Whoever supplies goods or services is assuming a risk – the risk that the issued invoice will be paid late or not at all. Oftentimes, a payment claim that is paid late or not at all will place the supplier under so much pressure that the resulting liquidity shortfalls will put one’s own company at risk–because money is lacking for investment and business activities or because once again one’s own liabilities cannot be settled.
It is the task of each entrepreneur to reduce this risk or, even better, to avoid it entirely. This has been made possible for somewhat more than 100 years with the assistance of credit insurers and their policies. In this regard, the focus is on commercial trade credit insurance which safeguards classical supplier credits.
A Credit Insurance Policy fulfils three central tasks:
Which industries are under pressure? In what countries are economic or political turbulences looming?
The insurer observes the markets, industries and regions of the world, evaluates them and informs its customers reliably. It maintains an overview of the economic situation and risks.
How solid is your business partner? Which of your customers will (suddenly) pay more poorly? Where does even bankruptcy loom?
The insurer evaluates his own and third-party data in order to continuously have an indication of the creditworthiness of his customers. For each of his customers, he awards a limit which is carefully checked and, as required, withdrawn in order to prevent damages.
What damages have been incurred? How high were the previous costs for collecting the outstanding amount?
If damages should nonetheless occur, the insurer will support you and thus actively protect your liquidity. Follow-up bankruptcies are avoided.
200 billion euro coverage amount was applicable solely to export transactions (2017, source: GDV).
Through their policies, the credit insurers initially ensure that creditors are notified promptly of looming risks. They inform their insurees of the risky markets and regions of the world. They precisely analyse the consumers of the goods and services, examine balance sheets and payment practices – and warn in a targeted manner if the payment practice should leave something to be desired. And if damages should nonetheless occur, they help to collect the outstanding amounts and ultimately intervene themselves by paying the bad debt as well as, as a rule, also paying the debt collection and/or attorney’s costs.
Bad debt risks in the amount of 394 billion euro were covered alone by the insurers active in the German market in 2017 with commercial trade credit insurance according to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry. Behind these enormous amounts are business dealings from medium-sized businesses to medium-sized businesses, from producers to wholesales, from exporters to large and small companies abroad – examined and supported through commercial trade credit insurance.
In this regard, in their portfolios, the individual providers supply various specialities and products, by means of which the entirely classical delivery of goods, but also the manufacturing risk or the contestation of bankruptcy proceedings, can be insured and/or the business in an emerging country with special challenges. Or the market price difference risk, e.g. among energy suppliers.
Quite regardless of where your need is: A credit insurance broker will provide you with an impartial overview.