Commercial UAVs and the Construction Industry
Commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, are becoming a major asset for many industries, including the construction industry. Though usage of commercial drones is restricted and regulated by the FAA, some businesses have obtained permission to use drones. Many construction companies are beginning to use drones regularly for aerial surveying and documenting the progress of building projects.
How Are Drones Being Used in the Construction Industry?
The primary value of drones is linked to their ability to access places where human beings and heavy equipment may not be able to venture. The drones being used need to be small, easy to maneuver, and carrying a light amount of equipment, such as high-resolution cameras.
The biggest job that drones are doing in the construction industry revolves around capturing images. Whether it is to document a building site, monitor the different aspects of development, or even gather detailed information about the environment to log for later reference, drone-carried cameras are among the most commonly used of the commercial UAVs.
Risk Control Issues
Drone usage was initially conceived as a way to perform a variety of tasks that might be deemed too dirty, too dull or too dangerous for workers to perform themselves. As such, drones seem like an excellent example of real risk management. However, there are inherent risks to using commercial UAVs in any number of industries, including construction. Safety and security concerns are important issues when it comes to UAV usage. In fact, part of the hesitation on the part of the FAA to fully legalize drone usage has at least something to do with the inherent risks to property, people, and privacy.
Managing these risks, and preventing accidents and incidents from happening, needs to be a priority for your construction company. Proper training in how to handle the UAV, including obtaining a pilot’s license, are the first steps. Maintaining accurate flight records and documenting the job the machine is doing, where it is traveling and by what route, will not only help keep the machine from high-risk encounters but will provide a vital record if an accident or incident occurs. That vital record will also be crucial if any claims are filed against your company. In fact, your insurance provider may require that information before they insure you.
The Importance of Drone Insurance
There are a great number of liability and coverage issues when it comes to insuring your commercial UAVs. The rise in commercial drone use has triggered a subsequent rise in the development of drone insurance. Personal injury, damage to private property, aerial surveillance, data collection, and privacy rights are all major issues that insurance companies need to address through their drone insurance policies. Having a drone insurance policy protects your company from lawsuits and claims, and also provides for those who may be affected by any kind of error or malfunction that could occur when using the drone.
Utilizing drone technology provides a competitive edge for your construction company. Not only is drone use more efficient and cost-effective, but it allows you to communicate better and relay more accurate information. It also offers a great way to measure progress more accurately. Drones even assist in keeping projects on schedule and running smoothly as they gather information and take their measurements.
Poms & Associates offers a broad range of business insurance and brokerage services and provides the most current information on commercial general liability insurance policies, as well as additional coverage options such as drone insurance. For more details about the basics of business insurance policies, and to find out how Poms & Associates can help you choose the right drone coverage for your company, please visit our website or contact us.
Gabriella Messina is an author who has written online content for a variety of business and insurance related topics, including business insurance basics, workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and malpractice.