Political Risk Insurance

Political Risk Insurance Overview

Political Risk Insurance provides a solution to several obstacles to investing in emerging markets. Investing in emerging markets around the world offers the promise of far reaching opportunities and high rates of return. Both are appealing prospects. Growth of international trade has been expanding unabated for decades and is now approaching $20 trillion per year. It certainly seems that that’s where we’re headed, the political class worldwide is fully on-board and western democracies including the United States are marching inexorably towards globalism.

But, while investments in developing markets are certainly being socially and politically encouraged, they remain unpredictable and fraught with peril, certainly beyond what can be controlled by importers, exporters, investors or lenders. Those kinds of emerging market risks and rewards give even the most sophisticated investors pause. Deals and opportunities with tremendous upside potential offer powerful appeal, but there is also the very real fear that government officials very much like Claude Rains will visit your new project or facility and be shocked, shocked that some activity or another is going on there.

There is a way to reconcile these diverging interests and Global Trade Funding can help. We can significantly limit the political risk associated with emerging market investments and all but eliminate emerging market angst with Political Risk Insurance.

Political Risk Insurance

Investing in emerging markets can be unpredictable, even for the most sophisticated investors. While developing markets are often enticing, promising tremendous opportunities and high rates of return, they also present a variety of pitfalls that are beyond the control of importers, exporters, investors or lenders.

  • War, civil strife, coups and other acts of politically-motivated violence including terrorism
  • Expropriation, including abrogation, repudiation and/or impairment of contract and other improper host government interference
  • Restrictions on the conversion and transfer of local-currency earnings

Political Risk Insurance combined with our world class project funding services allow US businesses to take advantage of commercially attractive opportunities in emerging markets, while also mitigating political risk and becoming more competitive in the global marketplace. Political Risk Insurance offers innovative, comprehensive, and cost-effective risk-mitigation products to cover losses to tangible assets, investment value, and earnings that result from political perils. We can place Political Risk Insurance for US investors, lenders, contractors, exporters, and NGOs for investments in more than 150 developing countries, including high-risk countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Coverage is offered for small and large investments that provide positive developmental benefits.

Currency Inconvertibility Coverage

Currency exchange restrictions can have a disastrous impact on the commercial viability of your project, preventing you from converting and transferring profits from your project and return of capital, and ability to meet debt obligations. Political Risk Insurance can provide coverage against government actions that effect currency exchange such as:

  • More restrictive foreign exchange regulations
  • Failure to approve of or act on an application for hard currency
  • An unlawful effort to block funds for repatriation
  • Actions resulting in an inability to convert and transfer local earnings

Political Risk Insurance with currency inconvertibility coverage can insure conversion and transfer of earnings, return of capital, principal and interest costs, technical assistance fees, and similar remittances. However, please note that coverage is not available for protection against currency devaluation.

Expropriation and Unlawful Government Interference

Political Risk Insurance can protect foreign investments against acts of expropriation and other unlawful interference by a sovereign government that dispossesses you of your fundamental rights in a project. Expropriation coverage protects against nationalization, confiscation and creeping expropriations which result in a loss of the total investment. Types of government interference that can devastate a project include:

  • Abrogation, repudiation, or impairment of contract, including forced renegotiation of terms
  • Imposition of confiscatory taxes
  • Confiscation of funds or tangible assets
  • Outright nationalization of a project

Political Risk Insurance can provide arbitration award default and denial of justice coverage for US debt and equity investors which protects the insured from non-payment of an arbitration award by a host government. Political Risk Insurance may also provide coverage for losses resulting from government corruption.

Regulatory Risk Coverage

Traditional expropriation coverage protects against nationalization, confiscation and regulatory action. Regulatory risk coverage can protect against regulatory actions specific to projects with renewable resources such as:

  • Material changes to feed-in tariffs
  • Critical changes to taxation or other regulations affecting the project’s ability to operate
  • Revocation of licenses or permits necessary for the operation of a project
  • Improper interference with carbon credit generation (under the UN Clean Development Mechanism or voluntary standards) or sales
  • Denial of concessions, technical assistance, or forestry-related services agreement by a foreign government

Political Violence Coverage

In recent years many places in the world face increasing political uncertainty and violence which can have a crippling effect on international investments. Political violence coverage provides compensation for equity assets, real property and income losses caused by:

  • Declared or undeclared war
  • Hostile actions by national or international forces
  • Revolution, insurrection, and civil strife
  • Terrorism and sabotage

Political Risk Insurance coverage is available for damage to covered tangible assets and income losses resulting from damage to assets of the foreign project caused by political violence or terrorism. Investors may purchase one or both types of coverage. In addition, coverage can be added for evacuation expenses, income losses if the political violence causes evacuation or forced abandonment of a project. Additional coverage for income losses resulting from damage to specific sites outside the insured facility, such as a critical railway spur, power station, or supplier can also be added. This kind of terrorism insurance can provide precisely the coverage you need in many high-risk markets around the globe.

Election of Coverage

Political Risk Insurance coverage elections for most equity and shareholder debt investments are based on a coverage ceiling and an active amount. The coverage ceiling represents the maximum amount of insurance available for the insured project and future earnings under an insurance contract. Premiums are calculated based on the active amount, which represents the insurance actually in force, from time to time, during any contract period. The active amount under all coverage must equal the book value of the insured investment at a minimum, unless a lower coverage ceiling is elected. There is no charge for the difference between the coverage ceiling and the active amount. For investment types other than equity and shareholder debt investments, premiums are computed based on the maximum insured amount, the current insured amount, and a standby amount. Maximum insured amount represents the maximum insurance available for the insured investment under an insurance contract. Current insured amount represents the insurance actually in force during any contract period. The difference between the two is the standby amount. Separate premiums are charged for current insured amount and standby amounts. For loans, premiums are charged on the covered amount, the amount of disbursed principal plus accrued interest, less principal paid to date, and a standby fee is charged for undisbursed principal.

Political Risk Insurance Expanded Content Series

We have prepared an expanded content series on Political Risk Insurance, with the additional support pages listed below. We published this content series to ensure our clients have the information they need to more fully understand emerging markets, political risks and the long-term costs and benefits of Political Risk Insurance, along with a list of countries where Political Risk Insurance can be issued. Start at the beginning with this Political Risk Insurance page and then read the expanded support content in the series.

  • Political Risk Insurance: Learn how political risk insurance empowers companies to pursue emerging market opportunities by limiting political risk.
  • PRI Approved Countries: While not available worldwide, there are 160 emerging and frontier market countries approved for political risk insurance.
  • Political Risk: Expanded content to provide political risk information to support our clients with Quantifying And Managing Political Risk In Emerging Markets.
  • Emerging Markets: Detailed information in support clients and the potential opportunities provided by Emerging Market Economies.

Political Risk Insurance Expanded Content Series

This page, which provides a great deal of essential information about Political Risk Insurance, but it didn’t go far enough. Because we are seeing growing interest in the marketplace in emerging market investments, we decided to quickly supplement the content we had provided with an expanded content series of articles to better support our clients. Thus we have added detailed articles about political risk, emerging markets, and the countries that are approved for Political Risk Insurance policies.

Please read all four parts of the expanded content series if you are considering investments in emerging markets. We published this content series to ensure that our clients have the information they need to more fully understand emerging markets, political risks and both the long-term costs and benefits of Political Risk Insurance. Start at the beginning with the page you’re on, then proceed through the others.

  • Political Risk Insurance: Learn how political risk insurance empowers companies to pursue emerging market opportunities by limiting political risk.
  • PRI Approved Countries: While not available worldwide, there are 160 emerging and frontier market countries approved for political risk insurance.
  • Political Risk: Expanded content to provide political risk information to support our clients with Quantifying And Managing Political Risk In Emerging Markets.
  • Emerging Markets: Detailed information in support clients and the potential opportunities provided by Emerging Market Economies.