Space exploration offers data and opportunities


A series of new state-of-the-art satellites due to be launched by the European Space Agency will provide the insurance industry with large amounts of new and unique data that will be invaluable to insurers underwriting certain types of risks including some energy and marine business.

That was the conclusion of a recent blog posted by Fiona Shaw, executive director of Willis Global Analytics. She said that the new Sentinel satellites will bring a huge increase in both the volume and quality of useful information available to underwriters and risk managers.

What is more, technological advancements, such as cloud computing, mean that the industry is well equipped to understand this information and put it to good use. “The key will be the industry’s ability to turn all of this new data into useful insights to inform risk based decision making,” she wrote.

The first of the new satellites is due to be launched in 2013. The information provided by this satellite, Sentinel 1, will allow marine underwriters to better understand and map sea ice and detect the exact position of vessels more easily. It will also improve the ability of energy underwriters to monitor oil spills.

Meanwhile, the industry’s growing awareness of the opportunities space and satellite business can offer was reflected in the announcement by Aon that, in collaboration with the Space Expedition Corporation, it has designed a unique insurance policy for space travellers.

“Our partnership ensures that all those participating in the Space Expedition Corporation programme will have comprehensive coverage during their preparatory training and eventual space travel,” said Jeff Poliseno, chief executive officer of Aon Risk Solutions’ International Space Brokers Practice.

European Space Agency, Willis Global Analytics, satellites, Aon, cloud computing, space exploration

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