Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2016-JAN 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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46 unmanned systems inside   December 2016/January 2017 AIR RISK MANAGEMENT Stomped Despite their best efforts, losses still crop up— some in unexpected ways. "We've seen situations," said Proudlove, "where somebody's f lying a f light one day at location A, and the next day they are at loca- tion B— and they forget to reset the return-to- home function. The drone is up at 400 feet and some kind of failure occurs and the drone f lies off. The operator is left asking 'Why is it f lying off in that direction? Oh shoot. That is where I was yesterday." One drone being used for herding livestock was destroyed by a bull. In another case a homeless man stomped a UAS to bits. Dur- ing the filming of a feature on snowboard- ers a bored snowboarder shot a large rubber band at a drone's propellers. That rubber band got wrapped around the drone's motor and brought it down. The latter two examples (and arguably the first) would be covered under a type of cover- age called a war endorsement, said Proudlove. A war write-back endorsement adds back into the policy elements that would normally not be covered. In the case of drones, that includes getting stomped and shot out of the sky as well as signal interference, spoofing and hacking. "We provide that coverage as standard on everything, "said Proudlove. "We generally don't even ask the question, we just offer it be- cause we provide incredibly valuable coverage under those endorsements. One of the sections under the war endorsement covers hijack. So if the drone was taken over by a third-party— somebody hacked into the system and took control of it while it was in f light—that would be a hijack risk that would be covered under the war endorsement." Policies, in fact, are available for quite a va- riety of risks. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., for ex- ample, has very widely defined policies aimed at universities, which don't necessarily know all the activities going on in their labs or be- ing undertaken by their students. Gallagher Photo courtesy of TopCon said. "Some just have a much, much better loss ratio—that means they're more profitable." Unfortunately that aircraft information is not directly available to drone buyers. Miller said, however, they can tap into an insurer's experience indirectly by getting a quote on a particular aircraft and comparing that with quotes on other platforms. Miller said they also take operator training into account and even geographical experience. "We've been able to determine over time that there are areas that drones just don't work in. We don't know why, but we just see an area that might be a pocket of some kind of signal interfer- ence that just causes losses. If we see someone based in those areas, we'll probably say 'No.'" Global Aerospace is assessing risks too, Proudlove said, including researching what a potential client is planning to do with a drone and what kind of built-in capabilities the sys- tem has. "We certainly take into account any embed- ded technology on the system—essentially, we assess a number of different features of each risk," he said in reference to geofencing and au- tomated logbooks. "One of the primary things that we look at is the drone itself and how it operates including the level of autonomy that it has. We have found already that drones that rely on a great deal of built-in autonomy are generally safer than those that rely on hands- on f lying." TYPES OF INSURANCE HULL Covers damage to the drone, its payload or ground equipment. LIABILITY Includes coverage against accidents such as a drone falling and hitting someone or someone tripping over a case and getting injured. NON-OWNED LIABILITY To cover the liability risks for those who hire UAS services. PERSONAL INJURY Covers drone-related privacy breaches as well as actions stemming from incidents involving, for example, poor customer relations. PRODUCT LIABILITY For when a fault in the product you build or sell causes damage. WAR WRITE-BACK ENDORSEMENT Covers losses from attacks on a drone including by hackers and irate members of the public. A TOPCON OPERATOR works with a Falcon 8 built by Ascending Technologies.

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