Trade Credit insurance
Trade Credit insurance can inject confidence and power new opportunities, especially in businesses that trade internationally. We also offer a wraparound service to help you expand safely, at a pace that suits you.
Insurance pays if your client doesn’t. That is the essence of Trade Credit insurance.
What is Trade Credit insurance?
Trade Credit protects you against your clients’ financial insecurity. If they can’t pay the money they owe you, or if they pay later than the terms of the contract, Trade Credit insurance will payout instead. That means your business is safe, even if your debtors go bust.
What are the benefits of Trade Credit insurance?
Protect your company against catastrophic losses
One of the most frequent causes of company insolvency is the default of a major client. Trade Credit offers you a safety net, so your business’ future isn’t dependent one someone else’s finances. In addition, a default can be predicted, provided one has the right information sources. Our brokers can help you navigate the market more confidently and mitigate risk effectively.
Access expert, impartial advice
When deciding whether to take on a new client or business partner, it can be difficult to get a full picture of their commercial credibility. Trade Credit brokers are impartial experts, experienced in assessing the creditworthiness of a business and recognising potential risks in contracts. They can offer advice on the terms of your agreements or the security of your proposed partnerships, providing an expert eye and impartial perspective.
Collect debts more efficiently
Credit insurance companies are experienced in collecting debt in most markets and often have people on the ground who can negotiate on your behalf. They also have a thorough understanding of local laws, a list of recommended lawyers, and a working knowledge of the best ways to collect debts and reduce costs.
Access new markets
Trade Credit brokers and insurers often have offices in markets all around the world – and if they don’t, they almost certainly have clients who operate in them. At Howden, we have colleagues on the ground in 90+ territories, and we support clients doing business in many more. So when you are planning to access a new market, we can be your guide. Even if you don't know the market, the local laws, or your client, you can feel confident that we have the experience to minimise your risk.
Avoid the hassle of Letters of Credit
Letters of Credit (LoCs) are a popular way to enter an insecure market, but they have a number of drawbacks. They are expensive for your client and for you. They require a lot of tedious work to complete, and the likelihood of discrepancies in the paperwork makes them an unreliable security. By contrast, Trade Credit is simple, reliable, and effective.
Increase your own creditworthiness with the bank
Banks value your company’s creditworthiness by reviewing your assets, irrespective of your book value. Having your account receivables protected by a top-rated insurance company increases their value in the eyes of the bank.
Protect against larger risks
One unique advantage of Trade Credit insurance (as opposed to a bank loan or LoC) is that your broker can access the Reinsurance market to spread their risk. That means that they are more likely to take on a larger risk than a bank would. When a bank offers a LoC, they are taking on all the risk of your project failing, and so are likely to be much more cautious. By comparison, an insurance company can take on larger multinational risk exposures comfortably by sharing the risk with other companies. So, you can be bold in your business decisions, without being hamstrung by the bank.
Enhance your financing with an Assignment Clause
This is an add-on where the policyholder instructs the insurance company to pay any claim directly to the bank. It is beneficial when the policyholder has asked the bank for credit, offering its account receivables as security. The value of the account receivables is enhanced by the Credit insurance.
Improve your Credit Management systems
Trade Credit streamlines your Credit Management system by:
- Decreasing your Credit Management admin expenses
- Accessing market experts with specialist experience
- Increasing project continuity, and reducing your dependence on one key person
- Increasing the likelihood of claims being paid on time - or at all
The 3 steps of Trade Credit Insurance
When you have Trade Credit insurance:
1. Your insurer sets their limits
They assess the credit worthiness of all your clients and set a credit limit for each one. This is the maximum amount they are prepared to pay out, if that client defaults on their payments to you.
2. You continue your business as usual
Trade with your client as you normally would. You don’t need to report anything to your insurer, so long as your client pays according to the terms agreed.
Your insurer will continue to monitor your buyers’ credit worthiness, to foresee any potential future risks.
3. If your client doesn’t pay:
- When a debt exceeds the maximum agreed extension period, you notify your insurer.
- Your insurer will collect the debt - working with you, and a legal team if necessary.
- If the insurer isn’t successful in collecting 100% of the debt, you can file a claim.
Your insurer could pay up to 90% of the insured debt and debt collection expenses
Why choose tailored Trade Credit insurance?
Taking a tailored approach is more cost-effective compared to selection on a whole turnover basis, whereby the entirety of your sales is considered under the blanket of one monolithic policy with identical, often rigid, terms and conditions.
Every client, every deal is different. Sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.
There are endless variables in contributing to a successful business.
Engaging an experienced broker like Howden to negotiate on your behalf ensures that you get the right cover for your specific needs.
Expert knowledge to defend your interests
With so many variables, often you don't know what you don't know.
For example, supplier disputes can be an exclusion on many policies. However, the precise definition of what counts as dispute varies from insurer to insurer. This is the sort of expert knowledge a talented broker brings – representing your interests the whole time.
Bespoke service in Trade Credit Insurance means having an experienced broker going through your client book and helping you work out where the real risks are.
Client relationships are all different
Your clients will have different requests and terms.
Your Trade Credit Insurance should be set up to account for that. For example, you could have deductibles (excess) for some clients, but not others.
There’s more to it than just protracted defaults and insolvencies – having access to market insights before you complete deals can help you train your sales efforts on companies that have a good reputation for paying up.
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