Finance: Check Your Insurance Before a Drone Purchase
Financial guidance for your financial life
Q: I plan to buy a drone soon. Will my insurance cover any damages it might cause?
A: Damages caused by drones may be covered by the liability portion of your homeowners or renters’ insurance policy, but the details vary by insurer.
“Some homeowners policies cover ‘model or hobby’ aircraft; others cover only model aircraft, and others exclude any aircraft,” says Bill Wilson, an insurance educator who runs the InsuranceCommentary.com blog.
Contact your insurance agent or company to find out whether your drone is covered and if there are any requirements or restrictions. You usually have to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration. (It costs $5 to register drones for recreational use with the FAA for three years. Register online at https://faadronezone.faa.gov.) The policy may cover hobby use of the drone, but not commercial use by a business. For example, if you’re being paid to take pictures with the drone, ask your insurer whether you need to get special coverage.
If your drone damages your own car, it would be covered by the comprehensive coverage on your car insurance. And it may be covered by the liability coverage on your homeowners or renters’ insurance if it damages someone else’s car.
Your homeowners or renters’ insurance may pay to replace a stolen drone (after the deductible). Ask your insurer about the property coverage limits on your policy.
If your home insurance policy provides no-fault medical coverage, it may cover any injuries to others caused by the drone (but not injury to your own family members), according to the Insurance Information Institute.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends checking your insurance coverage for drones frequently because insurers continue to develop their coverage as drones become more popular and the technology evolves.
Q: How can I pay Medicare premiums if I’m not receiving Social Security benefits yet? Can I have the bill paid automatically from my bank account?
A: There are several ways to pay your Medicare premiums if you aren’t receiving Social Security benefits. You can sign up for Medicare Easy Pay, a free service through Medicare that deducts your premiums from a savings or checking account each month, usually on the 20th of the month. To sign up, submit Form SF-5510, “Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments,” with your Medicare number, bank account number and bank routing number. Otherwise, you can receive a bill and send a check each month, or you can have the bill paid through your bank’s online bill pay service. For more information about your options, see “Pay Part A and Part B Premiums” at Medicare.gov.
Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.
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