The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. will jointly develop insurance products for space travelers as they bet more civilians will venture beyond the Earth in the future.
The new products will likely cover travelers against damage to possessions just like existing travel insurance as well as bodily damage before and after the adventure, the two organizations said last month.
JAXA will provide information such as the causes of accidents observed during its space missions or related training while Mitsui Sumitomo will offer insurance-related expertise such as risk assessment.
The number of civilians who stayed in space totaled 29 last year, exceeding the number of astronauts who did so for the first time. The two organizations are aiming to launch the products before space travel becomes more common.
The new insurance could be the first of its kind as existing space-related products center around compensation for damaged property such as rockets and satellites, an industry source said.
"Everybody feels scared of space travel to some extent," an official in charge of product development said. "We hope the new product will mitigate their fears and help promote the industry."
Domestic non-life insurers have been ramping up their efforts in the space area as a new source of revenue.
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. plans to launch a health monitoring service for space travelers and astronauts while Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. started in August a service to compensate for the cost when a satellite launch fails and a relaunch is needed.