Political & Trade Credit Insurers Protect Against Asset, Profit Losses for Businesses in Ukraine

By Michel Leonard, PhD, CBE, vice president, senior economist and data scientist, head of Triple-I’s Economics and Analytics Department

Ukraine is one of the largest insured risks countries for political risk insurance (PRI) and Trade Credit Insurance (TCI). This predates the current situation in Ukraine and started immediately after the country’s accession to sovereignty.  

In Ukraine, PRI and TCI tend to be primarily purchased by foreign companies with cross-border trade or investments in the extraction and manufacturing sectors. New PRI losses in Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion will likely be material but well within the ability of private carriers to perform on their obligations. Indeed, several factors, including carriers’ reserves against future losses in Ukraine and the large role of government and multi-lateral agencies in providing PRI and TCI coverage, have contributed to significantly reducing private carriers’ outstanding exposures to Ukraine and Russian risks. . 

Losses due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would fall under comprehensive Political Violence and, more specifically, under War and Civil War and Strikes, Riots, and Civil Commotion. PRI coverage protects primarily against loss of assets or profits while TCI’s credit default coverage protects primarily against loss of profits due to force majeure. Depending on terms of coverage, PRI and TCI cover against loss of profits due to sanctions.

The majority of private carriers providing PRI insurance are based in the United States, at Lloyd’s, and in Bermuda. 

The main risk associated with Russia’s attack of Ukraine for business in the U.S. and is Russian cyber attacks regardless of whether or not they have operations, investments, or do business in Ukraine. A PRI policy is not necessary to cover Russian cyber attacks against U.S. businesses in the United States.

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