Kind of like making a will, it's something we don't want to think about or talk about very often, but it needs to be done. The question was prompted by a friend of mine who had given me permission to fly off the roof of his business a couple times. One day while we were out, a friend of mine brought his FPV plane with him. Seconds after takeoff his ESC decided to let the smoke out and already had his plane on fire before it hit the ground. At the time we had not had rain in about 2 months and set a small portion of the field on fire and we had to get the local fire dept out to put out the fire. Now my friend who owns the business could care less about the patch of grass and took it all in good humor and a few beers later my friend who lost his plane wasn't feeling as bad lol
Although the accident was totally non FPV related (as he was just flying LOS...not that he had a chance to get any further) it led to some questions being asked. He brought it up the other day on the phone and asked what would happen if we had been a couple miles out and something failed in flight causing the plane to go down and set something on fire.
I'm not currently an AMA member for two reasons
1) Still got a little heart burn from many years ago about not getting my membership that I paid for while I was in high school completely broke
2) The real reason lol, I haven't needed a membership. I don't fly at club fields, I don't fly fuel aircraft (and even if I did I have better places to fly than our club field), and if I understand correctly, their insurance doesn't cover what I (we) do. I don't always have a spotter (but usually do), I don't always have my spotter on a buddy box (can't with my Chainlink UHF), and I don't always stay under the "recommended" 400ft altitude rule (which is stupid because glider pilots get their planes higher than that on a good winch launch). So pretty much if something went wrong and I tried to make an AMA claim, they would just wipe their hands clean and turn away.
The only insurances I have are renter's insurance (for my apartment) and auto insurance (duh). Never looked into it, but I doubt either of these two cover my FPV adventures.
Now we all know the chances of catastophes happening are slim, but it doesn't mean they can't. The more I get into this hobby, the more attention I bring to myself. I don't necessarily do stupid things but I like to do the cool stuff, like my fireworks flight for example. I flew a freakin RC airplane into a firework show. If that isn't a recipe for disaster then I don't know what is. But then again its all risk management. I knew my limitations, I knew what to expect, I knew what the appropriate action was to take for any problem I may have encountered, and I used my head. BUT lets say for one second I didn't do one of the above, and instead got cocky and flew my airplane through the finale and caught it on fire, lost control, and crashed into a field below setting it on fire with spectators around. And that scenario is the first thought that pops into peoples heads when they see or hear about this kind of stuff and we need to be able to assure them that they are covered as well as ourselves. I turned my fireworks video over to the local news station to use and it didnt have me thinking about this issue until after leaving I thought, what if they wanted to do a follow up story or interview and what if I got asked about the risks involved or was I not worried I could have got blown up from flying too close, and what about the spectators below? Those kind of questions could have easily turned a very cool and practical use of FPV into a very bad view of what we do (more than what is already being done by others).
So I guess, all of this boils down to the question "How do I know if I am covered and if I'm not, what steps do I need to take to make sure I am?"