Down & Out Drone

Well, I blew it. I crashed my drone into a tree last week. It fell about 30 feet after shaking loose from the tree and the camera gimbal got damaged. It still flies, but you can’t really take pictures with it anymore.

It was the second time I crashed it. The first time, it landed in soft snow and still worked fine. It’s a pretty touchy piece of equipment that flies 45 mph, so I was pretty lucky.

The insurance I initially bought for it expired a couple years ago. I don’t usually buy insurance on products, but while I was learning to use it, I thought it was a good idea …

Related: Up, Up & Insured

I’m trying to find out if the manufacturer can repair it, but in the meanwhile I will probably just buy another one. If I get my first one fixed, I’ll just use it as a back-up, since I’ve really enjoyed it and captured some amazing pictures …

I’m thinking of buying the new one with a ‘lifetime’ product protection warranty. I flew my first one almost 300 times and 88 miles, according to the app‘s flight log. I would estimate that at least 20% of those flights had some element of danger to them.

Other than your health & your vehicle, is there anything in your household you would pay someone else to insure?

Image Credits: (c)

15 thoughts on “Down & Out Drone

  1. Sorry to hear about your drone. I had asked you a while back which one you had. I don’t remember the answer, but that one looks like a DJI Mini II. If so I just got the same one for Christmas this past year. I don’t have insurance on it, but I haven’t really flown it anywhere I would consider hazardous. I am looking forward to taking it when we travel for those types of pictures that you show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine was a DJI Mavic Air 2. The camera was outstanding – 45 megapixels, or something. I’m likely to get the same one or the 2S. That way, all of my extra batteries and everything will still work.


  2. You need a pilot name for your new drone, Chief. It sounds like insurance may be a good idea for you, daredevil (which might be a great nickname!). In addition to health and car, we insure homes and contents. A special rider for valuable artwork. I’d like to insure my brain, but so far no company will take me up on that risk. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fine art insurance – that’s a good idea. I don’t think we have any art that rises to the level of ‘fine’, but maybe some other collectibles have gotten to a level that require a rider. Will have to check.


  3. Sorry about the drone crash! Ouch! It appears to be a wonderful hobby, so it seems well worth the value. We insure our health, home, and autos. Beyond those, we primarily self-insure the rest of our major belongings. Many years ago, (when we really couldn’t afford insurance or most of the items we were purchasing), so we began calculating our replacement costs on all major purchases/possessions (examples: HVAC, hot water heater, well pump, appliances, electronics, hot tub, plumbing, auto garage doors, windows, roof, etc.) and placed an estimated life expectancy on each. We then began monthly accruing those replacement costs a little each month (…eat an elephant one bite at a time). For example, a new 2 ton HVAC unit is approximately $6k, and lasts on average 15 years (i.e. $6000 / 180 months = $34 per month). Over the many years since we started this accrual process, we built up quite a nice little CapEx fund. Now, we typically already have it pre-saved as things fail or get damaged. So it’s much less painful to replace items, and we don’t need insurance. I have a simple spreadsheet that automatically keeps track of the many smaller “buckets” of accruals, but it’s just one lump sum CapEx item within our monthly expense budget. It sounds complicated, but it’s really quite simple, and has worked extremely well for us for decades now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was just talking with a friend about how long a furnace/HVAC system lasts. We’re coming up on 13 years at our house, he is coming up on 20. He thinks he is likely to go out before the end of the year. He won’t stay in the house another 15 years, so he figures he might as well replace it before it goes out. Then he gets the payback of the improved efficiency of a new unit.


      1. I’m traveling this week, but I’ll see if I can decouple the spreadsheet for you guys next week. Let me play with it when I get home this weekend, and I’ll gladly share it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cool! I’m not sure if you can post it in the comments (maybe as a link?). I could also feature it as a ‘post’ with a short description. Whatever you want.


  4. I normally self- insure for small risks and when I do insure, I insure with a high deductible. One item I would add to your list is home owner’s insurance with a healthy umbrella policy.

    The one time I broke my self-insurance rule was adding breakage insurance for my son’s iPhone who had proven himself to be a prolific breaker and loser of cell phones. Know what he did? He went out and didn’t break the cell phone, so I finished out of the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – home owner’s and an umbrella are also important. We have a $5m umbrella policy. Hopefully more than we need, but you never know!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Chief, It didn’t immediately dawn on me that the photos were from your wounded drone. I know you use a lot of stock and these look really good. You must have been having too much fun. Hard to imagine some government agency didn’t try to stop the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ll, as you would expect, the FAA has added a bunch of new regulations for recreational drones in the coming years. There will be less places to fly and they will allow less altitude where you can.
      The photo I took over the MN Twins Spring Training stadium in Fort Myers FL is a favorite. I needed special FAA clearance for that one.

      Liked by 1 person

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