New India Assurance said it has launched a product to offer insurance cover to drones, becoming the first public sector player to enter the segment.
The unmanned aircraft system (UAS/UAV/RPAS/drone) insurance will cover large aircraft to solo flying gliders. Coverage will be offered to drone owners, operators and manufacturers, the company said in a statement.
Its private sector peers like HDFC Ergo, ICICI Lombard, Tata AIG General and Bajaj Allianz General already have such plans.
While HDFC Ergo pioneered this segment way back in June 2020, ICICI Lombard launched its drone cover in August 2021, Tata AIG General in October 2021 and Bajaj Allianz General in November 2021. All these insurers offer a comprehensive insurance wherein an operator can opt for both hull and liability covers, for any commercial usage permitted by the aviation watchdog DGCA.
The drone insurance product will cover damage to the drone and payload it carries, third-party liability along with additional covers for beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) endorsement and night flying endorsement.
New India Assurance said its product provides over 15 different add-on covers which are designed as per the drone industry’s requirements, including physical damages, theft and accidental physical injury to the third party and/or damage to their property among others.
Neerja Kapur, the chairman and managing director of the company, quoting the aviation ministry forecast, said the drone manufacturing industry is expected to touch Rs 900 crore by FY24, up from Rs 60 crore in FY21.
The ministry also foresees an investment of over Rs 5,000 crore in the drone manufacturing industry over the next three years.
New India Assurance Company has operations in 26 countries.