Consumer unhappy her insurer declined a claim to replace lost drone


Alice contacted our service after her insurer declined a claim to replace her lost drone. 

What happened

When out flying, Alice’s drone went out of sight and she was unable to locate it despite searching in the area she thought it landed.

She returned home and informed her insurer, raising a claim on her contents insurance policy. The insurer declined the claim, stating that the policy excludes ‘aircraft and hovercraft’.

Unhappy with the outcome of the claim, Alice referred a complaint to us.

What we said

We referred to Alice’s insurance policy booklet and noted that drones weren’t specifically mentioned – either as an inclusion or exclusion to the policy. When this happens, we expect insurers to apply a common interpretation to the item.

We had a look at what the Civil Aviation Authority says about drones and saw they refer to them as:

“remotely piloted aircraft systems’ or ‘unmanned aerial vehicles”

So, we explained that the insurer reasonably considered the drone to be an aircraft in line with this common interpretation and didn’t do anything wrong by declining the claim, as the policy states aircraft aren’t covered.