing for Agricultural General Liability Unmanned Aircraft coverage offers large commercial farm and agricultural operations a solution tailored to their more complex exposures."
Under the new FAA rules, a person operating a small unmanned aircraft must either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small unmanned aircraft rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who does hold a remote pilot certificate. A licensed pilot may obtain a temporary remote pilot certificate immediately upon submission of the application.
To obtain a remote pilot certificate, a person must demonstrate aeronautical knowledge by:
- Passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test
- Being vetted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Being at least 16 years old
Established in 1931, AAIS continues to serve the Property & Casualty insurance industry as the only national not-for-profit advisory organization governed by its member companies. AAIS offers innovative products including standardized policy forms and rating information for 34 lines of business, industry leadership in research and data development, and unrivaled customer service, value, and efficiency. Over 700 insurers, including some of the largest national carriers, rely on AAIS. To learn more, visit www.aaisonline.com.
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