Proposals put forward by the UK government have revealed its aim to secure a 10% share of the global space sector, an increase of 3.5%, by 2030. In doing so, new UK space ports would be built, which in turn would allow for a greater provision of satellite services such as low-gravity spaceflights. This presents new opportunities for space insurers within the London market – as Chris Gibbs, leader of the space team at AmTrust at Lloyds points out, “the UK Space Agency estimates UK spaceports could be worth as much as £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade”.
At present, the global space sector is estimated to be worth £40 billion, although only about 40 insurers exist in this class of business. Gibbs notes that “some of the smaller risks get soaked up in the domestic markets around the world, but we see the larger international risks and a variety of domestic risks. The largest we’ve seen had a value of circa $650 million, but the average risk is more like $250 million. Regular space risks we see in London provide various services ranging from communications satellites to broadband services to data transfer and earth imaging satellites”.
The news of the proposals follows the recent statement from the government that £92 million will be invested in a project to develop an alternative to the EU’s Galileo satellite system, which will no longer be available to the UK after its exit from the EU.