Trade credit and political risk


Trade credit is vital to business. Markel’s trade credit and political risk insurance solutions ensure that buyers and sellers can do business with confidence. Our trade credit insurance protects against counterparty payment default risks, and may extend to cover the default of payment obligations arising out of contractual non-performance.

Buyers, sellers, and their bankers have long relied on credit to facilitate trade, but never more so than in today’s global marketplace where supply and demand are founded on increasingly complex credit arrangements. Where credit is involved there are also counterparty risks. What happens if a counter party defaults on its payment obligation due to insolvency or for other reasons? Non-payment can have a devastating effect on balance sheets, which is why trade credit insurance is essential for business security and confidence.

Product information

  • Balance sheet and cash flow protection
  • Improved terms for bank financing facilities
  • An effective alternative to letters of credit or other types of collateral
  • Reduced need for bad debt reserves
  • Increase sales to new and existing buyers/countries
  • Risk transfer to satisfy capital adequacy
  • Security of non-cancellable credit and country limits
  • Insolvency
  • Payment default
  • Public buyer default
  • Currency inconvertibility
  • Government action
  • Import/export license cancellation, embargo
  • War
  • Failure to honor an arbitration award
  • Trade credit: $150m/7 years
  • Political risk: $30m/10 years
  • Contract frustration: $50m/10 years
  • Structured trade: $50m/7 years
  • Financial guarantee: $20m
  • Aviation finance: up to 12 years
  • Excess of loss: for clients with strong credit management procedures seeking to cover their entire trade credit portfolio; non-cancelable credit limits, discretionary credit limit authority (DCL) and annual first loss deductible

  • Named/key account: for clients that seek to cover their most important buyers; non-cancelable credit limits, with or without a deductible

  • Single buyer: coverage for one single (key) buyer; non-cancelable limit, no deductible
  • Commercial perils
  • Export comprehensive
  • Supply chain financing: receivables and payables discounting
  • Trade finance policies
  • Trade receivable securitization programs
  • Pre-credit/work in progress
  • Syndicated co-insurance solutions
  • Experienced underwriting team
  • Direct access to decision makers
  • Certainty and stability of policy structures
  • Customized, innovative, prompt, and responsive underwriting
  • Integrated “risk” and “commercial” function
  • Catastrophe balance sheet protection
  • Co-insurance expertise


Markel’s credit insurance team can tailor policies for specific credit risks, markets, and contingencies. The emphasis is on specialized and flexible solutions with a strong focus on risk management and good corporate governance. Indemnity levels of up to 100% are possible when combined with other forms of risk share.


Phil Amlot

Jennifer Chang

Christen Mizell

Howard Lee

Arjan van de Wall

Trade credit and political risk offices

  • New York, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Summit, NJ
  • Richmond, VA

View all Markel office locations