ASIC marks its 10th Anniversary

10 Years of ASIC

February 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Atrium Space Insurance Consortium (ASIC).

Prior to this time, Lee Davis had already been underwriting space risks for Atrium via participation on the Marham (Brit) Space Consortium and SATEC as well as some open market lines. A casual conversation between Lee and David Wade revealed that there may be an appetite to build on this experience. One business plan and a Sauterelle lunch with Christine Dandridge later and ASIC started to take shape. Whilst David sauntered around on gardening leave for the second half of 2006, Lee worked tirelessly to get the consortium structure established and the Consortium Agreement finalised. By early 2007 the Consortium was ready to go live with David and Brian Spark joining Lee in London and the engineering team of David Hoffer, Robin Gubby and Beth Grant leaving Telesat to set up the office in Ottawa, Canada. Brian Spark retired in 2009. Emma Cox joined the team in 2014.

The ethos of the Consortium was simple: to use the engineering knowledge of the team to underwrite the best risks to outperform the market. The space market has witnessed a prolonged period of softening since that time, but our basic philosophy remains unchanged to this day, with ASIC continuing to bring a strong engineering focus to all risk assessment activities.

By the end of 2016, the culmination of ten underwriting years, ASIC had insured the launch of 243 satellites on 167 launches and covered 368 satellites in orbit. Whilst the market had experienced 55 claims during the decade our careful risk selection saw ASIC only exposed on 21 of these risks, giving ASIC a cumulative loss ratio over the 10 years about 15 points better than the market average.

We start 2017, our eleventh year of operation, with the Consortium having grown to 11 syndicates. Capacity has now reached USD 42m. During the coming decade electric orbit raising of satellites and the use of cubesats will become commonplace, ultra-High definition TV and High-Throughput Satellites for broadband applications will push the amount of insurance required and the next generation of communication mega-constellations will require new approaches to coverage design.

Throughout it all, our focus on engineering and careful risk selection will continue to be the key underwriting criterion.

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