Drones in Maine Raise New Questions about Privacy and Insurance
Recreational drone use has expanded in Maine, causing debate among law enforcement and home insurance providers alike. Drones, also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Systems, are raising new questions about privacy, insurance, and the role of government oversight.
In Maine, individuals may face possible property damage and personal injury from drone piloting. A person insured under a standard homeowners’ insurance policy using a recreational drone, for instance, might damage a neighbor’s property. Drone-to-person collisions may occur, resulting in personal injury. Too often such damages go uncompensated because parties assume insurance coverage doesn’t extend to drone-related incidents.
The increased popularity of recreational drones has brought criticism of the FAA’s regulation. Users are newly required to register unmanned aircraft with the FAA. While it can regulate safety issues, the FAA is unlikely to tackle issues of privacy.
People suffering drone-related damages or injuries are seeking remedies. Homeowners’ policies may cover some losses caused by drone-related incidents. This is new territory, however, and the final answer as to whether standard homeowner’s insurance will cover such damages is unknown.
Most insurance coverage issues depend upon the specific language of the insurance policy including the policy’s definitions, exceptions and exclusions.
Invasion of Privacy Claims
Drones also raise understandable concerns about recreational use of mobile cameras. Of course, consent to filming typically nullifies any issues related to drone flight. However, most have not consented and consider such filming a breach of the right to reasonable privacy.
Invasion of privacy claims against recreational drone operators and against businesses using drones to collect information about private citizens can be expected.
Homeowner Coverage and You: How Far do Invasion of Privacy Claims Go?
Some modern homeowner’s policies offer coverage for invasion of privacy claims. Such coverage, when available, may also include coverage for personal injury.
Other Considerations for Drones in Maine
Due to a drone’s sheer mobility, the realm of possibilities is wide. Those suffering harm in a drone-related incident are urged to seek legal advise. An injury caused by an owned and operated drone may be covered by insurance.
Mobile drone operators may be registered with the FAA. Mobile drone operation or purchases of the drone may be trackable. The law will adapt to cover drone-related issues, assisting those facing harm, damages and breach of privacy. When in doubt about drone-related incidents, seek legal advice about your possible remedies.
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