The sky is falling: Insurance for satellite debris

Will your home and your car be covered when the NASA satellite breaks up and falls to Earth later this week?

By MSN Money Partner Sep 19, 2011 3:17PM

This post comes from Michelle Megna at partner site


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's -- a super-chunk of space satellite?


A bus-sized defunct climate satellite is expected to make a fiery freefall from space down to Earth on Sept. 23, according to NASA. The space agency is monitoring the course of the death plunge.


The 6-ton satellite, which has been airborne for 20 years, is likely to burst into 26 pieces, the biggest of which could be about 350 pounds when it hits the Earth. The chance of a person getting struck by satellite debris has been calculated by NASA at 1 in 3,200, although the chance of you, out of the 7 billion people in the world, getting dinged is less than 1 in 10 trillion. 


Still, if you are unfortunate enough to be in the satellite's path, will your insurance cover the damage? If you have home insurance, the answer is likely to be "yes." Post continues after video.

"'Falling objects' is a covered peril in most home insurance policies," says Robert Passmore, senior director of personal lines at Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.


On the other hand, your car may or may not be covered. It all depends on whether or not you carry comprehensive coverage, Passmore says. Many people drop this auto insurance coverage once their car reaches its last few years of life.


Health insurance will cover any care if you are injured by space debris. And if you get bonked on the head by the satellite and wake up at the Pearly Gates? No need to worry, so long as your life insurance premiums are paid up.


Thank your lucky stars, the chance of having your property or person be struck by space junk is remote. According to, "To date there have been no confirmed reports of an injury or significant property damage resulting from re-entering space objects."


Nonetheless, insurance is for life's unexpected disasters, and we'll be keeping our eyes on the sky.


More on and MSN Money:


Sep 23, 2011 1:36AM
the government should pay for damages its their crap
Sep 22, 2011 9:02PM
why doesn't nasa cover any damages its their satatlite   if you hit someone with your car you have to pay so if nasa's space trash hits us we have to pay   not fair
Sep 22, 2011 9:51PM
Wow, finally a legit use for our countrys missles and military, Cant We just shoot it down????? As i recall China shot down one of there satelites
Sep 23, 2011 10:05AM
Ummmm.....This thing belongs to NASA, they put it up there. If it was to unfortunately damage property, hurt or kill someone, would they not be liable? It sould not matter if I have insurace or not.
Sep 22, 2011 7:57PM
you would think the people who own the damn satellite would pay for your damages right????
Because if it hit my house i would go after the people who owns the satellite.
Sep 22, 2011 8:22PM

 Out of the 7 billion people in the world, getting dinged is less than 1 in 10 trillion Disappointed                        

 we could only hope Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that 1 Wink  then maybe that would finally shut his rants up about our country and our people Tongue out  GOD BLESS AMERICA LAND THAT I & U LOVE Open-mouthed

Sep 23, 2011 8:33AM

Reading the comments is more entertaining than the article itself!! In a world with a million problems it's insane how we as one of the richest countries in the world still have a population that wants to bicker at each other over spilled milk. Democrat, Republican or whatever you are, we're all still very blessed and fortunate and having a positive attitude would go a long way for our country rather than everyone always hurling insults, etc!


As far as the satellite, why don't we just send up Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis; with their prior experience shouldn't be a problem......

Sep 23, 2011 12:35AM

Now we have to worry about crap from space....Why don't you try something new publish something positive. All we have is a continual barrage of negative information it is no wonder the majority of the population has depression. Why would you even publish anything about debris falling from space? What do you suggest we all run around in a panic and hope this S%&t doesn’t land on us, you create these messages to capture attention with no regard of the consequences?


Sep 23, 2011 8:52AM
No need for anyone to worry about getting hit by this space debris.  My last name is Murphy and Murphy's Law is a way of life for me..  I'm sure it'll bonk me square on top of my head.  roflmao 
Sep 22, 2011 11:17PM
all ur comments are nice, but so nobody here wants the satelite to fall on taliban strong hold? hahahahaha!
Sep 23, 2011 10:46AM
I'm sorry. NASA should cover any damage or death. Its their satellite or whoever's satellite it is! DUH.....
Sep 23, 2011 10:20AM
At least those pieces of satellite have a better chance of landing in the end zone of  Paul Brown Stadium than the Cincinnati Bengals do.
Sep 23, 2011 12:09AM
Considering the fact that they do not have any specific idea as to where the largest amount of it is going to end up it's a bit to earl to even try to predict tht one right hd better believe though tht with the huge mounts of junk thats floating around up there waiting for it's turn to drop in on us sooner or later somebody is eventually going to get clobbered with a pice of space junk without a doubt
Sep 22, 2011 9:47PM
So you're telling me with one of the best computers in the world and 100's of Ubergeeks, no one can figure out where it's going down? Maybe that is why the space program has ended?
Sep 22, 2011 8:09PM
I agree with George1988, NASA will be paying, not my insurance!!!!
Sep 22, 2011 4:20PM

I wouldn't mind either if it hit my house... as long as my irreplaceable items ( including me )

weren't in it.

Sep 22, 2011 8:12PM
We are doing a map page grid at work  for 5 dollars a square. Are all of you in?lol...
Sep 23, 2011 10:44AM
Sep 22, 2011 5:37PM
Back in 1954 a woman was hit in her living room by a piece of an asteroid that crashed through her roof in Sylacauga, Alabama.  It gave her hip a good's the only confirmed injury from space in history, at least in the U.S.  Bizarre, but true, with several sites other than wikipedia.  Odds of being struck by a satellite this weekend?  Oh, around one in 22 TRILLION....BOINK!  That hurt! 
Sep 19, 2011 9:51PM
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