How to Get Drone Insurance Through State Farm

How to Get Drone Insurance Through State Farm

State Farm is so far the only major insurance company in the United States that offers insurance on drones, and at a good price. I recently got coverage from this company for 2 of my best drones:

How to Get Drone Insurance Through State Farm

How much did State Farm charge me for this drone policy?

It was shocking but I got both of these drones approved for coverage, at $60 total a year, for both models.

How does State Farm drone insurance compare to other types of drone insurance?

There are 3 major ways to insure your drone these days (in the United States):

1) If you own DJI models, then you have the DJI care refresh option which lasts 1 year.

The insurance on this is pretty costly, but if you have an accident and can prove you’re not at fault, you are very likely to get a REFURBISHED drone back, and it may be someone else’s model that was sent in. Depending on the condition of the drone you send in, depends on whether you’ll get that same model back or someone else’s who sent theirs in for repair too.

Generally, the DJI care refresh entitles a drone user with the policy to get up to 2 models back in 1 year. The policy expires after that.

2) Then there’s independent repair shops near you.

But those may not often be legitimate and you’ll want to check reviews beforehand. This isn’t really an insurance policy but some people feel it’s safer to work with drone repairers directly than send them back to the original company and get a refurbished model.

3) And finally there’s State Farm’s option which will insure your drone/s entirely. 

I find the price for State Farm’s insurance policy to so far be the best for me. To completely get FULL coverage with $0 deductible on my 2 drones for the price it was offered at was crazy to me (I couldn’t believe how cheap it was).

I had tried other options like DJI Care Refresh in the past for all of my DJI models, but when I found out that they actually send you a refurbished model of your drone and it may often not even be yours, I decided there had to be a better way to protect my expensive drones and being that State Farm was the only company to offer options, and at a better price, how could I not take it?

How to get your drone insured under State Farm:

I recommend contacting a private State Farm office near you and asking them directly if they offer such policies. I had a friend who insured his Mavic Air 2 and said he had to try 3 different places before finally getting approved.

The first 2 didn’t want to do any business with him but the third offered it and expedited the process. So if you get a no from one branch, call another, and then another until you get yourself approved.

For me, I directly called the same person at State Farm that my friend got his insurance from and the policy was set up in a matter of days. You will have to answer some unusual questions such as how often you are at home, how close the nearest fire station and fire hydrant are, but these are easy answers that basically signify you are a responsible flier and there are fail safes near you in case something goes wrong.

Over $3,000 of drone value insured for just $60:

Being that I now own 6 drones, 5 of which are DJI and 1 which is Autel, after seeing that I could insure multiple drones under the same $60 policy, I began to think if it would be useful to insure all of my drones for the same price.

I decided against it because I am slowly drifting into the process of selling my other drones that I barely use anymore:

Figuring that I’d probably focus all my time on droning through the Mavic 2 Pro and Autel Evo 2 Pro, I figured it didn’t make sense to insure drones I wasn’t using.

I certainly intend to keep flying safely but considering all the possibilities of drone crashes that can happen and how many times I’ve come close to having that happen to me, sometimes of my own fault and other times, not, why not have that peace of mind in knowing I’m good?

Note: If you do crash your drone, your policy will likely end.

This is to be expected but if you do crash your drone, State Farm probably has no financial interest in keeping you on their policy so I wouldn’t think that just because you get the insurance, that it’s safe to fly risky. You only have 1 policy, and 1 strike for it, so don’t waste it.

I also heard that in the future State Farm might cancel out drone insurance altogether and I suspect this may happen if too many people keep crashing their birds.

Either way, just know that getting drone insurance with State Farm is:

  1. Pretty simple (You might need to call multiple places).
  2. Expedited pretty quickly.
  3. You can insurance one or more drones for a flat price like I did ($60).
  4. You are probably better off with this type of insurance than other options on the market.

5 Mavic Air Accessories You Can’t Fly Without!

mavic air accessories

For every single drone I own, I always do an article where I specify must have items you should get if you own the same model. Now it’s the Mavic Air’s turn and today I want to specify 5 that are very important for it’s safety, things that will improve the quality if your flights and more. 

mavic air accessories

 

Now despite saying that you “can’t fly without them”, the truth is you can, but the Mavic Air, despite being great for filming does come with it’s own list of cons and these accessories help make up for them.

1) Car charger, specifically for the Mavic Air batteries.

One thing I’ll never understand is why the Mavic Air, which came out after the Spark doesn’t have the same ability to charge via USB. It’s honestly a step down in that regard, but never the less, here we are with this limited function. So if you travel a lot and don’t have a place to charge your batteries, get a car charger for it. Here is a good one.

2) Range boosters.

I’ve recommended these for the Mavic Pro, the Spark and now I also recommend them for the Mavic Air. Like I said in my article with the accessories I recommend for the Spark, the same range boosters there also fit the controller of this model too. 

Now let’s talk for a second about the range. While it is listed at 4KM, and while that’s awesome for such a small model, it will likely never get there unless you have range boosters and/or your surroundings perfectly suite a long range flight.

Add to it the fact that the Mavic Air also connects via WiFi (Lightbridge & ocusync are better) and you’ve got a lot of potential range issues. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the range is bad, but the fact that it’s WiFi really limits it’s abilities, although I have to say, I’ve been impressed with how far I’ve flown with it.

Never the less, get range boosters because there’s more wrong things that can happen when you fly with this thing such as transmission issues than the possibility of flying far with it. The range boosters may very well help you reach the 4KM range.

3) Beginners/risky fliers, get yourself propeller guards! 

This drone is too valuable to crash! Invest in cheap propeller guards! The good news is that this drone has safety sensors on 3 sides (front, back and bottom), but the sides are exposed and these things will cover that up fairly well. 

Now I’ve written many times about how you shouldn’t always use propeller guards such as in open areas, but in tight ones, keep them handy. I’ve had my share of risky flights and I wouldn’t recommend going through that stress or worse. 

4) The red “ankle wire”.

Since I purchased this wire, I’ve never used the default ones which came with my drones and that’s because this wire creates a much more dependable connection between the transmission and your drone’s camera, meaning it’ll lose connection/image a lot less.

Take for example, the Mavic Pro. It came with a loose, black wire which you attached to the side. I liked it and was careful with it, but I did have numerous situations where my connection was flaky or just lost. Ever since I got the anker wire, this has NOT happened. As it worked for that drone, so too will it work for this one. 

Think of this as another way to maintain a stronger more reliable connection with your Mavic Air, in addition to those range boosters.

5) Have at least 1 extra battery.

If this is your only drone, then you’re going to eventually get tired of running out of battery juice quickly. Have at least 1 battery ready to go. When it lands, take off the one that’s inside, let it cool down (this is important for the battery health!), then replace it with the new one, and charge the original while it’s in flight. That way you can have one consistent flight after another going on.

Do note, I did say you should let the used up battery cool down and I wasn’t kidding. If you’re not already aware of how important it is, read this post about taking care of drone batteries. This will really help you keep the battery lasting longer and keeping the drone safe as well. Read that article! 

And these are my top 5 accessories you should ideally have handy when flying with the Mavic Air. I’ve had this drone for several months now and I love it, but I also understand how there’s situations where it needs one or more of these accessories to maintain that quality of flight.

Loose connections, short flight time, image transmission issues and no where to charge it up are all very common things you can run into when using this model and you’re going to have a more fun time when you invest a little money in these things.

And on the subject of that, let’s talk about the accessory prices:

  • The range boosters are about $10-$20. 
  • The car charger is about $15.
  • The wire is about $5.
  • The propeller guards are about $20.
  • And finally the extra battery is about $50.

Aside from the battery, the rest are quite inexpensive, but they really help protect what is essentially an $700 drone. I always advise if you don’t already own this model, to get a combo pack so you can have way more accessories, one of which is 2 extra batteries, a carrying case and way more.

You will save a lot of money and in regards to the accessories, the only thing left would be the range boosters and wire, something that would cost under $30 together. As for the propeller guards and batteries, the combo pack includes them, so a majority of the higher costs are covered in this fly more combo. 

But if you already got yourself the basic drone package, you can always buy the other accessories individually. That’s my list, thanks for reading!

3 Accessories Your DJI Spark Needs!

dji spark accessories

Every good drone needs specific accessories to maximize it’s safety, filming potential and more. For the Spark, it is no different. Here are 3 accessories I have come to love when it comes to this drone and why I highly recommend them. 

1) Range extenders/signal boosters. 

As an owner of a DJI Spark, I have to say…the range sucks (it uses a fairly unreliable WiFi connection and I’d say the Mavic Mini’s would be better, which is close to the Spark in size).

While the advertised range is about 2 KM, there are very little chances that you’ll even make it to half that. I live in areas with a lot of interference and often fly in areas with a lot of trees, hills and other nature type obstacles. And this drone is NOT meant for long distance flights…

I have lost my signal on multiple occasions within about 100 feet and even while I could still see the drone.

Now I have to admit, that a big issue was that I had to keep updating the firmware, once even for the batteries which I think is an absurd thing since no other model I own requires this, but still, even when everything was fine, the range still wasn’t that good.

Now if you plan on flying in open areas or live in such an area, you should be fine, but I would still recommend you get these for a few reasons:

A) The Spark connects via WiFi and that is often a flaky connection. You can reduce this issue by using the remote to fly it, but with signal boosters, your range potential extends by about 2x at least. That makes it more reliable when it’s flying in areas where you are at risk of losing that connection (and possibly the drone).

B) Signal boosters for this drone can also be used on the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air, since they have the same type of remote. So if you already own one of these other models, rest easy knowing these signal boosters are going to be transferable to the other remotes.

C) It’s under $10, super cheap and a good add on to have.

Get the extenders here.

2) Propeller guards.

The Spark is honestly one of the easiest drones to fly, but you know what can happen anytime. A beginner could lose control, you could accidentally hit sports mode (I have and I consider myself experienced) without realizing it and crash it.

Another argument for having these that I use is that if you’re flying in tight spaces, while the size of the Spark certainly helps reduce the risk of a crash, having that extra safety with the propeller guards on is just less nerves lost.

I also want to note that I recommend propeller guards for every single drone I do an accessory article on. I’m just that kind of flyer that loves to have that insurance with me. Get them here.

3) Extra batteries.

Well let’s face it, the flight time on the Spark is pretty bad. I get about 10 minutes on average. Getting an extra battery or two is really going to help, especially if you enjoy flying around a lot. I personally have 3 of them.

Note: You can get the propeller guards and extra batteries included if you get yourself a fly more combo. Here is a link to it.

Side note: Why only 3 accessories?

Usually with other drone models, I typically advise getting 5 accessories and most of them are just for safety (I don’t use ND filters). 

Well my whole thing with this particular drone is that you’re probably not going to film professionally, although I have to say, you can get incredible footage with it as it stands, and you can also use programs to upscale the footage from 1080 to 4k and then it’ll look quite crisp. I honestly think people just don’t give the Spark enough credit here.

But this is off topic, I honestly think that this is a drone where safety and convenience is the more important focus and the 2 big negatives with this drone are it’s lack of good range, it’s short battery life and the situation in which it can crash in tight spots.

And I am saying this as someone who has been in these situations, so to negate those problems, these 3 accessories are going to suite you just fine.

As for other things I usually recommend with other models, like car chargers, you don’t need that with the Spark, you can just use a USB wire and connect it to your car and bam, you’ve got a charger. This is something DJI got very right when they made this model.

Now if you’re not even the type who enjoys filming with the Spark, no problem, you don’t have to get any of these accessories, but I’ll tell you this much:

They make flying a lot less stressful. You never know when you decide to fly the Spark beyond it’s beginner friendly and palm modes. I know I have.

That was one of the reasons I elected to get the fly more combo and save money. The good news is that this combo is a lot less expensive now than it was before (probably because of the introduction of the Mavic Air and expectations of the Mavic Pro 2 and Autel Evo coming out soon).

But if you already have a regular Spark and didn’t get the fly more combo, I would really recommend the next accessory:

Get a remote.

Flying with the phone sucks. It’s unreliable, especially for beginner flyers. And you’re talking a 100 foot distance vs several 1,000 feet (potentially) as well as the speed of the drone increasing. The price of a remote is about $100+ but like I said, it comes with the fly more combo if you don’t already own a Spark. And if you do, and want to take your flying to the next level, but can’t afford another drone, the remote is a wise investment, trust me.

Anyway these are my recommended accessories. If you own a Spark and have your own list that you believe would work well in addition to this one, let me know 🙂

Perhaps there’s an accessory worth adding to this list that I don’t already have or thought of that you might, maybe it saved your drone and/or made flying better for filming. Either way, I’d love to know your personal list.

5 Accessories That’ll Keep Your Phantom 4 Drone Safe.

phantom 4 accessories

I don’t know about you but when I spend $1,500+ on a Phantom 4 Pro drone, I want to make sure it’s preserved well.

And to do that, I’ve gotten myself the following accessories I am recommending to you now.

Now I am not recommending anything fancy like ND filters or special propellers such as the ones which came out with the recent Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, but I am recommending things that will keep your model safe and lasting longer, that is the ultimate goal of this article.

I just want to say that if you own a Mavic Pro, you may want to read a separate article I did involving it’s own accessories that I recommend you get here.

By the way, I want to mention that the beauty of these accessories is that no matter which Phantom 4 model you own (regular, advanced, pro, pro+, V2.0), that these accessories are applicable to all of them since the body of the drone in all 5 models is the exact same.

Phantom 4 Accessory 1: Motor protector caps.

phantom 4 accessories

I don’t know why these aren’t pitched more often but I have them and I recommend you get them too. You basically place these caps where you put the propellers on and they protect them from getting dust or other debris inside them.

I have yet to see a single blogger or YouTuber mention them, but I personally find them to be essential for your Phantom’s safety.

Think about all the potential places you could be flying in. Let’s take:

Flying a drone at the beach. How likely is it that there’s wind and there’s sand blowing around, some of which can enter your models’s motors?

Very likely. Having a cap preventing that from happening is a big deal.

What about dust flying around other areas, or pollen, hair and other debris you can barely see or not see at all? It doesn’t take a lot for these things to mess up one motor and potentially cause an accident.

These props will not always protect you (you do have to take them off before you fly obviously), but they will make sure that if your P4 is lying around, doing nothing or at least if you’re traveling with it in the open, that these caps will protect the sensitive, motor areas from getting filled up and that can really make a HUGE difference in your drone’s longevity. Get them here.

Phantom 4 Accessory 2: A dependable USB cable.

I use this one (I also use it for my Mavic Pro) instead of the white, default one which comes with my P4 (even though it’s pretty good).

I find this cable is not only reliable in connection, but it also helps maintain a strong connection between the phone, the remote and drone.

I have personally had LESS issues with connection interference when having these cable set up. It’s very cheap and yet very useful. Get it here (make sure to select the right phone extension or you can get the wrong one, like I did).

Phantom 4 accessory 3: Get a car charger for your P4.

I would say this is more beneficial for people who travel with their drone a lot, but car chargers can really be critical when you forget to charge your battery or are in an area, where a beautiful shot presents itself, but your battery lacks the power to fuel the drone. And/or in between trips in a car when when you’re headed to the next flying destination, but don’t have anywhere to stop and charge the battery. In that case, a handy car charger to fuel it up is exactly what you need.

I never leave on trips with my drones without them. Here is the one for the P4. And it also includes a charger for the remote too, for a very low price.

Phantom 4 Accessory 4: A good backpack, aka carrying case.

I love the foam box you get your P4 in, but as good as it is, it’s not always comfortable to carry around. As a hiker, I need both of my hands to be free so I can have the right balance, and this default foam box just won’t do. 

While there are numerous backpacks out there for the Phantom model, the one I have is this one and not only does it comfortably fit my P4, it also fits extra batteries, more, smaller models like my Mavic, Spark, Air, ect… and I can carry a lot of extras there too, like a landing pad and more. It is also comfortable to put on and I’ve never gone hiking with my P4 without it. Get it here.

Phantom 4 accessory 5: Propeller guards (For tight space flights).

The Phantom 4 is large, and it’s often difficult to fly in tighter spaces as a result. Though I would not recommend you try it unless you’re a good pilot, even if you do, get propeller guards. There’s just some shots people, like me for example love to take like for example, tight canyons or flying in between rock walls, mountains and so on.

The propeller guard may not be comfortable to put on but having it there when you decide to take the drone for a flight in the tight space makes you a lot less nervous when you’re flying it. Take it from someone who has done this with his Mavic Pro, and without the propeller guards. The drift was bad (because of a bad connection) and several times I nearly crashed it. And that was with a small one, imagine how much more dangerous and likely that is to happen with a Phantom!

Now this accessory isn’t exactly mandatory, but as drone fliers know, a potentially good shot can always present itself, anywhere and just having this extra insurance around for a small price can save your big price drone from crashing. I’d rather have the propeller guards on and have those hit the rock walls than the propellers themselves. One wrong touch and it’s all over. These give you more than just once chance to mess up (not that you should!). Get them here.

So there they are, the 5 accessories I recommend you get. I am happy with them and they are more for insurance than than anything else (it already films more than well enough in my opinion so I don’t think about the ND filters or other things like that).

Looking For a Good Phantom 4 Backpack? Here’s One I Love

The Phantom 4 drone is one of the few elite models that comes with it’s own “foam case”, which quite frankly is awesome. But if you’re going to travel with it, a backpack would be better.

While the default foam case has tight protection of the model and carries the necessities (controller, propellers, and a few other things), carrying this around in your hands or even at the handle can get annoying if you’re traveling, hiking or climbing anywhere and quite frankly, you need an actual backpack for this stuff and there happens to be quite a few options out there.

However, one in particular that I’ve been using for several months has been the Manfrotto MB BP D1, a backpack designed specifically for ALL Phantom 4 models (and I think all the Phantom 3 models fit there too). Here is what it looks like:

Quite honestly, this backpack “over delivers” in my opinion because it’s really made for the more professional film/photo takers as it has an absurd amount of space for more than JUST the drone.

Here’s just some of the things this thing can fit (besides the model):

  • The controller.
  • Extra propellers (LOTS of them).
  • There’s specific space for at least 3 extra batteries to fit (plus the one inside the model, so that makes 4). You can also occupy the other remaining space with even more batteries if you wish it.
  • You can fit other small models like a Mavic and Spark in there too, although I prefer another specific case for those, like this one. 
  • You can also put a laptop in there, there’s a specific space available for it.
  • Other areas can fit cameras, other miscellaneous camera equipment, wires, and even food.
  • Overall, there are 2 spaces on the sides, one space for laptops on the front, an opening at the top for miscellaneous equipment and the back which holds the model and it’s controller and batteries.

Besides space availability, here’s pros I’ve experienced from using it:

Most importantly, this thing keeps the drone model steady as you move around and I would know, I’ve literally hiked with this thing on my back and opened it up several times throughout a single hike to take the model out, fly it, put it back and move to my next destination.

I’ve also taken it with me on at least one major road trip where I basically had it in the passenger seat waiting to be used. If I hit the brakes or some turn causes the backpack to fall, I’m not worried at all, it’ll keep the model protected well enough.

Now there is a “rain guard bag” that comes with this that you can take out and put over the backpack itself in case the situation calls for it, something I found to be VERY useful as on one of my hikes, I had to walk through a lot of rain, hoping to get a chance to fly the model, but never being able to, but while this was going on, I was being poured on, worried my drone would get wet, yet the bag kept it very well protected!

Besides the bag handles you put around your shoulders, there is also a seat belt like handle you can strap across your waist so it doesn’t bounce around if you’re on a motorcycle, bicycle or jumping around somewhere. 

Another cool thing about it is that it has a flat bottom so when you put it down, it will stand vertically on it’s own. This is good for situations where you need to put the bag on dirty ground and it will ensure only the bottom part of it gets dirty/wet. 

Fits well into overhead storage on planes. Are you familiar with the rules of taking a Phantom on a plane? Here they are.

Are there cons to this product? Well that’s subjective…

1) I don’t think there’s a need to have this thing if you don’t plan on traveling in situations where a backpack is even needed in the first place. In that scenario, you can just stick to the regular foam case.

2) It’s not cheap. At $140+ (I got it for $160), you’re investing in a major product. Although there is a lot of protection and space, keep the price in mind. 

3) As I said before, this product “over delivers” for me personally and that’s because I just don’t utilize it to it’s fullest. In fact, when I carry it around, I only occupy the space for the drone itself, the controller, the propellers, some necessary wires and a landing pad which I stick into the area which is meant for the laptop. 

I am not a professional film maker or photographer, so for now, at least, I don’t have a need to use up all the available space, but it is comforting to know that as I learn more about the industry, should I add new equipment to my video/photo taking collection, this backpack still has plenty of left over space to fill…

Will this product suite your flying needs?

I would look at the pros and cons I listed on it and decide if the way you use your Phantom drone requires this product or not. 

If you’re a professional photographer and video maker, and travel outdoors or in areas where carrying a foam case isn’t exactly suitable, get this.

If you’re looking for excellent protection for your Phantom, including the rain, and travel a lot (outside especially), this is also a good product.

If you plan on riding a bicycle, motorcycle, snowmobile or anything that involves being in motion and traveling outside, this product will also suite you.

Despite not using it as fully as it was intended, I am happy with the Manfrotto MB BP D1 model. At the time I got it, I was in the initial stages of “overprotective drone syndrome” as I call it and wanted to get the best possible product when traveling with my Phantom 4 (Pro). I certainly have it with this, and I am sure it will make other people who have similar experiences of plan on having similar experiences very happy and assured that their expensive drone is protected.