The horrific incident occurred after a drone caught a tree and span out of control
Drones can have serious insurance consequences, say brokers, after an 18-month-old toddler lost an eye in a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Worcestershire boy was injured when an amateur drone operator lost control of his device.
The propeller blades sliced the boy’s eyeball, and he will now require multiple operations before he can be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
Doctors at Worcester Royal Hospital said it was the first drone-related injury they had treated, but they predicted that more were “inevitable”, reported Worcester News, a sister publication of Insurance Times.
Drone operators should check their home insurance policy to see if they are covered in case of an incident, said Gerry Bucke, general manager of specialist broker Adrian Flux.
“A lot of people taking their new gadget out for the first time may well not be aware of the laws governing the use of drones, and they may also not have considered the need to check they are covered for liability in the event of something going wrong,” he said.
“Some of the bigger drones on the market, which still only sell for a few hundred pounds, can cause serious injury to people and damage to property, leaving the user open to significant claims for damages.”
Many home insurance policies exclude cover for motorised vehicles, but Bucke believes that some users may be covered if their drones can be considered as toys.
“It’s all going to come down to the interpretation of each insurer as to whether the drone is classed as an aircraft or just a fun toy. If anyone is in any doubt, you need to get it in writing from your insurer that you are covered for liability.”
Drone use has risen sharply in the UK over recent years, and they look set to be even more popular in 2016.
Some loss adjusters are using drones to asssess areas they are unable to access, but personal drone use comes with a risk, and regulation around them remains cloudy
A public consultation is slated for 2016 before the government publishes its strategy on safe use.
Mirko Kovac, director of aerial robotics at Imperial College London, will be speaking at ID2016 about the future use of drones in the industry, and the issues that drone use raises.
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