The development of space tourism may still be in its infancy, but insurance start-up Battleface is looking to stay ahead of the curve with what it claims to be the premier civil insurance plan for market space travel.
Launched earlier this year, Battleface’s space insurance policy is highly customizable, offering many of the same protections typically covered by more traditional travel insurance plans, including trip cancellation and interruption benefits.
âFor example, you might have to travel to Texas just to get to your space launch,â said Sasha Gainullin, CEO of Battleface. âSo standard travel insurance is always an important part of your trip, from the time you leave home until the time you return. “
Unlike regular travel insurance, however, the company’s coverages for space travel also include options such as accidental death and permanent dismemberment coverage. Politics are also much more expensive, due to the expense and high risks associated with space travel.
Photo credit: courtesy of Space Perspectice
When aren’t astronauts astronauts? When they pay their own way in space, NASA says. But the growing overlap between exploration and adventure travel is redefining both categories.
âIt’s very geared towards individual travelers,â said Gainullin. “We need to understand their background, their financial situation, their nationality, what they are looking for in terms of coverage, what training they are taking and how safe it is for them to go into space.”
Gainullin added that Battleface’s space insurance product, which is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, remains a work in progress. The company plans to adapt its insurance offering as the space tourism landscape continues to evolve.
âOne problem that we will have to solve in the future is how to provide assistance. [in the event of] an emergency evacuation from space, âGainullin said.
Although this is only in its infancy, interest in Battleface’s civilian space travel insurance has already proven to be quite robust. The company has responded to numerous inquiries from specialist tour operators and travel agencies, focusing on space tourism, as well as brokers working on arranging space travel for high net worth individuals.
It remains to be seen how close the space tourism market is to grow, but a recent report from Lloyd’s projects that the space travel industry is on track to be worth $ 1,000 billion by 2040.
Civilian space travel could become relatively mainstream sooner than many imagine, Gainullin said.
âJust last week we were on the phone with a UK travel agency that is building a full model around space tourism, and within the next two years they expect space missions of up to four days, “says Gainullin. âSo it’s definitely getting more and more serious as an industry. And if the pricing [goes down a level], so I think it could become a lot more like a standard type of travel. “
The foray into space travel insurance appears to have been a natural next step for Battleface, which, since its launch as a consumer insurance model in 2018, has long specialized in products from travel insurance for travelers interested in remote destinations as well as more adventures. oriented activities.
The company has also placed an emphasis on working with travel agencies, especially those that focus on adventure and other niche travel experiences.
âWhat we’ve seen, especially now, is that a lot of travel agents specialize in a [specific field]whether it’s Antarctic travel or space travel, âsaid Gainullin. âAnd these are the types of travel agencies that we like to work with.