Information about Rights & Duties
Credit insurance insures an exporter against the risk of not being paid under an export contract or being unable to recover the costs of performing the contract due to certain events that prevent it from being performed or lead to its termination. Both private insurance companies and public export credit agencies can offer credit insurance.
Credit insurance provided by state bodies and agencies
In Germany, Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft has the task of providing state export credit insurance by order and for account of the Federal Republic of Germany. German export credit guarantees are referred to as Hermesdeckungen (Hermes cover).
If the foreign customer base is a private individual or a private-sector company, the federal government assumes the coverage in the form of an export guarantee referred to as an Ausfuhrgarantie . If, on the other hand, the ordering party is a national government or a body governed by public law, the federal government assumes the coverage in the form of an export guarantee referred to as an Ausfuhrbürgschaft . In principle, there is no minimum limit below which cover is not possible.
Coverage provided by the federal government
Hermes cover may be provided if the criteria for eligibility and justifiability of risk are met.
- In addition to the general interest of an export, eligibility may consist of safeguarding jobs, structural considerations or foreign policy objectives. Environmental, social and development aspects are increasingly taken into account in eligibility decisions.
- Justifiability of risk means that there must be a reasonable prospect that no incidents giving rise to a claim will occur during the export process. Whether and to what extent coverage can be assumed depends on the decision situation specific to the ordering country.
The Interministerial Export Guarantee Committee ( Interministerielle Ausschuss Exportgarantien, IMA ) makes the decision on whether to provide coverage. The IMA draws up a risk-appropriate coverage policy for each specific export country, which determines the scope and conditions of the relevant coverage possibilities.
Export credit guarantees can only be provided to German exporters or to credit institutions that finance the transactions of German export companies.
Hermes cover is only provided if there is no corresponding or adequate coverage offer in the public sector. Consequently, the federal governments business focuses on export credit guarantees for developing countries and emerging economies . Hermes cover helps in reaching markets that are difficult to access and in maintaining business relationships at difficult times.
Conditions and procedures for setting up new credit insurance
The federal government has delegated the processing of applications for state export guarantees to Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft. They are authorised to issue and take receipt of essential declarations by order and for account of the federal government. Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft is the lead company in this regard.
Applications for manufacturing cover and export cover are submitted by the exporting company, while applications for buyer credit cover are dealt with by the applicants bank.
The federal government has created the click&cover EXPORT Hermes cover product, through which an exporting company can efficiently and digitally conclude cross-border transactions of up to EUR 5 million using standardised supplier credit cover. An online application, which includes the opportunity to simulate a dummy application and obtain a price indication, can be submitted at
click&cover EXPORT Hermes cover is primarily suitable for standard transactions with the following characteristics, among others:
- order value: maximum EUR 5 million;
- payment terms: only selected regular repayment profiles;
- maximum repayment term: 5 years;
- permitted for states in country categories 1 to 5;
- maximum permitted foreign share: 49%;
- of which local costs: 11.5% of the total value of the order.
Costs and excess
The costs of covering your export transaction consists of fees and premiums.
- Fees are levied for the expenses incurred, and usually depend on the volume of the transaction to be covered, i.e. the value of the order or the amount of the loan . This includes, for example, a one-off application fee when you apply.
- As a rule, premiums are based on the risk and make up the majority of the costs. When calculating the premium, the risk period and the country and buyer risks are taken into account, as are your excess amount and any available collateral. This results in smaller risks costing less to insure than major risks.
You can find a calculation tool for the fee calculation in the
According to the principle of risk sharing , beneficiaries of Eulers Hermes cover must bear part of the risk themselves. The amount of risk shared depends on the type of cover. This risk must not be covered by any other source, and must be borne by the policyholder in the event of an incident giving rise to a claim.
This excess generally amounts to 5% for political risks and 15% for non-payment and insolvency risks .
The premium for insurance cover is calculated in parts per thousand of the turnover or the open items. In addition to the general economic situation, the following company-specific factors, among others, are taken into account when calculating the premium:
- industry in which the exporting company operates
- industry in which the exporting companys customer operates
- export share
- quality of the companys own debtor management
- past losses of receivables
Decisions on claims will be made within 2 months of receipt of all the necessary documentation. The insurance pay-out will be made within 1 month of the date of notification of the loss settlement. For buyer credit cover and whole turnover policy light (APG-light), the processing deadline is reduced to 1 month, while the pay-out deadline is 5 banking days.
APG-light is a low-cost and easy-to-use type of cover for insuring short-term receivables with a payment deadline of no more than 4 months for German exporting companies that repeatedly supply multiple customers in different countries. You can find further information about APG-light at
Alternatives to credit insurance
In addition to government Hermes cover, private export credit insurance companies operate in Germany. However, some of these companies offer only partial coverage for political risks.
The three largest private credit insurers operating in Germany are:
- Euler Hermes Deutschland, Hamburg
- Coface Kreditversicherungs AG, Mainz
- Atradius Kreditversicherung, Cologne
Foreign transaction cover provided by the Federal Republic of Germany, AGA website
- Basiswissen 2022 Außenhandelsfinanzierung (Basic information on foreign trade financing, 2022), available for
download(in German only) from the website of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action How much does Hermes Cover cost? Conditions to protect your foreign transactions with Export Credit Guarantees
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Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
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