It's a good idea to consider insurance against non-payment by overseas customers. Exporting can restrict your cashflow and a delayed or lost payment can have serious consequences. Getting the right insurance can help minimise the impact if problems occur.
You will need to factor the cost of insurance into your pricing. While this may make your price higher, if you are concerned about non-payment it could be a false economy to discontinue your insurance in order to make your pricing more competitive.
The form of insurance will depend on the type and value of business you are conducting overseas. Payment insurance is only one form that you should consider to protect your interests. Read more about insurance for international trade.
Commercially available insurance
This is available for all exporters who export goods or materials on cash or credit terms of up to two years. There is a variety of cover options available, from coverage for all export activities through to one-off transactions. It's a good idea to shop around as the sector is quite competitive.
To complement cover available from the private market, UK Export Finance - the UK's official export credit agency - offers a range of products and services. These include export insurance policies for contracts to a value of at least £20,000 typically involving the export of capital equipment and project-related goods and services. If your contract is not for semi-capital or capital goods and related services, you must first attempt to purchase insurance from a private export credit insurer before you apply to UK Export Finance.
To find out whether your business is eligible for export insurance, you can call the UK Export Finance Enquiry Line on Tel 020 7271 8010.