Handbook of Space Law

Handbook of Space Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Frans von der Dunk

Handbook of Space Law addresses the legal and regulatory aspects of activities in outer space and major space applications from a comprehensive and structured perspective. The book fundamentally addresses the dichotomy between the state-oriented character of international space law and the increasing commercialization and privatization of space activities.

Chapter 17: Insurance in the context of space activities

Cécile Gaubert

Subjects: law - academic, public international law


With the increasing privatization of space activities and concurrent increasing importance of properly handling issues of liability, also the issue of insurance becomes a major factor of importance in the conduct of space activities. Such insurance nowadays ideally has to cover pre-launch, launch, in-orbit operations phases as well as potential property and third-liability damage. Whilst insurance has developed a long and rich experience with valuable and mobile capital assets in other sectors such as aviation, the specifics of space activities and the hardware and operations involved call for substantial adaptation of such existing practices and, occasionally, the development of new practices. From a legal perspective, insurance is normally a matter essentially of contractual arrangements. In the context of space activities, however, the international character of many of those as well as the tendency of a number of states to provide binding parameters at least for insurance requirements in terms of third-party liabilities has caused insurance in some cases to be a matter de facto for international law, and de jure for national space legislation. Chapter 17 outlines the various types of insurance currently finding their way into insurance policies for the various phases and types of space or space-related activities, and outlines the specific ramifications both from an international and national legal perspective as appropriate, and in terms of contractual arrangements.

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