Is it a bird, a plane or a liability?

Domino’s wants to deliver your pizza with one, and your cousin had one fly over her beach wedding.  

The use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has exploded in recent years.  The small remote controlled planes are being flown by hobbyists to government personnel monitoring disasters and crops.

The Federal Aviation Administration is finalizing its regulations for commercial drone use, which wouldDelivery Drone open up air space to allow businesses to deliver their goods via drones. The agency estimates that by 2020 some 30,000 drones will be used for business purposes.

What impact will all these drones buzzing around mean for the insurance industry?

Many insurance experts agree that drone coverage for commercial use is new territory for the industry and will be a growing market sector for the carriers. As far as what the insurance coverage will look like down the line, it’s hard to analyze and estimate the liability involving privacy issues, bodily injury and property damage when commercial drone use is still new and the FAA hasn’t hashed out its final regulations.

Even personal drones present certain risk challenges for the industry. Many people want one – it’s a fun toy and the popularity will continue to grow.  A recent Forbes article stated that Google Trends list drones as the one of top items people want to buy.  But the popularity of personal drones has some insurance companies changing their policies to make them more specific.  Personal drones are covered under homeowners’ policies, but liability for an accident caused by drones in urban areas present challenges. The Chubb Group, a property casualty insurer, found that three quarters of people surveyed worry about a drone crashing into their house or injuring someone.  Every carrier is different – if you are a drone owner – it’s best to give us a call to discuss your policy!

While the insurance industry continues to fly in the skies of drone territory, some companies are ready to use them internally to evaluate claims and assess your roof damage. Many are considering using drones to replace human adjusters.  The jury is still out in my book whether this is a good thing or not!

What are your thoughts on the drone industry?  Do you have one now or thinking of buying one – we would love your feedback!

On the insurance side of things, if you thinking of buying a drone for commercial or recreational use?  Sinclair Risk and Financial Management can help make sure you are properly protected.  Call me at 203-265-0996 or email me at

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant



Wellness programs: So much more than losing weight

Dave SinclairMore and more companies are instituting wellness programs in the workplace, and it’s no surprise, given that 92% of owners say they are effective, with real, measurable ROI.

Wellness programs are about more than just passively encouraging employees to exercise and watch what they eat (though research shows that is a very positive objective)!

A robust, well-rounded  wellness program provides a holistic approach to keeping your employees’ minds and bodies strong and in sync.

Starting a wellness program may seem like a big investment in time and resources, but the benefits to your business are significant: reduced workplace injuries, getting injured and ill employees back to work safely and quickly, and creating a more positive working environment, all of which in turn mean greater productivity and a big boost to your bottom line.

Employers committed to workplace wellness need to take an active role in their overall Risk Management. At Sinclair Risk, we have the expertise to help you get started. In fact, iStock_000018191976Smallwellness programs are a particular passion of mine, specifically in demonstrating how Eastern, Complementary and Non-Traditional medicines affect health and safety, work productivity, and ultimately insurance costs.

With ever climbing health insurance premiums, can you afford not to offer a preventative solution? We can work with you to develop a program that makes sense for your business and workforce. Some areas to consider investing in include:

Education — A regular series of lectures from health and wellness experts combined with take home literature and online resources is the foundation of any robust wellness program. Actively educating employees (and yourself!) about health and wellness topics should be a regular part of the workweek.

Training — Providing training that is geared directly toward your workplace environment is vital for workplace safety. Even if you are not a manufacturer, training on “first response” initiatives like CPR, first aid, even the proper use of a fire extinguisher, can help prevent significant injury in an emergency. While safety training should be an integral part of new employee orientation, it’s equally important to provide refresher courses as part of ongoing employee education.

MeditationScientific research shows the benefits of regular meditation, including reduced levels of anxiety and depression, along with better concentration skills and increased levels of happiness. Not surprisingly, all this adds up to a more productive, more congenial workplace. Considered an organized program of meditation that helps employees learn this simple way to feel better.

Return to Work programs — No matter the amount of prevention, some amount of on-the-job injury will occur. That’s where a Return to Work program comes in. Such programs, which can include a variety of features such as new tools for injured employees, modified duties or schedules and/or reassignment, can help reduce time spent out of the workforce. This is good news for the affected employee and the employer.

Ultimately, no matter how great your staff may be, they can’t do the work if they’re not on the job because of illness, injury, or mental fatigue. Investing in a comprehensive workplace wellness program may be the best investment you make this year.

David Sinclair
Sinclair Risk & Financial Management

Stay afloat with these boating safety tips

_JBK5366Shorts, flip-flops, BBQs and cold brews. Tis the season of sunshine and Topsiders. (They’re back. Just ask Hip Daddy.)6-1 Davis Boating safety tips

As the mercury creeps up, so does the popularity of those who own boats. Popular you may be, but what you don’t want are claims against your watercraft insurance policies. (Boat and yacht owners -…you do have watercraft insurance right?)

Yes, owning a boat carries extra risk, but with the right precautions, you can cruise carefree all season. Follow these tips to keep things safe on the high seas or the local lake:

Expert Safety Check — Don’t float your boat without first having the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary perform a FREE inspection. Yes, that’s right…FREE. Just fill out the form on this website to get the process started.

Know Your Driver Knows His Stuff — Whether you’re the captain of the ship or just along for the ride, make sure your driver has the knowledge and skills to keep things safe. There are several online options, such as this one, that offer state-specific safety courses and tests for earning a Safe Boating Certificate. Note: Completing a course like this is mandatory for watercraft operators in Connecticut.

Carbon Monoxide…Not Just An Indoor Threat — It’s not pleasant to think about, but carbon monoxide from malfunctioning generators and motors is a silent killer that can creep up on boating passengers. Install and test a CO detector in enclosed spaces, and be aware that even without a roof overhead, CO can build up and cause problems for those nearby. CO symptoms are similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication. CO can affect you whether you’re underway, moored, or anchored. It’s odorless and tasteless and can cause serious illness very quickly.

Don’t Drink and Drive…Your Boat Either!  — This should go without saying, but you shouldn’t even be driving a bike while intoxicated, let alone a boat. The solution on the sea is the same on the land: If you or your captain just can’t resist the gin and tonics, turn the wheel over to your designated driver.

Life Jackets…For Swimmers and Non-Swimmers Alike — There should be a life jacket (that fits) for everyone on board your boat…and all should be wearing them! Gone are the days of puffy orange for all. Modern life jackets come in all sorts of styles and colors. Some are super thin and inflate when they hit water. There’s no excuse to not wear one. If you have any doubt, just focus on the first word in the item’s name.

Have a safe summer!

Stephen Davis

VP of Commercial & Personal Lines
Sinclair Risk & Financial Management