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@rating is an alternative way of expressing a traditional credit limit. Coface’s basic @rating certification measures a company’s capacity to honour business commitments to customers and suppliers. The Coface @rating scale comprises several scoring levels, with each level reflecting the credit exposure that could be accepted on a particular company.

@rating levels GB Pounds
R £6,000
@ £15,000
@@ £35,000
@@@ £60,000
@@@@ £60,000 - denotes a higher level of creditworthiness
X No cover provided
NR Indicates that a rating has not been established for a particular company and a credit limit must be applied for.

Adverse Information

Events or circumstances that have led or may lead to deterioration in the financial condition or creditworthiness of a buyer or  country

Bad Debts

Losses incurred due to the failure of a buyer to pay its debts due to Insolvency or Protracted Default or Political Risks

Binding Contracts

An order from a buyer which the insured cannot be released from if the buyer’s financial soundness is deteriorating. Under pre-defined conditions, credit insurance may be offered for such contracts even after the withdrawal of the credit limit


Your customer; your client; or your debtor; being the principal to the contract


A claim arises where the insured incurs a loss due to the Insolvency or Protracted Default of a buyer or due to a Political Risk

Claim Waiting Period

The period of time which must elapse after an insured loss has occurred before a claim is payable

Credit Limits

The amount of cover agreed on your buyer as a maximum exposure and up to which level any claim payment would be limited


Recovery of overdue amounts owed by your buyer

Commencement of Cover

Cover commences when the goods have been delivered, which means the goods have been made available to the buyer, or any person acting on his behalf, as required by the sales contract. For export sales cover commences on shipment. In the event of services cover commences upon performance of the services for which payment is due 

Confirmation of Debt

The amount admitted to rank for a dividend by a Liquidator, or the amount confirmed as being shown in the books of the company as being owed, by a Receiver or Administrator


The companies, or individuals, to whom the buyer owes an agreed debt

 Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

A legal agreement between a business and its creditors as a means of rescuing the business as a going concern

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Any disagreement whatsoever between you and a buyer regarding the amount of a debt owed, or the failure to fulfil the terms of the sales contract 


The amount of one or more invoices agreed as being owed to you by the buyer


Your buyer and the principal to the contract.


The goods are considered to have been delivered once they have been made available to the buyer or any person acting on his behalf, at the place and on the terms specified in the contract


The amount of a loss which you are required to take for your own account and uninsured


Goods that are sold and delivered to buyers outside the United Kingdom to countries that are included in the policy as insured markets


The amount paid in the event of a claim, also referred to as the insured percentage 


Insolvency shall be deemed to occur in any of the following situations:

i) The buyer has been declared bankrupt;

ii) A resolution is passed to wind the buyer up;

iii) An order for the winding up of the buyer has been made on the grounds that he is insolvent;

iv) An order for Administration of the buyer’s affairs has been made by a court for the benefit of his creditors;

v) In the course of execution of a judgment obtained against the buyer, the levy of execution has not satisfied the debt either in full or in part;

vi) The buyer has made a valid assignment, or composition or other arrangement for the benefit of his creditors generally;

vii) A Receiver is appointed on behalf of debenture holders or other creditors or the buyer;

viii) Such conditions exist as are, by any other system of law, substantially equivalent in effect to any of the foregoing conditions.

Insolvency Practitioner

A licensed professional who advises on or acts in all formal insolvency procedures

Invoicing period

The period within which invoices should be issued to the buyer after the goods have been delivered to the buyer

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)

Insurance Premium Tax is a tax payable on the premiums paid on your domestic sales, premiums paid on exports are excluded. IPT is currently charged at the rate of 6%.

Insured/Uninsured Percentage

The Insured Percentage represents the amount paid in the event of a claim. The Uninsured Percentage represents the amount that the insured must take for his own account, and uninsured, in the event of a claim

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JCT Contracts

JCT (The Joint Contracts Tribunal) contracts facilitate the process of constructing buildings. In simple terms, contracts set out the responsibilities of all parties within the construction process and their obligations, so it is clear as to what work needs to be done, who is doing it, when are they doing it by, and for how much

Maximum Liability

The maximum amount of claims that can be paid during a single policy period

Maximum Credit Terms

The maximum period of credit that you can grant to your buyers

Meeting of Creditors

The normal purpose of a creditors' meeting is to inform the creditors of the financial position of the insolvent company and report on the likely amount that can be realised by disposing of any assets. Funds made available from any disposals will be used to pay off secured creditors, preferred creditors and unsecured creditors in that order. The creditors will receive a report explaining how the insolvency came about and will also be provided with a statement of affairs setting out the current financial position of the insolvent company. The creditors will also receive an indication of the likely funds that will be available to settle their claims

Minimum Retention

A minimum retention is a type of excess that is found in credit insurance policies. In the event of a claim the insured retains the amount of the minimum retention or the uninsured percentage, whichever is the greater figure

Non-Cancellable Contracts

A contract can only be considered as non-cancellable or “binding”, where there has been offer and acceptance, for a consideration. On receipt of an order from a buyer to deliver goods on a specified date for a specified price, it is recommended that the order should be accepted by way of a return communication to the buyer, for it to be considered as being non-cancellable or binding


Non-payment of the debt by the buyer on the date, in the currency and in the place specified in the sales contract

Notification of Non-Payment

The requirement on the part of the insured to notify insurers of the non payment of debts by buyers under the policy 

Overdue Accounts

A debt owed by a buyer which has not been paid on its due date

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Post Dated Cheques

A method by which a buyer seeks to repay an agreed debt over a period of time


Premium is calculated at the outset of the policy and is fixed for the policy period. Payment of premium is a condition precedent to liability under the policy

Principal to Contract

The principal to contract is the contractual buyer. It is the responsibility of the insured to ensure that cover is obtained on the correct principal to contract - failure to do so could result in a claim being declined.

Protracted default

Protracted default arises where the buyer is not insolvent but fails to pay for goods sold or services rendered after a specified period beyond the due date for payment


Also known as Accounts Receivable. These represent money owed by the buyers to the insured on the sale of products or services on credit


Any amounts received from the buyer or a third party, whether before or after a claim has been paid, including any interest on late payment, any security realised, credit notes and set-off

Repayment Plan

Any agreement between the insured and the buyer to extend payment over a period of time by regular periodical payments

Retention of Title

A “retention of title” clause allows retention of ownership over goods supplied by the insured until such time as certain conditions are met, thereby providing a form of security against the buyer's default or insolvency.  Ownership of the goods can be retained even though they have been delivered to the buyer, as long as all parties to the contract agree to this provision. For example, if it is stated in the contract, the supplier may retain the title to the goods until full payment is received.

To be valid, it is imperative that the retention of title clause is incorporated into the contract which exists before the time of supply.

There are two types of retention of title commonly in use - “Simple”, where the supplier must prove that monies are outstanding on invoices relating to specific goods supplied, or “All Monies”, where the supplier can retain title to goods which have already been paid for until full payment is received for all the goods delivered by him.

Risks Attaching

Risks attaching means that the cover attaches to goods delivered or services rendered within the policy period. A loss does not have to arise within the policy period so long as the risk attaches within the policy period 


Goods are considered shipped when they are handed over to a third party - generally a carrier – to take them to the place of delivery specified in the sales contract.

Terms of Payment

The tenor and the method of payment agreed between the insured and the buyer for payment of the goods or services

Time Limit for Notification

The period for notifying insurers of accounts that are overdue. On expiry of this period it will be necessary to stop further shipments to the buyer and to notify insurers


Turnover is the total invoice value of all goods sold and/or services rendered on credit terms during the policy period

Work in Progress

The actual loss incurred if a buyer becomes insolvent before the goods are delivered, being the costs incurred such as the cost of raw materials; design; direct overheads; manufacturing costs etc.

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