Disclaimer: The information in this article encompasses some of what has been discussed / considered so far by CIG. This information is subject to change without notice as the game continues development. Last updated 17 September 2020.
- How does insurance work in Star Citizen?
- How does insurance work during Star Citizen Alpha?
- What is Lifetime Insurance (LTI)?
- How long will my Ship insurance last in Star Citizen?
- Can I lose my ship permanently if insurance expires?
- How much will renewing the ship insurance cost?
- What is the real value of LTI for ships in Star Citizen?
- How do I get Lifetime Insurance on my ships?
- Can I get LTI for my Star Citizen Game Package Ship?
- How to convert a Cutlass Package into a LTI package
- How To Buy An LTI Super Hornet
- Giftability and LTI
- LTI & Store Credit / Gift Cards
- Information about Cross Chassis Upgrades (CCUs)
- Sources for this article
Please note that the content of this post can be seen as controversial. The information compiled is not representative of any official information and is purely provided as speculative. Official CIG posts on insurance can be found in our sources section.
How does insurance work in Star Citizen?
Insurance in Star Citizen works much as it does in real life. Ships have insurance policies that require regular fees to maintain in UEC (The currency in Star Citizen). If an insurance policy lapses and the ship is destroyed, players will not receive a payout or replacement ship.
Insurance fees will make up a relatively small amount of the total fees that you will have to pay in game that include docking fees, trade tariffs, fuel, hired crew, among others. This means that players should not be overly concerned about insurance costs (above other gameplay costs in Star Citizen). It's worth noting that more expensive ships will probably have higher insurance premiums, so players should expect the costs of insurance (like all costs) to scale with the ship value.
How does insurance work in Star Citizen Alpha?
Insurance does not tick during Star Citizen Alpha. This means that during Alpha every ship or vehicle essentially has lifetime insurance.
Players do not need to worry about having to renew their insurance premiums during the Alpha phase of testing.
During Star Citizen Alpha, destroying your ship will still result in an insurance claim. This shows that LTI offers no actual advantage over 3 months insurance (for example). After Alpha when insurance starts to count down, the only difference will be having to pay a periodic premium, which is almost negligible in cost. Further reading - LTI - No It's Not a Big Deal
LIfetime insurance “... protects the investment you made in the game in perpetuity.” - From Insurance FAQ & Update
Ships with lifetime insurance (LTI) will not have to pay the in game fees to maintain their ship’s insurance policy. Due to the fact that ship insurances range from a few months to years the frequency of payments will be low and thus almost a negligible expense in the game.
Insurance can be purchased for ship, modules, cargo, upgrades and modifications. Ships and ship hulls will be replaced when an insurance claim is made but any cargo and and modifications will be subsidized. Additional policies for upgrades and cargo will be rated based on risk levels. Different parts of the universe will have different risk ratings and traveling to dangerous places will cost a higher insurance premium for insuring valuables.
Insurance policies are attached to ship hull id and cannot be transferred from one ship to another. Ships traded from player to player carry the insurance with the hull id of the ship and will be transferable.
It is also important to note that cross chassis upgrading a ship will retain any lifetime insurance attached to the hull. For example, if you use the cross chassis upgrade (CCU) from Cutlass Black with LTI to a Constellation Andromeda, the Constellation Andromeda will have LTI as the hull ID of the ship remains the same during a cross chassis upgrade. Note: It has been mentioned that the ability to upgrade the chassis from the RSI website could be removed before the game launches.
How long will my Ship insurance last in Star Citizen?
The insurance policy will last as long as is stated with the ship. For example, if your ship comes with 3 month insurance this means that it will last for 3 months of equivalent in game time. In game time ticks only while you’re playing the game. At this time finer details are not set in stone. Update 18th June 2018: The latest Calling All Devs episode seems to confirm that insurance counts down in real time. Watch the LTI question on Calling All Devs In-Game Ship Renting & Insurance. Right now, as far as we know, for example, 3 months of insurance will last a player 3 months of real world time.
For example, the rate at which time ticks while you’re playing may or may not be equal to real hours and days (Original Source from 2014). Please note that this will be defined by CIG in the coming months and years until release and is subject to change. The in game timer will move in real world time so the insurance will also tick in real time.
If your ship’s insurance expires and the ship is destroyed in Star Citizen (not Arena Commander) then you will have options to renew your ship's insurance before using your ship. However, it is still unknown whether you will be able to still lose your ship should you risk it with an expired insurance premium.
Please note that insurance from in game ships purchased with real money or in-game does not yet start expiring during Alpha.
Can I lose my ship permanently if insurance expires?
While there has been much speculation it has been proposed that players would not be able to permanently lose ships purchased with cash. However, this has since possibly changed again or the position was not endorsed. There is evidence showing that previous comments from the company about purchased ships being permanent is being edited, hinting that this is not at all confirmed and possibly not even the case.
Just from a purely speculative perspective, the value of ships would be higher if they could be permanently lost. This would mean players would have to be a lot more careful about renewing their ship premiums. It would also greatly reduce the ship accumulation and help maintain rarity (or increase). Careless players could lose their ships and become space pedestrians. This would also mean LTI would or could be a lot more valuable. Players should carefully consider the options when pledging.
During Star Citizen Alpha the insurance on purchased ships (in-game or with funds) does not count down. Essentially, all ships currently during Star Citizen alpha have lifetime insurance.
How much will renewing the ship insurance cost?
The cost of renewing your hull insurance in Star Citizen has been stated by RSI to be comparable to other costs such as docking fees, refuelling, maintenance etc… This means that it will not be free to renew insurance policies but it will also not be a disproportionate cost compared to other expenses in Star Citizen. Expect more expensive ships to be proportionally more expensive to insure than cheaper ships.
What is the real value of LTI for ships in Star Citizen?
After the game launches it will no longer be possible to upgrade ships from one to another. Players will have to sell one ship to buy another if they cannot afford to buy a ship outright. This means that upon launch the LTI ships will be fixed and will become tradable assets in the universe. The number of Cutlass Blacks will LTI, for example, will be set when CCUs stop being available.
The limited availability of LTI means that eventually within the Star Citizen universe the market will set the price of LTI ships.
Despite a lot of debate and what has been officially stated regarding LTI, the truth is the market itself will dictate what players will perceive the true value of LTI to be once the game has a functional economy.
Some players have stated that since they are paying real money to buy virtual ships, it makes sense that they buy all the ships with LTI if the cost is approximately the same.
Further reading on Reddit: LTI and it's perceived value to you?
How do I get Lifetime Insurance on my ships?
If the ships a player has do not currently have LTI, then it is not possible to take out lifetime insurance on those ships. All options involve replacing the original ship with one that has LTI.
LTI is currently available for concept sales where players essentially back a new ship once the concept is announced and then some time in the future when the ship has been built they will be able to play it.
By purchasing a low price LTI concept ship, players are able to CCU the cheap LTI ship to another ship of their choice that is available for purchase on the RSI website. Cheap ships like the Drake Dragonfly or Argo that are used to upgrade to larger ships for the LTI are commonly called “tokens”.
By using tokens you can buy a larger ship with LTI after the concept sale by using the following method:
Step 1 - Buy an LTI token during concept sale (for example if a Drake Dragonfly was purchased during concept with LTI).
Step 2 - Use the CCU system to upgrade to the ship you want to have LTI on. (For example, using a Drake Dragonfly LTI to CCU to a Cutlass Black will give you a Cutlass Black with LTI).
It is important to note that this only works if you want an LTI ship without a game package. If you have a game package and want to turn the ship in the game package into an LTI ship this is currently not possible. Packages do not come with LTI and melting a package to purchase another ship means you lose the game package (SC or SC & S42).
Additionally, you can only upgrade the LTI token to another ship if the CCU for the upgrade you want is available and there are no other restrictions. For example, during the Hornet 20% discount sale it was not possible to apply the upgrade from a Dragonfly or Argo with LTI to the Super Hornet.
Can I get LTI for my Star Citizen Game Package Ship?
As mentioned above, if you have a game package without LTI there is no way to get LTI on the game package ship and keep the package. While there have been LTI package sales in the past (Such as the recent 100i), usually game packages are sold without LTI. If you would like to start off the game with an LTI ship then you will need to have the game package and purchase another LTI token and upgrade to the ship you want. This will mean you end up with 2 ships, the one in the game package plus the LTI ship you plan to use. Remember, you will be able to sell the game package ship in game for UEC which you can then use to buy items or perhaps other vehicles like the Greycat PTV buggy.
How to convert a Cutlass Package into a LTI package
If you have the Cutlass Black Starter package with, for example, 6 months insurance and you would like to have a Cutlass Black LTI package you are able to do this currently using the Cross Chassis Upgrade (Ship Upgrade or CCU) system. For this you will need an LTI Token (cheap LTI ship, example the Drake Dragonfly).
Step 1. Make sure you can afford the cost of melting the package, using the LTI Token ship to upgrade to the Cutlass Black and have enough money left over to be able to purchase the Starter Package Aurora MR or Mustang Alpha (SC or both SC & S42 as you prefer**).
Step 2. Melt the Cutlass Black Package
Step 3. Purchase the cheapest Starter Package with the games you want (SC or SC & S42**).
Step 4. Using the LTI Token, use the Ship Upgrade system on the RSI website to upgrade the LTI Token to the Cutlass Black.
Step 5: Enjoy
*Please note that that with this method you will end up with 2 ships - the Cutlass Black and the Starter Package Ship. Additionally, during the Melting of the original Cutlass Black package you will lose any perks or extras you have accumulated with that package such as the original starting UEC, the Digital Game Soundtrack or other items that were specifically associated with the original Cutlass Black package and any rewards such as War Bonds or Hangar flair associated with the package.
**Squadron 42 stopped being offered as a standard combo pack. While combo packs are still sometimes available, generally you will need to purchase S42 as an add-on during the checkout process.
If you really want LTI to permanently insure your investment then the extra spend is probably justified. This is because the game package will be available to you for as long as the game is available to play and the LTI ship means you will always have a ship to pilot in Star Citizen.
How To Buy An LTI Super Hornet
For those who want to purchase an LTI Super Hornet even though the concept sale is long over, it is possible to convert a cheaper concept sale ship into an LTI Super Hornet through the Cross Chassis Upgrade system. The CCU can become available if the Super Hornet is for sale. Please note earlier in this article we stipulate there the intention seems to be that CCU's will be phased out as the game approaches commercial release.
Giftability and LTI
The giftability of any ship depends on how it was originally purchased. If RSI Credits are used to purchase the original ship or game package it is not giftable. Only ships and packages bought with cash are giftable.
If you purchased your original LTI ship with RSI Credits and would like to make it giftable you can follow these steps:
- Melt original LTI non-giftableship
- Purchase LTI Token with cash (cheap LTI ship during concept sale)
- Use RSI Credits from melted LTI ship to upgrade to the ship you want
LTI & Store Credit / Gift Cards
You cannot use Store Credits (or Gift Cards) to get LTI on a ship. LTI is specifically attributed for backing a concept ship which means directly helping to fund its development.
While CIG allow players to melt a ship they are not happy with and use the credit towards a different ship, they do not allow LTI attribution to players who have thus abandoned their original concept pledge. While the reasons for this are subject to much speculation it is likely that the reason for this is that many players choose to change ships depending on which ship is new or playable each patch. This skews the original concept backing figures and also creates administrative work. These costs are therefore mitigated by only allowing LTI for new funds. An unfortunate side effect of this is that since Gift Cards can be created through melting they are also affected by this and do not count towards new LTI concept sales.
Players should note that they will not be able to get LTI by using Store Credits and gift cards). If you use store credit to purchase a concept ship (Such as the Anvil Arrow) you will probably receive the 6 month insurance version.
- Insurance FAQ and Update (November 2012)
- The above Insurance FAQ was updated on Spectrum with almost no changes here (2018)
- Lifetime Insurance Clarification (2013)
- Spectrum Dev Reply - Insurance and Cheating
- Calling All Devs (2018)
- Insurance Calling All Devs - Clarification (2018)
- Ship Insurance FAQ (2020)
Other Insurance and Lifetime Insurance discussion