Israeli satellite builder sues insurance companies

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has filed a NIS 300 million (about €71m) legal action against a consortium of insurers which includes Lloyds of London and giant insurer Marsh, over the loss of the Spacecom/Amos-6 satellite.

Amos-6 was lost in a catastrophic explosion and fire when it was being tested atop a SpaceX rocket back on September 1st 2016.

Israel’s ‘Globes’ newspaper is reporting that the insurers paid out NIS 215 million in compensation although dispute the amount now being claimed in the action.  The insurers are arguing that the satellite was attached to the rocket when the explosion happened, and that they were not notified of the attachment and thus the insurance cover should be reduced to reflect the increased risk.

IAI in its claim is arguing that the explosion did not take place during the engine test on the Falcon 9 rocket, and are denying that they were obliged to notify the insurers of the attachment given that full notice of the satellites connection to the rocket was provided to all the parties involved.

‘Globes’ says that IAI’s claim states: “The claim involves a grave case in which an insurer is disclaiming liability at the most difficult time for the policyholder, and is trying to invent in retrospect, with a lack of good will, various peculiar reasons why it is not obligated to pay the policyholder the full compensation due to it.”

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