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Our Tips For Filing Political Risk Insurance Claims

Political risk insurance is a tool that’s extremely useful for any company doing business in an emerging market, where there is a risk of political violence, or other types of upheaval that could result in a loss of property, investment, or assets.

Many different financial institutions and insurance companies offer political risk protection. And, whether you already have a policy or you’re thinking about investing in this product, you may be wondering what it’s like to file a claim. In this quick post, we’ll discuss three of the top tips we have for filling your claim, so you’ll know what to expect.

Know Your Policy (Before You Have To Use It)

The exact coverage that you receive will depend on the policy you have purchased, and the phrasing and language in which it’s written. We highly advise that you have a competent professional look over any policy that you purchase. What coverage will political risk insurance include? Here are a few of the most commonly-covered events:

  • Political violence, such as rioting, insurrection, civil war, terrorism, war, etc.
  • Governmental expropriation and confiscation of private assets
  • Government frustration, rejection, breach, or repudiation of a contract
  • Wrongful calling of letters of credit
  • Business interruption
  • Currency issues, including inconvertibility or inability to repatriate funds to your country

You should have a good understanding of what your policy covers, to ensure you file a claim at the right time.

For example, your policy might cover you if an attack on an oil rig by a militant group results in its loss – but not if political unrest causes a drop in the oil commodity price. It all depends on your policy.

Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company As Soon As You Can

Keep a close eye on the political situations in the countries in which you’re doing business, and contact your insurer as soon as you notice any issues that may result in the need to file a claim. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can be compensated.

Be Prepared For A Lengthy Review And Approval Process

Sometimes, your situation will be very clear-cut. If a government seizes your assets and facilities, for example, and this is confirmed, you likely will be compensated quite quickly. But, given the murky nature of political unrest and violence, things are not always so clear. The process of reviewing and approving an insurance claim can take some time. Be patient, work with your insurer, and provide them with everything they need to help speed up the process.

Let Niche Trade Credit Help You Find The Right Policy And Insurer!

As experienced insurance brokers in Sydney, Niche Trade Credit can help Australian businesses get the political risk insurance coverage that they need to protect themselves from political violence, seizure of assets, and other such risks.

If you’re interested and would like to learn more, please contact us right away. We can answer any questions you might have, and help you understand more about this unique type of risk protection insurance.

*DISCLAIMER: No person should rely on the contents of this publication without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. This publications sold on the terms and understanding that (1) the authors, consultants and editors are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this publication, nor for any error in or omission from this publication; and (2) the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, professional or other advice or services. The publisher, and the authors, consultants and editors, expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person, whether a purchaser or reader of this publication or not, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication. Without limiting the generality of the above, no author, consultant or editor shall have any responsibility for any act or omission of any other author, consultant or editor.

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What Experts Think

What Does Export Insurance Cover?

Business owners who work in the import and export trade, or regularly export shipments to international customers may not be fully covered by their current business insurance, should something go wrong with the shipment, and the sale or export of the goods cannot be completed, or the customer fails to pay.

Will traditional business insurance cover this loss? In most cases, no. While you may be protected from loss or damage of your goods, you’ll need a special type of insurance coverage to protect your accounts receivable from non-payment – export insurance, also often known as trade credit insurance.

Wondering what export insurance covers, and if you need it for your company?

Export Insurance Is Not The Same As Marine Insurance Or Cargo Insurance

If you are running an import and export business, and you have cargo insurance or marine insurance, you may be wondering if you really need trade credit insurance – aren’t you covered for most situations that could happen on the ship that’s carrying your goods?

Yes, marine insurance covers the loss and damage of ships and cargo – and more specifically, cargo insurance provides full coverage for any commodity or damage that occurs the items during shipment.

But protecting your goods while they’re in transit to their destination is only part of the puzzle. What happens if your goods are delivered to the destination safely and you’re notified that they’ve been delivered – and your customer doesn’t pay? 30 days go by. 60. 90. 120 – and no notice of payment.

Then, it turns out that political instability or corporate insolvency has affected your customer’s ability to pay. Essentially, you’ve lost the sale – and if you’re lucky, you might get your shipment back, but this is not guaranteed. What recourse do you have to get paid?

If you don’t have export insurance, you don’t really have any options. You have to take the loss. But if you do have this insurance, you can file a claim – and be compensated for the loss, by your insurance provider.

Export Insurance Protects Your Accounts Receivable From Default

You can think of this insurance as a way to insure you from risk when offering trade credit to your buyers. Trade credit is a great way for businesses to sell their products more flexibly – but when you extend a line of credit to any company, you’re taking a risk, particularly if it’s a large line of credit, a newer company, or even an established company in a politically-unstable region.

If you want to protect your accounts receivable, and make sure that your business is not heavily affected by a particular customer defaulting on their debt, you can carry an export insurance policy. Then, if you cannot get payment from a customer – due to financial insolvency, protracted default, or the bankruptcy of their company – your export insurance will cover your loss.

Political risk insurance is another important part of international trade insurance. Often bundled with the export policy, it protects your company if political turmoil, such as social unrest, currency problems, or expropriation result in the loss of a sale.

How much does export credit insurance cost? Insurance cost depends on a variety of factors. Although you can insure a single transaction, you will typically insure a large portfolio of buyers, and the insurance company will pay a set percentage of any invoice or receivable that is unpaid. Your premium rate will reflect the average credit risk of your buyers – and the amount of coverage you request.

In general, it’s a good idea to have this type of  insurance – exporters, in particular, should make sure they’re covered, if they often extend long credit terms to customers, or work with more recently-established companies that could carry the risk of defaulting.

Get Your Policy Today!

At Niche Trade Credit, our company is an ideal choice for export insurance and trade credit insurance. With great service and reliable rates, we’ve helped insure hundreds of Australian companies. If you have more questions or would like to enquire about our rates and services, please feel free to contact us right away.

*DISCLAIMER: No person should rely on the contents of this publication without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. This publications sold on the terms and understanding that (1) the authors, consultants and editors are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this publication, nor for any error in or omission from this publication; and (2) the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, professional or other advice or services. The publisher, and the authors, consultants and editors, expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person, whether a purchaser or reader of this publication or not, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication. Without limiting the generality of the above, no author, consultant or editor shall have any responsibility for any act or omission of any other author, consultant or editor.

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What Experts Think

How to Protect Your Business from Bad Debts

As a business owner, you know how crucial it is to protect your business from bad debts and ensure positive cash flow. Cash flow issues and the debt that they cause is the number one reason that Australian companies fail. How can you protect your small business from bad debts and unpaid invoices? Here at Niche Trade Credit, we’ve been helping business owners in the Sydney area protect their companies from insolvency and debt collection with insurance solutions. In today’s article, we’ll explore the different ways you can protect your business from an unpaid debt.

  1. Credit Applications

You don’t want to have to deal with chasing after customers over unpaid invoices. The first step to reducing your risk of bad debts and experiencing future cash flow issues is to have every new customer fill out a credit application form. A credit application form should include the following information:

  • Their full business details.
  • Trading name and ABN.
  • How long they have been in business.
  • If they have any credit guarantors.

Consider asking for and contacting bank references, and any details of the new customer’s suppliers. You could also require the customer to sign a director guarantee. Be sure to check if the customer’s business is registered with the Australian Business Register.

  1. Conduct a Thorough Credit Check

If you need to extend credit to a new customer, it’s critical that you conduct a thorough credit check. Many reputable agencies conduct credit assessments. The cost of a credit check will depend on how much information you are looking to gather. You can also find a lot of information about a potential customer and their trustworthiness via online, third-party review sites.

  1. Impose Clear Credit Terms

Most businesses use a standard 30-day term for credit, but you’re free to impose any conditions you like for your business. Make sure that the conditions you impose are clear, in writing, and that all parties involved understand their obligations.

When setting the terms, make sure to include:

  • The credit limit
  • Late-payment interest

Companies usually review the terms as the relationship with the customer evolves. It’s reasonable to give flexibility to older, valued customers as opposed to new customers.

  1. Invoicing

When you invoice customers, make sure that your instructions are clear, and that no room within the invoicing instructions would give customers an opportunity to delay payment. For example, entering the wrong amount for payment, or failing to include important bank details can lead to a delay. An airtight invoice can help you avoid this risk, and always make sure to invoice promptly and send any follow-up reminders if needed.

  1. Debt Collection

Partial payments or even late payments are better than no payment or the added expense and stress of legal action. If a customer is failing to honor an invoice within the terms they’ve agreed to honor, the first step you’ll want to take is to send them a letter of demand. In the letter, offer a payment plan via installments as an option. Getting the customer to agree to an installment plan and honor their commitment is far less stressful than taking legal action.

However, sometimes it’s not possible to get a customer to agree to installments. If this happens, you can hire a debt collection agency or take further legal action. Before you commit to either option, you’ll want to weight the costs of these services vs. the chances of recovering the debt from the customer.

For added peace of mind, you can always purchase a tailored trade credit insurance policy for your business. This insurance will cover part or all of your accounts receivable depending on your needs. In the event of non-payment, your cash flow is protected with this policy. At Niche TC, we’ve been helping business owners protect their cash flow from insolvency through insurance solutions. Please contact us today to speak to one of our brokers about trade credit insurance services.

*DISCLAIMER: No person should rely on the contents of this publication without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. This publications sold on the terms and understanding that (1) the authors, consultants and editors are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this publication, nor for any error in or omission from this publication; and (2) the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, professional or other advice or services. The publisher, and the authors, consultants and editors, expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person, whether a purchaser or reader of this publication or not, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication. Without limiting the generality of the above, no author, consultant or editor shall have any responsibility for any act or omission of any other author, consultant or editor.