The next panel of the U.S. Commercial Space Law: Licensing: A Practitioners “Tool Box” was on Space Insurance Contracts. it was moderated by Pamela L. Meredith, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP.
Jeff Cassidy, President and COO, Global Aerospace, was the first panelist to speak. He gave a brief overview of Global Aerospace and it’s functions. Next he spoke about specific insurance products that were available to satellite operators. He said that insurance coverage begins at launch and covers the satellite for a negotiated period of time.
Next, Sean Fleming, Senior Counsel, Echostar/Hughes Network Systems, spoke about Hughes and its involvement with space insurance, which is from the buyer side. He said that satellite operators buy insurance for a variety of reasons which is often required by investors, but he did note that some companies are self insurers. He stated that there was a variety of contractual obligations that govern risk allocation and what party is responsible for what risk.
John Cozzi, International Space Brokers, spoke next on what insurance brokers and risk management advisors do. He stated that the goal of these entities is to determine a risk profile for a given activity, which includes the full spectrum of risks. The result of this is defining a loss formula which then can be used to develop a policy, which can be taken to the insurance market.
Mark Quinn, Senior VP & Americas Practice Leader, Willis Inspace, was the final speaker. He stated that insurance companies in space activities will not underwrite the entire risk for a given activity due to the high monetary value of the policies. Instead, these activities will be covered by 15-20 different companies each of which is underwriting a portion of the risk. This involves the negotiation of contracts with terms between the underwriters and the insured.
The panel then discussed the various considerations that go into insurance company’s decision to insure, as well as issues related to final settlement in the case of a loss.