Recent reports cite several New York real estate brokerages such as Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property receiving subpoenas from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) over the use of drone photography for real estate listings. The inquiry shows the risks of being the first adopters of new technology. Even though the firms subcontracted the photography work out they are still facing significant legal bills.
Any use of drones should be discussed with a lawyer familiar with local, state and federal statutes. Many laws are still evolving and the guidance available is patchy at best.
From an insurance and risk management prospective any subcontractors used should be properly insured, verifying insurance on a continuous basis is of the utmost importance. If property damage or bodily injury occurred, a brokerage could be brought in. Placing hold harmless and indemnification agreements in the contracts will also assist in protecting the firm any vicarious legal costs.
Most Real Estate Professional Liability insurance policies cover regulatory investigations from the state licensing board, a firm would likely need a full Director’s and Officer’s insurance policy to cover the legal costs associated with a Federal Aviation Administration inquiry.
Regulations and exposure to their associated costs are quickly escalating, contact an expert E&O broker today to discuss cost effective ways to protect your organization.