TOKYO -- Japan's Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance will in mid-May begin offering insurance coverage against damages and other costs related to accidents that occur during commercial testing of drone-based services, such as parcel delivery.
Existing drone insurance policies pay for compensation in case of a drone injuring a person, as well as costs stemming from damaged or destroyed drones.
The new product from the Tokio Marine Holdings unit will provide more extensive coverage. For instance, if a flaw on a certain drone model is discovered during testing, the policy will pay for repairing that model's entire fleet. The policy will also shoulder the cost of holding a news conference after an accident and investigating the cause.
Maximum coverage for probing an accident's cause and for news conferences will be set at 3 million yen ($26,877). For repairs, the policy will pay for actual costs. The premium will be determined based on various factors, including the nature and scale of the testing.
Japan's nonlife insurers are already selling drone insurance, but Tokio Marine says its new policy is the first to cover drone-based commercial tests.