In an effort to be the first in the industry to take advantage of the upcoming wave of “ordinary astronauts” who will be taking the first commercial trips into space next year, the German insurance giant, Allianz, has announced that in 2012 it will begin selling space travel insurance policies.
The sale of these policies will align with the launch of the spaceflight company called Virgin Galactic, owned by Virgin Group’s Richard Branson.
There have already been approximately 450 people who have made seat reservations with Virgin Galactic for its five-minute trips to “sub-orbital” space, where they remain for three and a half hours, at $200,000 per ticket. The experience will include the feeling of weightlessness, as well as the ability to see the earth’s curvature and the blackness of the rest of the universe.
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Account director Erick Morazin, who is in charge of the space insurance plans at Allianz stated that though they have yet to finalize the prices, the most basic policy for this type of trip will likely cost around $700, with additional coverage bringing the price as high as $10,000. He explained that “We are looking into space tourism as a new market for the next generation of travelers.”
He went on to say that the price of a travel insurance policy usually amounts to about 3 to 4 percent of the trip’s total cost. Therefore, if trip cancellation insurance was to be provided, for example, then the customer’s loss would have been the price of the deposit ($20,000), meaning that the policy’s cost of $700 is justified.