This month, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are flying to space without acquiring any liability insurance , brokers told The New York Times' DealBook newsletter on Friday.
Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, said last week that he plans to fly to the edge of space on Sunday. That's nine days before Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, wants to launch his New Shepard rocket.
Insurance brokers told DealBook that Virgin Galactic and Branson haven't seen any indication that they've purchased coverage for the British billionaire in case he is hurt or worse, dies while on the flight.
They stated that the company's VVS Unity spacecraft was most likely insured. There is no sign that Blue Origin and Bezos have bought insurance to safeguard the Amazon founder and billionaire, the brokers told DealBook.
The Times reached out to Branson, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin for comment, but they declined or did not answer.
Virgin Galactic's flight is considered domestic because VVS Unity launches and lands at Spaceport America in New Mexico without crossing into space, DealBook reported.
VVS Unity will fly to the edge of space, 55 miles above sea level, while Blue Origin's rocket will go 62 miles above sea level, passing the Kármán Line, before returning to Earth. According to DealBook, Virgin Galactic has previously stated that all passengers will be required to sign a contract admitting that they are solely responsible for their own safety. However, under American law, it is nearly hard for businesses to shift full risk to their customers, according to the report.
Regulators will soon mandate liability insurance plans for flights into space, according to insurance firms. They claim that there is enough data on rocket launches for brokers to price these types of products.
"For the insurance sector, the major question is whether this is more like aviation insurance or more like present space plans," said Neil Stevens, senior vice president of space products at Marsh. "There hasn't been a time when the insurance markets haven't come to the rescue."
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