How to Apply for PfCO Using Flock’s Pay-as-you-fly Drone Insurance

With the Flock Cover app, drone pilots can purchase customised flight assessment insurance by the hour.

Thinking about becoming a commercial drone pilot? Insurance is an important requirement throughout your journey to getting a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) certification. From flight assessment cover, to providing a proof-of-insurance ‘Cover Note’ document for your application, Flock is here to help.

First things first: what is a commercial drone pilot? And how do I become one?

A commercial drone pilot is anyone who flies their drone in return for money or other ‘valuable considerations’. To name a few, this could be for jobs such as photography, agricultural evaluation, search and rescue operations, and industrial inspections. In order to be able to carry out work of this nature, it’s a legal requirement that you have ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). You can get your permission by attending a training course with a National Qualified Entity (NQE); a list of which can be found here.

The training is split between ground school theory and a practical flight assessment; the latter of which you’ll need to have insurance in place for. And that’s where Flock first comes in to offer a helping hand.

Flight Assessment Insurance from £6

The Flock Cover mobile app offers flexible flight assessment insurance at the touch of a button. Flock’s pricing is risk-dependent, which enables it to be one of the most competitively priced options on the market (starting from just £6 for up to 8 hours of cover).

It takes under a minute to set up a ‘commercial operator in training’ account, and purchase a policy that offers both public liability (£1M worth of cover) and hull insurance (up to £3,000 of cover for your drone) for the big day. If you have passed your ground school theory test, you can also use this cover to insure any practice flights prior to your flight assessment.

Insurance can be purchased on the spot, or scheduled up to 10 days in advance; with all the important documentation instantly arriving to your email inbox. And if your assessment is rescheduled? Not a problem! Just cancel your policy before it begins with the tap of a button.

Apply for your PfCO with Flock

Once you’ve passed your flight assessment you’re then able to apply to the CAA for your PfCO. The application process involves submitting your operations manual, which must include proof of insurance that is compliant with EU regulation EC785/2004. This is because the CAA requires that all drone pilots have this level of insurance when flying for commercial purposes in the UK. Previously, the only way to obtain this proof was to pay for an annual policy. No longer!

At Flock we are doing things a little differently with our pay-as-you-fly drone insurance. We’ve worked closely with the CAA to generate a Cover Note, which acts as your proof-of-insurance even though you haven’t paid for a policy yet, or committed to anything in the long-term. We’ve already issued over one hundred Cover Notes to drone pilots, and you can get yours in a few simple steps using the app. For a guide on how to do this, click here.

Flock’s Cover Note is accepted by the CAA as proof of compliant insurance in PfCO applications.

Begin your career flying with Flock

As soon as you’ve got your PfCO, you can easily upgrade to a ‘commercial operator’ account within the Flock Cover app. All it takes is a couple of seconds; unlocking pay-as-you-fly policies from £5, hull insurance up to £25K, and a choice of liability limits ranging from £1–10M. This gives you the power to customise your insurance on a per-flight basis, according to the specific requirements of each job.

Get started today

To take your first step to becoming a commercial pilot with Flock, download the Flock Cover app for free from either the iOS or Android app stores, and enjoy the flight!