SERV insurances: No minimum sizes, no minimum premiums

Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV) insures export transactions without charging a minimum premium. This enables exporters to have even very small export transactions insured.

For export transactions with low order volumes, it is often particularly difficult to acquire financially viable coverage solutions from banks or private insurance companies. A concrete actual example: A Swiss SME manufactures instruments used in the automated quality control of foodstuffs. These customised devices sell successfully throughout the world due to competitive prices. A Spanish wine producer also decides to use this technology and orders a device worth around 80,000 francs. Two thirds of the total value is paid as a down payment by the Spanish customer. The remaining third – some 27,000 francs – is payable within the month once the product has been successfully delivered and brought into service.

Insuring such transactions is not a financially compelling proposition: The expense for processing and risk analysis is seldom less than for orders with higher insured values, for which far higher premiums can be charged. Private insurers therefore usually politely decline comparable insurance requests. Or they demand high premiums that are disproportionate to the order value and are therefore not viable for the SME.

The focus of Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), which is a federal institution, is different. It is tasked with enabling export transactions from Swiss companies to be insured and guaranteed, thereby keeping jobs within Switzerland.

This is why, at SERV, there are no minimum sizes, either for the exporting company or for the value of the export order. Exporters can have even the smallest transactions insured – without having to pay a minimum premium. In the example given above, SERV covers the remaining amount of around 27,000 francs with supplier credit insurance. The invoiced premium amounted to no more than 100 francs.

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