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Satellite congestion demands response: Swiss Re

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Insurers are considering a new underwriting approach for space risk, with the number of active satellites in orbit expected to climb over the next 10 years.

Many new private-sector players have emerged, particularly in the low-Earth-orbit segment, where “constellations” of satellites work together, circling the planet multiple times a day.

More satellites mean more debris, raising the risk of collision. Orbital debris comprises more than 90% of the tracked objects circling Earth.

“With more and more constellations being deployed in [low orbit], the insurance industry is facing new challenges,” Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Head of Space Jan Schmidt said.

“Typically, insurers have provided insurance products that respond to total loss or damage to large, high-value communications satellites in geostationary orbit. Today we are seeing increased demand for products offering similar financial protection, but for constellations made up of hundreds or even thousands of satellites operating in [low orbit].”