Crashing Your Drone: The Reason Why Warranty and Insurance Are a No-Brainer

The other day, I had my first real accident with my Inspire 2 and I learned a lot from it. After flying her for about two years, I ended up making a really stupid mistake and crashing into a tree.

This drone meant nothing but the world to me. It was the drone that changed my life for the better and opened up more opportunity than I ever could have imagined. I remember the day I decided to buy this drone, one year out of college and trying to see how the financials would make sense for me. Knowing that there was so much more I could do with the Inspire 2 over even just a Phantom 4 Pro was what made me get the drone. I had the ability to mount different lenses, dual ops, and have the best camera quality on a drone, which would allow me to get more creative with my work. The Inspire 2, aka Isabelle, became such a close member of our team.

I'd hate to share a random video of my drone crashing, but I want people to understand how easy it is for something to go wrong even if you fly every single day. I also want people to realize how important it is to be covered if anything like this were to happen to them.

When I crashed, I was on a shoot for work doing a shot that I do almost all the time. My drone had been acting up a bit in the weeks prior, but appeared to be working fine at this shoot. Now, this was no job out of the ordinary and crashing was completely unexpected. After analyzing the crash overnight, I finally realized what had happened. At the time, I thought I was watching my altitude, which would mean I had clearance over the trees. When I went back to figure out what actually went wrong to see what caused the crash, it pretty much narrows down to a complete user error. My height was 94 ft rising, but it seemed like my drone was also descending although I wasn't commanding it to. With the number 120 ft in mind, I had the thought I was going to be fine as I focused on keeping my camera and lines straight while executing the shot.

The next thing I heard was Vin screaming for me to pull up because he saw the tree come into play, but at that point in time, it was too late. We were left to sit there and listen to the drone get tangled in the tree and crash as it tore downward through the branches and hit the ground. My initial reaction was to not overreact. I stayed calm, put the controller down and immediately went to go find the drone and make sure everything was okay.

A lot of the time we are shooting real estate, we are on private roads that could have wires on them. There are also other houses around plus a fair amount of trees depending on where we are. This being the case, I have to mention that I was very lucky to have things go the way they did. Though I have insurance and warranty, I did not want anything else to come into play. The drone may have been smashed, but no people were hurt, no property was damaged, and I was able to find the drone because it was not too far away. Had I been over water or landed closer to the house, we could have had much bigger problems.

As a drone pilot who's been flying almost every single day for the past few years, insurance is a no-brainer along with warranty on any piece of equipment that you use. If I didn't have my warranty, I'd be paying seven times what I am about to be to replace this drone. Without the insurance, if anything were to happen, we would have some really big problems on our hands.

So to anyone out there who flies a drone, this stuff happens. It happens when you least expect it and when it happens- it's a true eye opener. I am very thankful everything went the way it did and learned a lot from this experience. Fly safe and always pay attention to every aspect of your flight.

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8 Comments

Chad Andreo's picture

How much is the insurance and which company do you use?

Ty Poland's picture

The insurance was through Mack warranty here in NJ and it cost around $1000 for coverage on the camera and drone itself

I thought this was an article about how to get good drone insurance, but all I learned was that drones can crash sometimes(?) ...

Simon Patterson's picture

Same here! It's impossible to assess whether paying for insurance or extended warranty is worthwhile without comparing all the costs and considering the probabilities.

Ty Poland's picture

Left that part out so I'm not advertising one certain company but if you wanna talk insurance, we can. I currently use Hill and Usher for both ground coverage and aerial coverage. They are always there when I need them and are very good with any customer service. You can talk to a lot of the agents directly and pretty much handle everything you need.

As far as warranty goes on the actual drone itself, there was a $5000 cap on the insurance where I bought my drone. That being said, I bought the Inspire 2 from Unique Photo in Fairfield NJ and covered it with Mack warranty in Springfield NJ. I had 2 years coverage ($3000) on the actual drone itself for 2 years with a $200 deductible and 3 years coverage ($2000) on the X5S with a $0 deductible.

Because the drone was pretty much ruined, they covered the costs and sent it in to DJI to be analyzed. When I get a new unit, I can either take it as is or purchase the warranty once again. I will certainly be doing just to be safe.

Ty Poland's picture

Dove a little deeper for you below, total cost of the inspire with warranty was $6800. Without warranty it would have been around $5800. By the time the drone crashes and both the camera and drone are broken, I feel like you wont be questioning the extra $1000 you spent :)

Thanks for the info! I’ll do some research based on that.

Matt Pignataro's picture

Sorry about your crash, Ty. So you were watching your distance from home and not the altitude?