New Drone Coverage Available Oct. 1 From TAC Risk Management Pool

 

 

The Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP) will begin offering General Liability and Law Enforcement Liability coverage for drones starting Oct. 1. Coverage for drones under the Pool’s Property Program began July 1.

“I am excited that we are now able to offer this coverage for our members,” said Tracy Seiler, TAC Risk Management Services Director.  “This is another example of how our Pool is proactively addressing and providing protection for the changing coverage needs of Texas counties.”

The use of drones, also called Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), in the public sector has been increasing. Depending upon the type of drone a county wants to operate and the way the drone will be used, a county may need to obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) or a Certificate of Waiver (COW) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To determine what is appropriate for your county, please visit the FAA’s website, www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsid=20516.

According to a 2015 article published by the Association of Government Risk Pools on the use and regulation of drones by local government entities, counties and other local governments employ drones for several uses, including:

  • crime, accident and fire scene investigation and documentation;
  • search and rescue operations;
  • law enforcement surveillance;
  • fire suppression activities;
  • tactical advantage and live imaging in hostile situations;
  • monitoring and inspecting infrastructure;
  • aerial photography and filming of events; and
  • property inspections and appraisals.

In addition, the article identifies many risks associated with owning and operating drones. Some of those include:

  • piloting error;
  • inadequate training of personnel controlling drones, or overseeing drone use;
  • mechanical or technical failure of the drone, its software, hardware or associated systems;
  • maintenance and storage of data and information, including images, captured via drone use;
  • inappropriate use of a drone by an employee;
  • unauthorized breach of drone technology systems, including data and information storage and control systems;
  • contracts related to drone use and operations; and
  • drone accidents.

Members interested in seeking coverage for a drone under TAC RMP’s General Liability and Law Enforcement Liability Programs need to provide the following information:

  • the drone model;
  • its weight;
  • the year it was manufactured;
  • its serial number;
  • a description of how it will be used;
  • the operator’s name(s);
  • the date the member received the COA or COW from the FAA to operate the drone as well as a copy of the Certificate;
  • the drone’s registration number;
  • the total drone flight hours; and
  • a description of training certificates held by the staff member(s) piloting the drone.

Members interested in obtaining coverage for a drone under TAC RMP’s Property Program need to provide the following information:

  • the drone’s make and model;
  • its serial number;
  • its weight;
  • the year it was manufactured;
  • the address of where it will be stored;
  • its replacement cost; and
  • how it will be used.

Counties that want to learn more about the new coverage should contact their TAC RMP Risk Management Consultant at (800) 456-5974.

 

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