In the latest edition of Plane Talking, re/insurance broker Gallagher noted capacity changed “little” from 2022 for space insurers and market position has been “as before” for the majority.
In its Q4’22 edition of Plane Talking, Gallagher noted that market feedback on capacity and reinsurance renewals was suggesting continued strong support for space insurers in 2023.
“We did see a small number of long term reinsurers pull out of the class, as part of a wider withdrawal from aviation and aerospace classes. Nevertheless, with a modest level of new and additional support having come forward, capacity has changed little from 2022,” Gallagher explained in its Plane Talking Q1’23 edition.
Underwriters have been expressing concerns over growing volatility caused by forecasts of a shrinking premium base and the potential impact of increasing sums insured should a top insured value become the subject of a claim, the re/insurance broker noted.
Space underwriters like others are also eyeing wider sector developments, in particular the escalation of Boeing 737 Max loss reserves and the huge airline claims submitted to the market from the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
““Blue Chip” launch risks continue to be seen by space insurers as their key focus.”
Software defined satellites such as Airbus’s OneSat platform and Thales’s Space Inspire platform have attracted significant orders from top tier operators and are on track to start being launched in 2024, the re/insurance broker said.
“We are also expecting to see several large launch vehicles debuting in 2023, including the ULA Vulcan maiden flight scheduled for May, multiple launches of the Space X Starship (aka Super Heavy), and the first flight of Ariane 6 currently towards year-end. These two key evolutions on in the spacecraft and launcher industries may make 2023 an exciting and challenging year for the space insurance market,” the report noted.
Growth in the “Small Sat” sector continued with 2,304 small satellites launched in 2022. “The rapid growth in Small Sat deployment has been primarily driven by a handful of major players such as the Starlink and OneWeb constellations which make up circa. 75% of 2022’s total.”
“To date, the overall space insurance market has experienced limited exposure to the Small Sat sector with several potential clients opting to retain a large part of their insurable risk,” Gallagher added.