Satellite insurance is a specialized branch of aviation insurance in which, as of 2000, about 20 insurers worldwide participate directly. Others participate through reinsurance contracts with direct providers. It covers three risks: relaunching the satellite if the launch operation fails; replacing the satellite if it is destroyed, positioned in an improper orbit, or fails in orbit; and liability for damage to third parties caused by the satellite or the launch vehicle.
In 1965 the first satellite insurance was placed with Lloyds of London to cover physical damages on pre-launch for the "Early Bird" satellite Intelsat I. In 1968 coverage was arranged for pre-launch and launch perils for the Intelsat III satellite. Satellites are very complex machines which are manufactured and used by governments and a few larger companies. The budget for a typical satellite project can be in excess of billions of dollars and can run 5–10 years including the planning, manufacturing, testing, and launch.
Labels: Satellite insurance