Mitsui Sumitomo announces plans to develop space tourism insurance

Suborbital flights expected to drop in prices by the late 2020s

Mitsui Sumitomo announces plans to develop space tourism insurance

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is collaborating with All Nippon Airways (ANA) Holdings, travel agency H.I.S., and other partners to develop insurance products for space tourism. These products are expected to be available around 2030, focusing initially on suborbital flights.

Suborbital flights, which briefly enter outer space before returning to Earth, are currently offered by several operators in the United States. As of now, no insurance coverage is available for such flights, and participants must sign consent forms acknowledging the risks involved.

As per a Nikkei Asia report, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has engaged the cooperation of 17 companies across various related sectors to formulate a policy specific to these flights. Among the collaborators are ANA, which could contribute expertise in rocket flights and maintenance, and H.I.S., which may eventually introduce space tourism products. Additionally, the Japanese electronics group NEC, known for its telecommunications technology expertise, is also involved in the initiative.

The proposed insurance plan aims to cover injuries and other potential issues that policyholders might encounter while in space. A significant concern is health problems that could result from exposure to radiation during space travel.

The initiative by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is seen as a move to support the burgeoning space-related industries. At present, the cost of suborbital flights is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, restricting access to a very wealthy clientele. However, there is an expectation that prices could drop below $100,000 by the late 2020s.

In the long term, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is not only looking at short-duration trips but also considering insurance plans for multi-day space journeys. The company is focused on accumulating expertise in space tourism-related insurance policies, keeping an eye on the evolving landscape of space travel and tourism.

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