Media Release                                                                                                                  5 December 2019


Registration requirements and the introduction of an online test for UK drone operators have been welcomed by the International Underwriting Association (IUA). The safety measures have been promoted by the IUA for a number of years and recommended to government in industry consultation papers.

Since 30 November anyone responsible for operating a drone weighing more than 250g must register their details with the Civil Aviation Authority and answer a series of multiple choice questions or face a fine of £1,000.

Chris Jones, Director of Legal and Market Services at the IUA, said: “Commercial drone pilots have been coming under increasingly strict scrutiny for some time now. It is important that appropriate checks are in place for all operators given the potentially significant risks to property and public safety.

“Insurers are well prepared for the part they can play in supporting the safe use of drones in UK airspace and users should carefully consider the support that insurance cover can provide in managing liabilities.”

Pilot registration was one of a number of recommendations published in a report by Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee and backed by the IUA. These included a recommendation that the Government should complete an assessment of the risk drones pose to manned commercial aircraft and publish the results by the end of 2020. The Committee also urged legal clarification of privacy issues surrounding the use of drones, which it believes will increase with future improvements in technology.

IUA members have formed a Developing Technology Monitoring Group which harnesses expertise from across a number of traditional insurance classes to assess new technologies. The group has provided insurance expertise to the Department for Transport ahead of amendments to an Air Navigation Order on the safe use of drones in the UK. It has also published research addressing the capabilities of counter-drone technology and the growing use of on-demand insurance for drone operators.

Mr Jones added: “Aviation drones offer exciting opportunities in many different areas across the UK economy and society as a whole. If their benefits are to be maximised, insurance will need to be part of a well-structured supervisory framework that priorities safety.”

Scott Farley                                                                                                                        
Director of Communications                                                                                       
International Underwriting Association                                  
Tel: 0207 617 4449
Mobile: 07876 758 637                                                                                  

Notes to Editors:
About the IUA
The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA) represents international and wholesale insurance and reinsurance companies operating in or through London. It exists to promote and enhance the business environment for its members.
The IUA’s London Company Market Statistics Report shows that overall premium income for the company market in 2018 was £28.437bn. Gross premium written in London totalled £19.559bn while a further £8.877bn was identified as written in other locations but overseen by London operations.