Since the beginning of the year, space insurance underwriter Assure Space is no longer offering policies covering collision risk for satellites operating in low Earth orbit.
While traditionally we talk about solar flares, anomalies and space debris, increasingly risks in space include cyber risks that have repercussions on the ground.
A space insurance executive confirmed Sept. 11 that a spate of recent claims is increasing rates and leading some insurers to reconsider their place in the market.
The world’s second largest reinsurance company throwing in the towel has spooked an underwriting community already bracing to lose money on space policies for the second year in a row.
Jan Schmidt, the head of Swiss Re’s space underwriting division, said in an email obtained by SpaceNews that the decision to “cease Space underwriting with immediate effect” was driven by “bad results of recent years and unsustainable premium rates.”
An insurance company paid Astro Digital’s claim for the loss of two cubesats sent into orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket after the Earth imaging and analysis company proved the failure stemmed from a launch problem, according to two space industry executives.
The company's insurance went from $13 million to $63 million in liability coverage.
A new report recommends that the FAA do more to assist commercial spaceports in determining their insurance requirements, but stops short of calling for regulatory changes regarding coverage for non-federal facilities.
Satellite insurers on Oct. 5 said the Sept. 1 failure of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket while preparing a static-fire test, which destroyed a $200 million satellite, wiped out 20 years of insurance premiums for prelaunch coverage and will almost surely result in a sharp rate increase.