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Broken Satellite Risks Big Claim in Shrinking Insurance Market

August 28, 2023


Viasat Inc. has more than $1 billion of orbiting satellites in trouble, and space insurers are girding for market-rattling claims.

The company’s roughly $1 billion ViaSat-3 Americas satellite, central to expanding its fixed-broadband coverage and fending off rivals including Elon Musk’s Starlink, suffered an unexpected problem as it deployed its antenna in orbit in April. Should Viasat declare it a total loss, industry executives estimate the claim would reach a record-breaking $420 million and, in turn, make it harder — and more expensive — for other satellite operators to get insurance.

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