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SpaceNews | Does smallsats insurance even need?

SpaceNews editor Jeff Foust sits with Andrew Maximov, CEO and co-founder of Precious Payload, to discuss the smallsats insurance market and the new company’s service — online space insurance and . The article also unveils Precious Payload’s partnership with Aon Risk Solutions:


In Logan, Mike Vinter, executive vice president with Aon Risk Solutions, announced a partnership with Precious Payload, a year-old startup that seeks to offer booking services for smallsat secondary payloads analogous to buying an airline ticket or hotel room on a travel website. Precious Payload, besides selling rideshare accommodations, will now allow developers to also get a launch insurance quote.

As currently designed, a satellite developer offers just a few basic parameters about their satellite through a form on the website: the size and value of the satellite, the launch vehicle that will carry it and its scheduled launch.

“We promise to get back to you with a quote within 48 hours,” said Andrew Maximov, chief executive of Precious Payload: not exactly the instant quotes that auto insurers offer online, but a far cry from conventional practices in space insurance.

For now, the site only offers launch insurance. “What we’re hoping to eventually offer is post-separation coverage” for some period of time after the satellite’s deployment, Vinter said. Future coverage options could also include transit and prelaunch insurance.“The benefits here are economies of scale,” he said of this approach to buying space insurance.

“It’s simple, it’s easy. You can do it in the middle of the night if you want. It just seems to make so much sense.”

Vinter said later that they plan to use preset rates for launch vehicles, but will update those frequently. That’s particularly important as new vehicles, such as small launchers designed specifically for smallsats, enter service.

“We want to keep those rates nice and fresh,” he said. “Those new launch vehicles, as they come online, their rates are going to be higher, but they’ll come down with each success fairly rapidly.”

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