“Azerspace-1”, the first telecommunications satellite of Azerbaijan gets insurance coverage


“Azercosmos”, the satellite operator of Azerbaijan has recently finalized the contract for the insurance of its first commercial telecommunications satellite utilizing the services of Marsh Ltd, the global leader in insurance broking and risk management services.  

It is fact worth noting that “Azercosmos” has been able to secure a highly competitive premium rate for the Launch plus one year cover, indeed the lowest in the satellite insurance market since 1999, for the insurance of its first satellite, Azerspace-1, to be launched into orbit in  early 2013 from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou (French Guiana) in South America.

Azerspace-1 is being manufactured by the US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation on a flight-proven GEO Star-2 platform and will be launched by the highly reliable Ariane-5 launch vehicle of the French Arianespace. Azerspace-1, also referred to as Azerspace/Africasat-1 will provide communications services to Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe, and Africa from an orbital location at 46 degrees East Longitude.

The insurance provides cover for loss, damage or failure of the satellite during the launch, in-orbit testing and the first year of operation in orbit. The reason Azercosmos was able to obtain a very competitive premium rate for the insurance despite being the first satellite operator of its kind in Azerbaijan and the whole Caucasus region, is attributable to a number of factors. Firstly, to its close partnership with highly credible companies in manufacturing and launching of its satellite which has given the insurers confidence in the hardware being used. Secondly, various relationship-building measures were implemented with key satellite insurers and senior members of the Azercosmos management, allowing insurers to better understand the business of Azercosmos thus increasing their desire to support the programme. Finally, with the assistance of its international partners in its short lifetime since its incorporation in 2010, Azercosmos was able to overcome a number of technical, commercial and managerial challenges that ensures Azercosmos has robust insurance cover provided by a small group of the most financially sound and secure insurance capacity providers in the world.