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Space insurance market facing challenges

February 21, 2024

2023 was not a stellar year for the space insurance market. The second half of the year saw losses totalling $826 million (€764.9m) according to analysts and the year’s total claimed losses will be around $1.2 – $1.3 billion.

More than 85 per cent of those losses, including those from Viasat-3 and Inmarsat 6-F2, stemmed from post-separation spacecraft issues, and thus reshaping the industry’s landscape.

Currently, the claims are for:
ViaSat-3 $421 million
Arcturus Aurora-4A $40 million
Inmarsat 6-F2 $350 million
Azersky SPOT-7 $30 million
O3b mPOWER x 4 $470 million

The immediate consequence, as with all insurance losses in any market, were rises in premiums. Insurers swiftly raised premiums across their space insurance portfolios, signalling a market-wide reevaluation, says Gallagher Speciality.

The expected increase in premiums will be between 115 – 135 per cent, and in some cases as high as 160 per cent.

Insurers say that 2024 could again prove to be a challenge with potential losses already reaching around $500 million or more.

There are also other consequences with some insurance specialists exiting the market, with others adjusting how much risk they will carry.

One element that is still unknown is the damage – or claims – made by SES for the impact of their Boeing-built O3b satellites. SES will unveil its results on February 29th where more information on their claims might emerge.

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