SOARIZON by Thales and Moonrock Insurance have teamed up in a move to offer discounted services to drone pilots, commercial operators and their respective teams.
The new partnership will enable SOARIZON users to access discounted insurance from Moonrock, at up to 20% off standard policy pricing.
However, in exclusive conversation with Karim Cosslett, head of growth and sales at SOARIZON and Simon Ritterband, Moonrock’s managing director, CDP discovered both teams believe the joint offering can offer much more to professional pilots and large enterprises.
CDP: How did the partnership come about?
KC: I’ve known Simon for probably four years and worked with him when I was at a previous business. There are a few companies that do insurance and we used to work with a range of them because we were an operating and teaching organisation (UK NQE).
It was always up to our students where they would shop for their insurance, but the message that was always really clear and apparent was that it was straightforward, best value for money on the market, really reliable and was a good product. No-one has a quibble with the Moonrock service, the standards or the customer service and if they ever did go elsewhere, they always said they wish they had gone with Moonrock Drone Insurance and so we’ve built up a friendship.
I joined team the team at Thales in February 2019 and Simon had already been speaking with SOARIZON and since we have been trying to align our products together. Simon’s product was a lot more advanced in his market than ours was this time last year.
We’ve been working hard in product development since SOARIZON launched across Europe in 2019, and we’ve got an advanced product we’re really happy with so now it’s the right time to align the brands and our work.
Now, for our customers, we are bringing in some really important features that the market demands and one of those is good quality insurance.
SR: From our point of view, we are an insurance provider, that’s what we know and that’s what we do. There were a number of products out there that were offering individual things to help pilots but there was no one coherent piece of software or process where they could get everything in one place.
We had been looking to the market for something that would help our customers be able to plan better, be able to be up to date with more relevant information to allow them to strategise and become a more efficient pilot and organisation, which therefore gives us more confidence as an insurance provider that the pilots are safer, are paying more attention in their operations so we wanted to be able to offer something that was best in class.
We had looked at other products in the market but we were waiting for SOARIZON to launch, and it is already proven to be a product which is market-leading and it can only grow from strength to strength.
Some of the target areas SOARIZON and Moonrock are looking at are the enterprise businesses.
As the market continues to mature, we’re seeing large organizations bringing in all that drone work in house. We’re seeing larger drone fleets within businesses themselves. We’re seeing pilots coming together and operating under one company to offer services.
We’re seeing specific surveying companies and production companies utilising drones so what we’re looking at is more of an enterprise type business for the policies that we provide, and that’s why it is ideal with the SOARIZON product because their project manager can start to plan missions correctly which is brilliant from Moonrock’s point of view.
Also, looking at the evidence and feedback from businesses, what they ideally require is a a policy which they can purchase, put in the filing cabinet, and forget about it unless they claim.
CDP: How will it work from a user point of view in getting the most out of this new partnership?
SR: Well, it works both ways as you can imagine. As I said, we believe that the pilot’s we have in this system are inherently safer as they’re taking the time to plan their missions, it therefore follows that we feel more confident resulting in discount offers of up to 20% on their insurance policy.
KC: On the flip side of that, if you are a Moonrock customer and you join SOARIZON, we will give customers 20% off our SOARIZON Elevate plan, which enables them to work collaboratively with others in their team. There’s a mutual trust there. Because we know that you are being underwritten by a good quality, very proficient underwriter and they’re looking after your insurance interests, we know that if there ever was an issue, the pilot and the operator are able to demonstrate that they mitigated the risks as best they could.
CDP: How important is it for those larger enterprises to have the right cover?
KC: It’s an interesting one. There was a day, probably about five years ago, where big business would just pay someone else to come in, fly drones, give them data and leave. It would be that, they’d be paid, it’s your risk, your aircraft, your training, your insurance, you do all the mission planning and , we just want the data.
That’s really started to change more recently. I think business now understand that aviation, in any form, can be inherently dangerous so you have to mitigate risk in a demonstrable and auditable way. That’s where SOARIZON for mission planning and Moonrock for insurance come in.
Therefore, by offering the two products together, we are building, and continuing to build from a SOARIZON perspective, a much more professional product and services offering that to our ecosystem.
CDP: From an insurance point of view, how have you seen the industry change with regards to pilot’s expectations from becoming a qualified pilot?
SR: We were one of the first entrants in the market and we’ve seen a real spike in numbers from when we started. You can look at the CAA’s numbers and what we see are a lot of those registered pilots are now actually businesses
We always thought this would happen. As with any new tech, it takes a few years to mature and this is exactly what’s happening in the industry.
We have never been a insurer to say here is basic price but you can also add on additional covers for an additional fee such as including worldwide cover and so on. We just offer that all singing, all dancing product. You can forget about your insurance unless you need to claim. They don’t need to be constantly asking questions about their policy and where they can and cannot fly because it is all there from the start as standard.