Darshan Karboj described a grisly scene during an October 2016 wedding. She alleges that, during the festivities, a photography drone operated by wedding photographers of Hollycal Production Inc. hit her in the head, causing major injuries, including the loss of an eye. Even though it had some insurance, Hollycal might be on the hook for the bills from this unfortunate incident.
According to a complaint filed last month in federal court in California, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. maintains that it has no duty to defend or indemnify under a general liability policy under which Hollycal was an insured. Philadelphia cites three different exclusions in the policy, each of which it claims eliminates its duty to cover the injuries. The policy includes coverage exclusions for injuries from “aircraft,” “any flying craft or vehicle,” and “any object propelled into a crowd.” If a court agrees that these provisions relieve Philadelphia from liability, this could leave Hollycal stuck fighting the personal injury lawsuit on its own, responsible for paying any judgment, and possibly even having to reimburse Philadelphia for the cost of defending Hollycal in the first place.
This incident demonstrates the need to make sure your insurance coverage keeps up with the technology you use. Standard insurance policies often fail to adapt as companies, both large and small, incorporate new technologies into their businesses, creating liability where none existed. Companies should constantly reevaluate the scope of their coverage and obtain additional coverage to fill any gaps created by new developments. Such reevaluation is particularly important if your business is using drones or other unmanned systems, given that standard general liability policies may exclude coverage.