Insurance obligation for drone operators
For a drone operator in the Czech Republic who are deciding whether to take out insurance, it is first of all important to understand the difference between accident insurance and liability insurance.
Drone accident insurance is a voluntary insurance that covers the risk of damage to the drone itself in the event of crash, malfunction, theft or loss. The owner of the drone takes it out in his own interest. By taking out a so-called accident insurance policy, the operator protects his investment and minimises the risk of high costs associated with repairing or buying a new drone. On the other hand, there is liability insurance for damages that the drone operator may cause to third parties' health or their property. Without insurance, the operator would be responsible for any costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged property, medical costs, compensation for injuries caused, or compensation for environmental damage. This insurance is mandatory in some cases and serves to ensure reimbursement for any damages caused by the operation of the drone. From 2023, the obligation to take out liability insurance (commonly known as compulsory insurance) for drone operation is not based on whether the operator operates the drone for commercial or recreational purposes, but only on the category of operation. The insurance obligation for each category is anchored in §54d of Act No. 49/1997 Coll., on Civil Aviation. The amount of the insurance benefit limits is set out in §16n of Decree No. 108/1997 Coll.
The operator of a drones up to 20 kg may have one liability insurance policy valid for all his drones.
- A1 - In this sub-category it is not mandatory for the operator to have liability insurance, whether flying commercially or recreationally.
- A2 – Liability insurance is mandatory and the minimum amount of the insurance coverage limit is set at 1,000,000 CZK for each insured event.
- A3 – Liability insurance is mandatory for operators of drones weighing more than 4 kg, it is not mandatory up to this weight. The minimum limit of insurance coverage is also set at 1,000,000 CZK for each insured event.
For information on all subcategories of operation, see Open categories.
The operator is obliged to take out liability insurance for each of his drones separately.
The minimum amount of insurance coverage in a specific category of operation is for:
- drones lighter than 0.91 kg inclusive - 2,000,000 CZK for each insured event,
- drones weighing more than 0.91 kg up to and including 7 kg - 5,000,000 CZK for each insured event,
- drones weighing more than 7 kg up to and including 20 kg - 10,000,000 CZK for each insured event.
Mandatory liability insurance for the operation of unmanned aircraft over 20 kg is uniformly required in the EU by Regulation (EC) No 785/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, with a minimum insurance coverage limit of 750,000 SDR (over 20,000,000 CZK).
A table in which the Civil Aviation Authority has clearly summarised information on the liability insurance obligation for drone operators can be found here.