Before Tyrannis, the insurance payout on a tech 1 ship was calculated based on the ship's NPC base value -- a value set in 2003 that has never been updated. This combined with changes to mineral distribution to produce a strange scenario in which ships could be self-destructed for profit. With a vast oversupply of minerals on the market, mineral prices were pushed firmly against the price floor created by the insurance system. It became profitable to build, insure, and then self-destruct certain battleships.
In May, the insurance prices dropped by around 30% to restore the cost of losing tech 1 ships in combat. This in turn has caused mineral prices to fall, seeking a new equilibrium price based on market laws. In the QEN, Dr. Eyjo provides interesting statistics on the number of ships self-destructed since October 2009 and what that did to the overall mineral prices. In a special segment on ISK sinks and faucets, the economist explains the fine balance between ISK flowing into the game and ISK flowing out. This is particularly important with the recent release of Planetary Interaction, which removed the ISK sinks from some NPC-sold trade goods and replaced them with player-based supply mechanisms