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Prosperous year for space insurers

January 24, 2023

By Chris Forrester

The space and satellite insurance sector enjoyed their third successive year of profits following losses in 2018 and 2019. The profits were impressive, with $579 million (€534m) in premiums paid and helping offset losses and claims of $294 million.

However, the industry is not tapping into the fast-growing Low Earth orbiting market as the likes of SpaceX does not insure their rockets for their own Starlink launches (or the satellites themselves).

Data from the industry compiled by AXA XL, says that some 2,500 satellites were launched last year, of which 1,730 were Starlinks. Of the other 770 craft launched only 340 were actually insured (44 per cent).

The 2022 net profits were good as were the premiums paid, but the $579 million paid in premiums is much less than the typical c$750 million annual amounts paid during the 2001-2014 period.

But 2022 was also an extraordinary year in that both SES and Intelsat launched their replacement C-Band fleets – which were insured.

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