SME (Turnover <£20 million)

For SMEs, an unpaid invoice can have a significant impact on working capital. Credit insurance will help take away that concern and protect your cash flow.  Our policies give you greater access to finance enabling you to grow. We can provide simple, easy to manage policies that best meet your business needs.

If you would like a quick and simple indication of cover on your Top 10 customers or a free UK credit report, please download our Credit Risk Questionnaire and email our marketing department.


Types of Policies

Whole Turnover
 This is the most popular and wide ranging type of policy. It covers your entire sales ledger against non-payment through default or Insolvency and is structured to suit your company’s specific needs and objectives.

Typically, these policies have a low excess to exclude smaller predictable losses, and 85-95% indemnity is offered on each qualifying loss. A policyholder receives a blended low premium rate, which encompasses a range of high and low risk customers without attracting the higher rate that a specific individual account may incur.

Large debtors are usually vetted via a rapid response online credit limit request system. However, it is not always necessary to consult us to set credit limits for smaller debtors as a discretionary facility can be established. This provides the dual benefit of allowing speedy decisions to be made at your own discretion while managing costs, to ensure your interests are completely protected.

Single Risk of Specific Account
Designed to cover a named buyer or customer, this type of Credit Insurance is usually applied to the largest account on the ledger. The business is then free to pursue other opportunities, confident in the knowledge that its greatest risk is protected.

The majority of Single Risk policies protect against Insolvency only. An indemnity, usually between 80-90%, is applied to the credit limit granted. The period of cover is flexible and can be arranged on an annual basis or for the time frame of a specific contract.

This type of policy is based on losses arising, which means you are only covered for Insolvency during the policy period. This means that pre-policy debt would be taken up at the start of the policy, and there is a total liability cut-off at policy termination.

Most medium and large businesses can absorb a reasonable level of bad debt, but for any company, a single major catastrophe or series of failures can be devastating. Catastrophe policies are designed to protect you if the worst happens and the total policy losses breach an aggregated excess value. This value is typically £25,000, but can be much higher depending on the nature of the business.

Catastrophe premiums are lower than for Whole Turnover Policy structures because there is greater risk sharing. Premiums are usually fixed for the year, and some underwriters offer ‘fixed limit’ cover for the policy duration.

Flexibility can be built in to allow companies with sophisticated credit management systems to set the majority of their own credit limits, or responsibility can be passed to the insurer.

It is important to seek expert advice when moving to this structure as the Catastrophe underwriter will not pro-rata previous year policy first losses if the debt is spread over two years. Furthermore most policies are structured on a losses arising basis (insolvency only in policy period), so the policy termination activates an immediate liability cut-off.

Trade Sectors

Extended credit lines are vital to maintaining a competitive edge in this sector. Depending on the size of your company, you may be required to have Credit Insurance as part of a tender, to reassure stakeholders or satisfy the bank. Either way it makes sense to protect your greatest asset – your sales ledger.

Advertising and media companies face risks when selling and often rely upon forward bookings for media space and general advertising from a number of different providers. Whilst credit checks are routinely completed on new clients, it is impossible to track their status for the duration of the agreement. We can cover management and service fees, work done and services rendered, work in progress and forward media bookings.

Managing cash flow and credit control in such dynamic environments over a period of time demands constant vigilance and current trading information. We monitor and maintain Insurance policies in partnership with our clients – supporting best practice, facilitating competition and ensuring peace of mind.

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

Despite the continued vulnerability of the construction industry, contractors’ knowledge of the insurance products available to them is low.

Even a market gearing towards recovery can pose a significant risk as the order book grows and short term cash flow comes under pressure. At this time it is more important than ever to understand the range of options that can allow you to attack your market – safe in the knowledge your cashflow is protected.

We work with numerous firms in the construction industry, including main contractors, suppliers and sub-contractors.  The trading terms and triggers which are unique to this sector require bespoke solutions informed by a dedicated expert resource.

At CBF we recognise that one contract withholding payment can very quickly jeopardise the whole business and it’s supply chain. We work closely with you to identify what level of policy you need, creating an early warning system that gives you more security and a strong competitive advantage.

The insured debt covered by our policies can include:

  • Work certified and not paid
  • Work done on site after the last valuation
  • Work done outside the policy period where cover is extended
  • Variations properly instructed
  • Dayworks properly authorised
  • Infixed materials and goods on site and/or off site
  • Design fees properly incurred
  • Retentions and/or final account balances certified in the policy period, or outside the period where cover is extended
  • Sums not due by the contractor due to the operation of a Pay When Paid clause
  • Sums falling due under an adjudicator’s binding decision
  • Related and properly claimable statutory interest

As industry experts, we can manage the technical aspects of your claim. We also offer specialist financial services such as funding, including the equivalent of invoice discounting and factoring, to strengthen your cashflow and support growth.

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

At CBF we work with independent factors, invoice discounters, banks and trade finance companies to create wrap-around policies protecting multiple single-transactions, the whole business, or a specific aspect such as an export book.

The benefits of working with a specialist credit insurance expert, rather than a high street lender, are numerous. We have access to credit insurers who are independent experts in risk, with the information and resources at hand to underwrite deals that fall short of the required level of certainty.

Furthermore, credit insurance allows you to vet your clients’ debtors through a combination of current market intelligence, modelling techniques, credit score data and private and confidential information. Insolvency is a common denominator in every industry, and it is not always apparent who presents the greatest threat.

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

Your most important customers represent your greatest asset and highest risk, particularly if you are trading in high volumes of goods or services. While this situation is inevitable in some sectors, we can help to reduce your exposure to bad debt with specialist policies tailored to your business.

Our clients range from clothing manufacturers to fresh food wholesalers and offshore engineers, so we understand the types of risk faced by many industries. We have the expertise and experience to create bespoke credit insurance policies, providing you with an invaluable safety net and advance warning of a credit risk.

For example, it can take weeks to discover that your customer has incurred a CCJ. By this time you may have committed more resources, extended more credit and be one of many creditors requiring payment. Our policies give you the real-time information necessary to make informed decisions and trade with confidence.

And while your business is protected by credit insurance, it will not be restricted. We understand that you may have to continue doing business with a customer whose credit worthiness has been downgraded. Our Binding Contract Cover policies are designed for this eventuality, and are just one example of the flexibility we offer.

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

The recruitment sector is one which has traditionally insured either to simply protect against a bad debt or often to support lending from a funder.  Just a few contractors to the same client, Recruitment Process Outsourcer (RPO) or Master Vendor can lead to a substantial balance being built up.

There are processes within the recruitment industry which would mean that a standard credit insurance policy or a banks bad debt protection scheme would not be fit for purpose.  Time sheet billing has to be taken account of, sometimes on a monthly basis, with work done prior to billing to be insured.

RPO’s often incorporate “Pay When Paid” contracts which traditionally have been uninsurable as there is no crystallisation of debt. This can cause funding to be restricted on Invoice Finance facilities. However, our influence with insurers enabled us to come up with a solution to this problem and a wording agreed to enable these debts to be covered under a policy.

A properly constructed credit insurance policy will give you on going certainty with your sales ledger balances and secure increased funding from an invoice discounter or factor leading to an increase in growth of your business

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

In such a cost-sensitive industry where external factors such as fuel prices and politics can change everything overnight, specialist credit insurance is essential.

Whether you supply direct to the customer, operate within a pallet network structure or contract hire, our policies can help protect you against the risk of bad debts incurred through insolvency. These policies can also help collect debts where the clients are delaying payment, causing unnecessary problems to your cashflow.

As sector specialists, we understand the whole horizon of the risk that transport companies face, including the financial constraints they operate under, the competition and potential hazards. For example, we can arrange tailored Asset Finance or maybe Duty Deferment Bonds to help manage cash flow if you are importing goods.

To find out how we can reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.

Any company that relies on a credit pipeline is exposed to the risk of insolvency. And while the travel sector is relatively stable, spectacular failures have left operators and suppliers high and dry.

We are one of the UK’s foremost specialists in travel and leisure credit insurance, and work with many of the world’s most successful tour operators, leisure companies and cruise suppliers. Clients choose us because of our experience and expertise in this highly technical field – we have the knowledge and resources to stay abreast of rapidly changing industry developments, protecting them against the unforeseen.

Most of our policies are bespoke, which is essential considering the diverse nature of businesses operating within this sector. For example, our clients include airlines, hoteliers, pub chains, restaurants, tour operators and cruise companies – all of which need a sound credit control policy to mediate risk, secure funding and maintain stakeholder confidence.

To find out how we could reduce the risk to your business, please contact our Account Management team.