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EVE Online ship insurance changes to come with Tyrannis


EVE Online's insurance system has been a hot topic of debate over the years. Under the current system, ships have a fixed base value calculated according to the minerals used in their production. Platinum insurance costs 30% of this base value for three months worth of coverage and if the ship is destroyed in that time, 100% of the base value in ISK is deposited into your wallet. It's a safety net designed to lower the cost of losing ships and promote PvP. The main drawback of the system is that the values it uses for minerals are fixed and haven't changed since EVE came out in 2003. The prices of the various minerals that go into a ship have changed drastically over the years but insurance costs and payouts have remained constant.

Skip past the cut for a breakdown of the problems with the current insurance system and details of CCP's new plans.

An unintended consequence of the current insurance system is that it acts as a price floor for the mineral market. If the combined cost of the minerals required to build any ship fall to below 70% of its insurance payout, it becomes profitable to build the ship, insure it and self-destruct. With the huge supply of minerals currently on the market, most Tech 1 ships are pushed close to this artificial 70% price floor. To the average player, this means the cost of losing a Tech 1 ship is barely more than the cost of the modules and rigs fitted to the ship. At the same time, Tech 2 and 3 ships provide barely any insurance payout at all as the NPC base value of the materials used in their construction is much lower than the current market price.

This artificial price limitation on the mineral market has been debated on the forums countless times, with dozens of different ideas on how to combat it. Some players suggest that insurance should use a mineral price index based on actual market prices. This comes with the drawback that someone with enough ISK may be able to manipulate insurance prices for profit. In a new Devblog, CCP announced their plans to revamp not just the insurance system but also the supply of minerals in EVE. After several years of their economist Dr Eyjo monitoring the in-game markets, CCP have decided to link the insurance payouts for ships to a modified market average. Prices will update periodically based on a weighted average of mineral prices across EVE, modified to prevent price-manipulation.

Dynamic insurance:
The new insurance system will provide values closer to the actual build cost for ships, with the exciting prospect that Tech 2 and 3 ships will benefit from the same coverage as Tech 1. Tech 2 and 3 ship losses should be affordable enough under the new system to regularly use them in PvP while Tech 1 ships will no longer be almost free to lose. Another interesting point raised in the devblog is that under the new insurance system, CCP has the ability to decide what percentage of each ship's value should be reimbursed on death.

CCP Chronotis explains that ships in more dangerous roles may get higher coverage from the insurance system while those in more survivable ship classes may receive less. This is good news for logistics pilots, electronic warfare specialists and tacklers. Insurance may also be lowered or revoked for ships involved in a suicide gank and there's talk of reducing coverage for strategic warships like titans and super-carriers to make them higher-profile targets. The possibility even exists to remove manual insuring of ships and simply cover all ships by default or even to give corporations bonuses to insurance coverage. Interesting changes are coming to insurance with Tyrannis. If you have an opinion on this or a good idea for tweaking the insurance system, let it be heard in the official devblog comments thread.

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