Trade credit insurance

Trade credit insurance

What is Trade credit insurance?

Trade credit insurance is a type of insurance that protects businesses against the risk of non-payment by customers for goods or services provided on credit terms. It provides financial protection and helps businesses manage credit-related risks in their operations.

Trade credit insurance, also known as credit insurance or accounts receivable insurance, is a risk management tool that protects businesses from losses incurred due to non-payment by customers. It provides coverage for trade credit transactions, where a seller extends credit terms to buyers for the purchase of goods or services. In the event of a customer's insolvency, default, or failure to pay within the agreed-upon terms, trade credit insurance compensates the insured business for the outstanding receivables, helping to mitigate financial losses and safeguard cash flow.

Key Components of Trade Credit Insurance:

1. Risk Assessment: Trade credit insurers assess the creditworthiness of a business's customers to determine the level of risk associated with extending credit terms to them. Factors such as payment history, financial stability, industry trends, and economic conditions are evaluated to gauge the likelihood of default.

2. Policy Coverage: Trade credit insurance policies typically cover a percentage (usually between 75% to 95%) of the insured receivables against non-payment due to insolvency, protracted default, or political risks such as currency devaluation, export/import restrictions, or political unrest in the buyer's country.

3. Policy Limits: Insurers set credit limits on individual buyers or groups of buyers based on their creditworthiness and the insurer's risk appetite. These limits represent the maximum amount of coverage available for each buyer or transaction.

4. Premiums and Deductibles: Insured businesses pay premiums to the insurer based on factors such as the volume of insured receivables, the credit risk of customers, and the level of coverage desired. Additionally, policies may include deductibles, which are the amounts the insured must absorb before coverage kicks in.

5. Claims Process: In the event of non-payment by a covered buyer, the insured business files a claim with the insurer, providing documentation to substantiate the loss. Once the claim is approved, the insurer reimburses the insured for the insured portion of the outstanding receivable.

Benefits of Trade Credit Insurance:

1. Protection Against Bad Debts: Trade credit insurance protects businesses against the financial consequences of customer non-payment, reducing the risk of bad debt write-offs and preserving cash flow.

2. Enhanced Credit Management: By leveraging trade credit insurance, businesses can make informed decisions about extending credit to customers, knowing they are covered in the event of default.

3. Access to Financing: Insured receivables may be viewed more favorably by lenders, allowing businesses to access financing secured by their insured accounts receivable.

4. Market Expansion: Trade credit insurance can facilitate entry into new markets or expansion of existing customer relationships by providing reassurance against the risks of non-payment, particularly in international trade.

5. Competitive Advantage: Offering credit terms backed by trade credit insurance can be a competitive differentiator, attracting customers who prefer to buy on credit while mitigating the associated risks.


Trade credit insurance serves as a valuable tool for businesses to protect against the financial risks of customer non-payment, enabling them to trade with confidence, expand sales, and safeguard their balance sheets against the uncertainties of the market.

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