Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has announced a new drone partnership with Israeli startup ParaZero, serving as a failsafe system for malfunctioning and airborne unmanned aircraft vehicles.

ParaZero’s drone safety software, SafeAir, uses an onboard computer paired with a parachute launcher to bring drones back down to ground safely by shutting down rotors and reducing speed over a short distance—approximately 30 feet. An audio warning system is also triggered to help protect vulnerable people in the area, according to the companies.

“AGCS recognizes the value that ParaZero brings to the table in an effort to carefully manage risks involved with the operation of drones,” said AGCS’ Aviation Practice Leader James Van Meter. “By prioritizing drone safety technology, we are supporting innovation to help clients mitigate risks and keep everyone safer.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, commercial drone use in the U.S. grew at a rate of 150% in 2017. Registered users skyrocketed from 42,000 in 2016 to 110,000 last year. The agency predicts that by 2022 number will likely be four times larger.

AGCS’ partnership with ParaZero is scheduled for initial roll out in the U.S. followed by other regions where AGCS insures unmanned aircraft. As Allianz Group’s specialist corporate insurer, the carrier provides hull & liability coverage for thousands of drone operators in North America who use UAVs for aerial data collection, closed set filming, delivery and public safety.

“Most accidents occur when a drone loses power or experiences critical flight breakdown and a pilot is limited in their options to prevent damage to the craft, surrounding area and people on the ground,” added Van Meter. Pricing incentives will also be offered for commercial clients using ParaZero products, AGCS says.

Also see: AGCS partners with insurtech on aviation coverage

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