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Clumsy drone pilots can now get insured on-the-fly

A new smartphone app from Flock is offering a ‘pay-as-you-fly’ insurance service for drone pilots in the UK.

The London-based startup has managed to drum up £2.25 million in seed funding from a mix of venture capital funds and private investors, who are no doubt hoping to capitalise on the growing popularity of the airborne gadgets.

The service comes at a time when consumer interest in drones is skyrocketing, and accountancy firm PwC released a report predicting that growth in the manufacture and sale of drones would boost the UK economy by £42 billion in the next decade.

Come rain or shine

Based on the postgraduate research of its two co-founders, Flock uses real-time data tracking to gauge potential risk to the drone in-flight. 

It does this by analysing a variety of environmental and meteorological factors in the area - such as weather conditions, wind speed, population density, proximity of buildings and schools - as well as the specifications of your drone and your previous piloting experience.

The company’s ‘Flock Cover’ offering will allow both commercial and recreational pilots to insure their drones on a ‘pay-as-you-fly’ basis, from anywhere between one and eight hours. This means you’ll only need insurance for when you’re in the air, rather than taking on a hefty subscription fee to get covered at all hours.

For those uncertain about investing in a new per-flight insurance venture, all of Flock’s policies are underwritten by Allianz, a leading aviation and aerospace insurer. So your hypothetical payout should be more reliable than your flying skills.

You can download the Flock app for iOS, or from the Google Play store. Insurance policies can start at £3 per flight.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.