Swiss Export Risk Insurance
To mitigate the risks of international trade, Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV) offers various services.
As a public establishment attached to the Confederation, SERV operates in addition to private insurers. The size of the company wishing to take out SERV insurance is not relevant, but its registered office must be based in Switzerland and the exports must comprise a proportion of Swiss value added representing at least 50% of the value of the export transaction. In exceptional cases, SERV may also, upon a reasoned request, enter into an insurance contract when this minimum share is not reached.
Risks covered by SERV
SERV covers five types of risk:
- Political risk. War, demonstrations, etc.
- Risk of transfer. Impossibility for the buyer to proceed with payment on account of measures taken by the foreign exchange market authorities.
- Del credere risk (or commercial risk). Insolvency risk or a buyer’s refusal to pay.
- Potential monetary risk. Losses on foreign currencies occurring after emergence of an insured loss. It is not possible to obtain cover for fluctuations in foreign exchange rates as a primary risk.
- Force majeure. Impossibility of carrying out a delivery or requiring execution thereof. This risk can be insured by SERV only if it could not be insured on the private market under acceptable conditions.
The maximum cover rate applicable is 95%.
Types of premium
The companies taking out SERV must pay two types of premium:
- The insurance premium. Payment collected as consideration for insured risk.
- The administrative premium. Payment aimed at covering the costs of SERV in the case of insurance requiring in-depth assessments.
It should be noted that SERV provides a premium calculator on its website (SERV Swiss Export Risk Insurance).
SERV products for exporters
In connection with the aforementioned risks, SERV offers specific insurance for exporters:
- Supplier credit insurance. Covers non-payment of an export operation.
- Manufacturing risk insurance. Covers manufacturing costs (cost price).
- Contractual guarantee insurance. Covers the company’s contractual guarantees to the buyer, for example the bank guarantee.
- Bonds guarantee. Covers any contractual guarantees required by the buyer (guarantee of submission, refund of down-payment or for defects). The Bonds guarantee complements the contractual guarantee insurance.
- Confiscation risk insurance. Covers the storage, display and testing of goods overseas, along with goods exported for assembly work.
Other SERV products
Banks, finance institutions and associations also benefit from specific insurance products. More detailed information on this subject can be obtained on the SERV website.