Carve-back to Transportation Exclusion

This exclusion shall not apply to amounts the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as a result of a wrongful act for which this policy otherwise provides coverage, even if the professional services were performed using or operating an “automobile, aircraft, watercraft or rolling stock.”


The CNA professional liability insurance policy provides coverage even if you use drones as a tool to perform your professional obligations. Using drones is covered when providing professional services, whether documenting new construction for evaluation by your firm or providing video evidence that supports your inspection of existing facilities.

What is the change?

The new policy form clarifies that coverage only applies if the underlying cause of action was a wrongful act or omission in the performance of professional services and not a wrongful act or omission in the operation of a business that happens to provide professional services.

You have to be aware of your business risks and cover your exposures through appropriate insurance products or contractual indemnity provisions. Sometimes, many policies are needed to cover differing exposures. When using a drone, you may need special aircraft coverage or an endorsement to your general liability policy for any physical damage, invasion of privacy, and other general liability exposures drone usage could create. This would apply even if you hire an outside drone operator because you still has vicarious liability for the damage the drone can cause. Moreover, professional liability insurance never covers a criminal activity that could result from unpermitted drone operations.  

Why did we change it?

Drones are a tool for providing professional services, but drone operations create a different exposure. Professional liability coverage for drone usage is different from the coverage under a general liability policy or endorsement so it’s important to recognize and account for any known gaps through separate coverages.

A variety of general liability insurance endorsements addressing drone exposures provide maximum flexibility and allow insurers to decide how to cover drone liability independent of how other aircraft exposures are treated. Endorsements are used to provide coverage for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury (such as invasion of privacy), and advertising injury caused by drone use.

How does it benefit my practice?

Your firm has coverage for using a drone to gather information while providing professional services. Your insurance advisor can examine the non-professional coverage you need for operating a drone. Firms that subcontract for drone operation services should make sure that the subcontractor has appropriate coverage for the physical damages and personal injuries a drone could cause. A drone operator should contractually agree to stand behind its services through an indemnification obligation that protects your firm. In addition, you should check your general liability and management liability coverages so that you has coverage if held responsible for negligence in the selection and management of a drone operator who does not have appropriate coverage.

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