PARIS — 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.
In a presentation at Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week here, Dominique Rora, senior space underwriter at AXA XL, said the underlying problem was not the claims themselves but rather declining premiums that cased back-to-back losses for the industry in 2018 and 2019.
“In recent months there have been a number of claims, and the amount is quite high. It is high, but not out of the norm,” he said. “What has been of particular importance over the past few years is the decreasing trend in premium.”
Those claims include the July launch failure of a Vega rocket carrying the United Arab Emirates’ Falcon Eye-1 imaging satellites, which at $415 million is the largest single claim to date. Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-4 imaging satellite failed in orbit in January, resulting in a $183 million claim that the company said in May would be fully paid out by insurers.
Those losses appear to have put an end to a long trend of declining rates. Rora noted that, in 2003, rates for launch put the ...