Drones and insurance: Achmea aims to lead the way

23 March 2023

Silhouette of drone flying above city at sunset

At first glance, Dutch ICMIF member Achmea may seem a strange partner of Amsterdam Drone Week (21-23 March 2023). However, Jeroen Bartelse, Innovation Manager at Achmea is keen to point out that: “as an insurer, we are very interested in the development of drones because so much is changing. For example, do we want to insure flying cars? Or buildings with a landing pad for drones?”

Bartelse believes these are exciting times and said. “I believe that in two years’ time the first passenger flights with drones will take place and then you need infrastructure. I expect it to grow enormously all over the world. The first tests will take place in Paris in 2024. If it works in Paris, it can also work in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht or Schiphol. Air taxis will soon be an extra means of transport. So, it will not be the case that people no longer take the train or fly, but a new dimension is added. If I have to choose between being stuck in traffic or flying by drone to Schiphol, I know the answer.”


Bartelse says it remains to be investigated what the infrastructure will look like. For example, will cars fly next to or above each other? Where can they land? Soon, he believes, drones will probably fly from roof to roof. In England, there are already parties that buy roofs. Bartelse says they are keeping an eye on this development, because if the roof of a building that Achmea insures is used for another purpose, this must be taken into account.

“In cities, Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will need to be integrated with traditional air traffic,” says Bartelse. “For that you need a lot of parties that work together to make this happen. And that is why Achmea wants to be part of this industry. Because in the end, you will probably only be allowed to fly a drone if you are insured,” he concludes.

However, this does not mean that it is self-evident that Achmea will insure drones. Bartelse believes it depends on how such a machine is perceived. For example, is it a small plane or is it a flying car? He believes that at first, Achmea may not insure drones, but as time goes on then they will, saying: “in the first case we will not insure them, in the second case – and that is how I look at it now – we will. Just like we now also insure cars.”

The same will apply to the places where drones take off and land: vertiports. If they are created on the roof of an existing building, that it is an important consideration for the insurance of such a building. “The risks are increasing,” says Bartelse. He continues: “but we do not yet know whether this should be a separate insurance or whether it will be integrated into existing insurance. This requires a lot of cooperation between many different parties. But in order to be able to take a stand and roll out a strategy, you have to be involved in good time. This is the most important reason for Achmea to be a partner of Amsterdam Drone Week.

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