Guidance

Export insurance policy

Find out about the Export Insurance Policy - how it works, its benefits, and its main features.

Overview

The Export Insurance Policy insures an exporter against the risk of not being paid under an export contract or of not being able to recover the costs of performing that contract because of certain events which prevent its performance or lead to its termination.

How it works

In carrying out the contract the exporter may incur costs before delivering goods and providing services to the buyer. For example, it may need to buy raw materials, manufacture parts or hire staff. The policy provides cover against the exporter not being able to recoup those costs because of the occurrence of an insured risk which leads to the contract’s termination or prevents its performance.

As goods are delivered, the exporter may become entitled to payments under the terms of the contract. The policy provides cover to the exporter against non-payment of those amounts where the exporter has fulfilled its contractual obligations.

Eligibility

The following criteria must be met:

  • the exporter must be carrying on business in the UK
  • the buyer must carry on business overseas
  • if the duration of the contract is less than 2 years, UKEF is unable to offer cover if the buyer is in a country belonging to the European Union, or in certain other high income countries (Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America) - this restriction does not currently apply to Greece
  • the exporter must demonstrate an inability to obtain credit insurance from the commercial market

How to apply

The steps to apply for an Export Insurance Policy are:

  1. Read this guide to check this is the policy you need.

  2. Read the specimen Export Insurance Policy (PDF, 292KB, 14 pages) , to assess the product’s suitability for your contract.

  3. Read the guide for applicants on business processes and factors, to find out how we make decisions on applications.

  4. Check our country cover policy and indicators to find out what cover is available for the country you want to do business in.

  5. Contact customer services on +44 (0)20 7271 8010 to obtain an indication of how much premium you will need to pay.

  6. Fill in the Export Insurance Policy application form (PDF, 366KB, 1 page)

  7. Fill in the sustainable lending questionnaire if necessary (the country cover indicators tool will tell you if you need to fill it in).

  8. Send your application form and supporting documentation to the Business Group. The address is on the form.

Contact our customer service team to get help with your Export Insurance Policy. Call +44 (0)20 7271 8010 or email customer.service@ukef.gsi.gov.uk.

Alternatively, contact a broker.

Brokers

UK Export Finance has approved the following brokers in connection with UK Export Finance’s Export Insurance Policy.

List of approved brokers (PDF, 45.1KB, 2 pages)

The benefits of an Export Insurance Policy

The benefits are:

  • up to 95% cover is provided to the exporter
  • the exporter is covered against loss suffered due to specified risks

Risks covered

Full details of the risks covered are set out in the policy but events which might cause a contract to be frustrated or the buyer to not meet its obligations include:

  • insolvency of the buyer
  • the buyer’s failure to pay any amount due under an export contract
  • political, economic or administrative events outside the UK that prevent payments from the buyer under the export contract being converted into sterling or transferred to the UK
  • hostilities or civil disturbances outside the UK that affect performance of the an export contract

Cost

The premium payable for our cover is determined on a case by case basis.

PDF version of this guide

Disclaimer

The information available in this brochure is not intended to be a comprehensive description of our Export Insurance Policy and many details which are relevant to particular circumstances may have been omitted. Exporters should read the policy to satisfy themselves that it meets their needs.

When considering applications, underwriters will look at each case on its merits.

This brochure was last updated in March 2013.

Contact us

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.