ICYMI: Staff Riot Narrowly Averted in an EVE Onion Birthday Surprise

In case you missed it over at EVE Onion



EVE Insurance and Insurance Fraud

Since the Tyrannis update in 2010, ship insurance is periodically updated based upon the mineral value of the hull. The exact formula is not public, but we do know that the manufacturing cost of the hull is the primary variable. The market value of the hull is not considered, nor are modules on the ship.

So, when to buy insurance?

  1. If you are certainly going to lose the ship within the insurance period, buy the insurance. It will always reduce the cost of your loss.
  2. For Tech 1 ships, which typically have a significant mineral volume required for construction, it’s worth insuring your ship, and to purchase Platinum insurance unless you think you will survive more than two insurance cycles (nearly 6 months!) without losing the ship, in which case a level lower than Platinum is worth consideration. See guideline #1 above.
  3. For faction ships, like the Astero, the bulk of the value is in the blueprint (from the Sisters of EVE Loyalty Points, or dropped in drone sites), and the manufacture itself requires very little mineral input. As a result, the insurance value is… underwhelming. In some cases (looking at you, Gnosis…) it’s laughable. It is almost never worth the time to insure a pirate faction ship if there’s even a small chance it won’t die. See guideline #1 above.
  4. Tech 2 ships are rarely worth insuring, but… See guideline #1 above.

The association of Universe-wide materials cost to insurance payouts opens the door to several types of insurance fraud.

Hauling minerals can be a bit of a hassle. They’re a bit bulky, and the ISK/m3 isn’t excellent. Unless you’ve got a great corporation mineral purchase plan, converting minerals into ISK for PvP ships or components unavailable in your neighborhood can be a bit of a hassle. As a result, mineral values in some areas of space are significantly lower than near trade hubs, but hauling the minerals is time-consuming and costly, even discounting the potential loss to pirates.

One way to convert minerals to ISK is to build a ship, insure it, then get it blown up. The “fun” way to do this is to equip it with inexpensive modules, then find a fight. The “easy” way to do this is undock your unfit ship on one account, and blow it up with another. In either case, you’re not getting the full value out of your minerals, but it may be that the convenience of nearly instant ISK is more important than optimizing your return on investment.

Another option, that doesn’t require acquiring minerals well under market value, and has the potential to turn a true profit, rather than convert minerals to ISK at a net loss in value, is to combine kill rights with ship insurance fraud. Feyd discussed on his blog how Sergeji Harloff makes a living off kill rights and insurance. In short: get a kill right via an alt, buy or build a ship, insure the ship, fit it up with eeeeevil Warp Core Stabilizers, make the kill right available for a tidy sum, then run away like a cockroach when someone buys the kill right. If they kill you, you make money off the insurance. If they don’t, you make money off the kill right. Either way… you make money. At the cost of your soul.