Drone usage presents new liabilities

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates more than 30,000 drones will be in use by 2020 and currently is developing regulations, policies and standards in anticipation of increased drone usage.

Using drones can provide several advantages for roofing contractors, including the ability to obtain high-resolution photos of roofs to review with prospective customers; the ability to inspect many roofs during a short period of time; and increased worker safety by reducing the need for workers to access rooftops for pre-project assessments.

Before deciding to use drones, roofing contractors should be aware of potential liabilities that stem from drone usage. Potential losses as a result of drone usage include damage to someone else's property; bodily injury to a person; and invasion of privacy while taking pictures or videos of a property. General liability insurance policies typically exclude aircraft, including the use of drones. Coverage under a general liability policy may need to be broadened to provide adequate protection for roofing professionals.