Drone Risks and Your Unimutual Cover

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Drone Risks and Your Unimutual Cover

drones campus risk
In a recent Emerging Risk Report (#76), we looked at the shift of remotely piloted aircraft, (a.k.a. RPAs, unmanned aircraft systems – UASs, or drones), from the experimental stage to mainstream use – by researchers, contractors, service providers, and private individuals including students.

Globally, the commercial RPA industry could be worth USD$1 billion by the end of 2020 – and many of the benefits and exciting current and potential uses are clear. Just this week, drones helped firefighters to help put out the flames of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, by providing essential data on the fires progress from above. But as well as the great potential drones offer, these changes naturally also come with associated risks – particularly for any institutions that are themselves drone services providers.

We mentioned in the Emerging Risk Report that Members should consider how to address this changing risk profile, including reviewing the registration of drones and logs of their applications, and the institution’s policies and procedures for drone operation. Of course, they should also be aware of the wider risk landscape for this nascent technology. For example, the Australian and New Zealand Institute Of Insurance and Finance identifies some of the associated risks as:

  1. Unauthorised and uncooperative drone operations within the Australian airspace;
  2. Negative public perception of drone usage;
  3. Lag time for societal acceptance of drone risks;
  4. Complexity of integrating drone usage with piloted aircrafts.

And, in its 2016 whitepaper, Allianz notes the wider liability risks, war/terrorism perils, hacking and cyber-attacks and privacy issues.

To ensure you are informed about the use of drones in Australia, download the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s safety and regulatory guidelines on flying small (2-25kg) or medium (25-150kg) RPAs on your land or go to droneflyer.gov.au for more information.

For Unimutual Members, you may also want to know about your cover for this risk. While you should check your Protection Schedule for the most accurate information, you can read or download a document summarising Unimutual Protections’ cover for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Drones) by logging in below.

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To find out more on this topic, read Emerging Risk Report #76 and/or our first article on drones from 2016.

Unimutual will continue to monitor this emerging risk and update you further as developments occur. As always, we are happy to discuss any concerns – get in touch with your usual contact or at service@unimutual.com.au