Insurance for Importers and Exporters: What to Consider when Expanding Internationally

You’ve worked hard to get your business to where it is today. You’ve labored countless nights and weekends learning the ins and outs of your industry as well as your customers’ industries. Eventually, you may reach a point where your sales slow or plateau. What is the next frontier for your company?

Often the next frontier is to explore potential opportunities outside of the US borders. As of today, the US Census Bureau estimates that the US accounts for approximately 4% of the earth’s population (322MM / 7,278MM). Why limit your business to only domestic customers?

Many businesses choose to remain domestic due to the uncertainty of international trade:

  • What happens after my product leaves the warehouse?
  • What trade barriers may effect my transactions?
  • Can I offer credit terms to my international customers and, if so, what do I do if they don’t pay?
  • How do I ensure that I am not taking excessive financial risk by engaging in this expansion?

While no one can guarantee these transactions will be shipped, delivered, and completed to your satisfaction, you can reduce the financial exposure that you take on. Importers and Exporters have a unique set of risks that affect their business and, as a result, there are a number of insurance products developed for your needs. Specifically, Ocean Cargo Insurance and Trade Credit Insurance have been designed to help you build your business with increased certainty.

Ocean Cargo

Ocean Cargo Insurance covers goods in the ordinary course of transit, anywhere in the world, from warehouse to warehouse. The policy is written to indemnify the exporter or importer in the event of loss or damage to the goods due to a covered peril. Coverage can be provided for products in any number of industries including consumer goods, chemicals, food products, machinery, metals, pharmaceuticals, and other perishables.

Trade Credit

Trade Credit Insurance provides sellers with protection for unpaid credit balances from sales made to your customers. This policy is not only applicable to international transactions but domestic as well. Insuring receivables can also lend to better borrowing terms from lenders. It is easy to worry about customer insolvency or delayed payments when engaging in everyday business transactions, this product has been developed to minimize the risk to your company.

Foreign Package

Foreign Liability Packages are available if you or your employee travel abroad.  The policy was designed to close gaps in coverage that may be in place due to your domestic policies inability to provide coverage outside of the designated coverage territory – often United States, it Territories, and, sometimes, Canada.  This coverage package often affords the option to purchase Foreign General Liability, Business Auto, Voluntary Workers Compensation/Employers Liability, Property, Crime, Travel Accident, and Kidnap & Ransom.

We understand that no insurance product is going to completely eliminate the risk your organization takes when engaging in trade, however, we can do our best to reduce the impact an adverse event will have.

Biscayne Risk & Insurance Group is here to help you navigate your way through the complex insurance solutions applicable to international trade. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you have.

Matthew Pitnick
mjp@biscaynerisk.com
561.571.1001