Speciality re/insurance firm Ascot launched a new space practice that will start as an Ascot led consortium at Lloyd’s of London.

The new unit will leverage AI and machine learning risk modelling capabilities along with support services of Ascot to offer underwriting services.

It will provide launch vehicle flight only (LVFO), launch plus in-orbit combined, and in-orbit only coverage to launch service providers, satellite owners and operators.

Paul Aitchison, who brings over three decades of aerospace business experience, will lead the practice. Aitchison joins from AIG where he was global head of space.

Neil Fleming will join the new unit as a senior risk analyst. Fleming is a specialist in risk analytics who spent a decade as a Royal Air Force officer.

Lea Last, who also was part of the space team at AIG will join the team.

Ascot Group CEO Andrew Brooks said: “The launch of this consortium by Paul, Neil and Lea fits within Ascot’s wider strategy of providing capacity and technical services to proven underwriting teams who can leverage our resources to provide market-leading solutions to their existing clients and broking contacts.”

Aitchison added: “Space is a unique and complex niche within the aerospace industry and requires a depth of knowledge to support the highly sophisticated client base.

“As we continue to see expansion and development within the space sector, we aim to provide Lead-Market expertise which will deliver value to Brokers and Clients beyond just insurance capacity.”