IAI to refund Spacecom $196m over lost Amos-6 satellite

The marine cargo market is facing a $196m claim to reimburse satellite operator Spacecom for the loss of the Amos-6 spacecraft in September. The 604-ton Falcon 9 rocket that exploded had been set to deploy an Amos-6 satellite to provide wireless services to sub-Saharan Africa — a part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. While Amos-6 was worth an estimated $200m, the rocket itself cost an extra $60m.

Spacecom said in a formal notification to the Tel Aviv stock exchange that satellite manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had said that it would refund $196m for the satellite, effective November 24th. IAI had a policy eith Lloyd’s for $285m.

IAI’s pre-launch losses was placed by Marsh. Lloyd’s managing agent Pembroke was reported to be the lead underwriter on the loss, with Chaucer, Talbot, WR Berkley and XL Catlin among those writing following lines. Had the incident occurred after launch the insured would have been Tel Aviv-based Space Communication (SpaceCom). SpaceCom had contracts with the Israeli government and Facebook to use the satellite, which SpaceCom would operate.