Elite Dangerous: Insurance

Sam Gilbert By Sam Gilbert

Ship Insurance is an important feature of Elite Dangerous. However, insurance in the year 3300 works a little differently to insurance in 2016. Understanding this and managing your finances responsibly can save you a lot of frustration if your ship is destroyed.

In this article we review:

How do you buy insurance in Elite Dangerous?

Good news: insurance is automatically included when you purchase any ship, so you never need to buy it separately.

How does insurance work in Elite Dangerous?

If your ship is destroyed, you'll see the insurance screen.

This gives you the option to repurchase your destroyed ship's loadout by paying the excess on your insurance policy.

Alternatively, you can choose not to pay the excess and you'll get a free, entry-level Sidewinder on a loan from the Pilots Federation.

If you don't have enough credits for to pay the excess and rebuy your ship, you can take out a loan of up to 600,000 credits. (Note that if you have existing loans, they will count towards the 600,000 credit limit).

But if you can't raise enough credits to rebuy your destroyed ship's loadout, you'll be declared bankrupt and you'll have no option but to start again from scratch with a Sidewinder. That can be a very frustrating experience if you've invested hours of game play and credits in a ship.

A good rule to stick to if you want to avoid this situation is this: never take off if your credit balance is less than the cost of rebuying your ship by paying the insurance excess. Get your finances in order first.

As the old saying goes, "Don't fly what you can't afford".

How much does Ship Insurance cost in Elite Dangerous?

The cost of the insurance excess is 5% of the total cost of your ship and any cargo you are carrying.

For example, the cost of paying the insurance excess on a Viper MkIII would be 7,146 credits (5% of the 142,931 credits purchase cost). Meanwhile, the cost for a Cobra Mk3 would be 18,985 credits (5% of 379,718 credits).

Can you get discounts on Elite Dangerous Insurance?

Yes - but only if you are a backer in an Elite Dangerous Kickstarter crowdfunding round.

Beta backers get a 25% discount on the cost of their insurance, while Alpha backers get a 50% discount.

What about Cargo Insurance?

Although there is an entry for "Cargo Insurance" in the right hand screen, the feature currently isn't implemented in the game.

There is some interesting debate and discussion about how cargo insurance should work in the Frontier Forums.

What does the Elite Dangerous Players Guide say about insurance?

Here are the refereces to insurance in v2 of the Players Guide. Note that these aren't up to date with the current version of Elite Dangerous - for example, it refers to 200,000 credits being the maximum loan when in fact you can now borrow up to 600,000 credits.


A spaceship in the hands of an untrained pilot constitutes a significant threat to themselves and others, and may result in loss of life and/or significant insurance costs.


Your first ship is essentially on loan, and covered by a comprehensive insurance policy, ensuring that you only have to pay a bounty or fine to be issued with a replacement.

Any modules you purchase and fit to this ship are covered by a lesser insurance – should they need to be replaced you will have to pay a premium excess.

Should you purchase a ship, then this too is covered by a lesser insurance policy – should it be destroyed, you will need to pay a premium excess for it and all modules fitted.

Although the premium excess fees are only small fractions of the ship and modules’ actual worth, the resulting bill can still become significant, potentially more than you can afford.

In such circumstances you have a number of options. Assuming you have enough to cover the hull cost (which includes all mandatory modules), you can choose not to pay for optional modules, reducing the cost.

You have access to a creditor who can lend you up to 200,000CR. If you take this option, any credits you make will have 10% deducted at source until the debt is paid.

If you have ships in storage, you can choose to abandon your current vessel claim and select a ship in storage to activate.

If you have no ships and not enough credits to even pay the bounty or fine you owe at the starport or outpost you arrive at after your ship has been destroyed, you are declared bankrupt.

All debt and crimes are cleared and you are transported to your starting location where you receive a new loaned starting ship.

Effectively, your career is reset, but note that you retain all reputation and rank gained/lost (to clear your career completely you will need to clear your save from the main menu)

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