An Emerging Risk for the Real Estate Industry
The use of drones has been identified as an emerging trend within the real estate industry, and thus is a new risk to be managed. Liability for property damage or bodily injury arising out of the use, or operation of drone aircraft can and will be imposed by law on licensed industry members, REALTORS®, brokerage firms and associations. The standard Commercial General Liability policy does not include, nor is it intended to insure the use, or operation of drone aircraft in connection with REALTOR®, brokerage, or association services. Insurance policies must be put in place to ensure that the commercial usage of drones is properly insured. No matter which party, there is an exposure and a separate policy would be required to cover the exposure.
Managing UAV/Drone Risk
The type of policy you need is dependent upon whether you are an owner operator of a drone (REALTORS®), or if you are hiring out drone work to a third party (Brokerages) or if you could be held responsible, named, or held liable for someone else operating a drone or someone else hiring one out (Brokerage/Association).
Brokerages, Associations, and Agents are often blamed and can be held liable for all kinds of mishaps, even if they have no fault or merit:
- Invasion of privacy
- Bodily Injury or Death to third parties
- Damage to a listing
- Damage to third party property
- Complaints made by the public
- Collision with a third party object, such as an animal, vehicle, or air plane
- Cyber risk whereby a third party takes control of the UAV and causes loss or damage
- Loss of control due to battery life, or natural causes such as: wind, rain or snow
*** These scenarios are not covered by REIX, nor an industry standard Commercial General Liability policy.