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The International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) recently released its annual report for 2023, offering a comprehensive overview of the trade credit and surety insurance sectors. This year’s report shows a notable growth in insured exposure and premiums written, despite the economic challenges that have increased claims significantly.

  • Insured exposure rose by 7.7%, achieving €1.4 trillion [2022: €1.3 trillion]
  • Premiums written increased by 8.9%, totalling €6.9 billion [2022: €6.3 billion]
  • Claims paid escalated by 68.5%, amounting to €2 billion [2022: €1.2 billion]

Trade credit insurance updates

  • Insured exposure expanded by 4.5%, totalling €3.2 trillion [2022: €3 trillion]
  • Premiums written grew by 5%, reaching €8.2 billion in 2023 [2022: €7.8 billion]
  • Claims paid advanced by 11.4%, totalling €3.2 billion in 2023 [2022: €2.7 billion]

Single risk/political risk

  • Insured exposure reached €32 billion, an increase of 7.9% [2022: €30 billion]
  • Premiums written surged by 30% to €715 million [2022: €550 million]
  • Total claims paid in 2023 decreased to €146 million [2022: €152 million]

82nd annual general meeting of ICISA Members (7 June 2024) – key outcomes:

  • Benoît des Cressonnières (Allianz Trade) and Jan Mueller (Hannover Re) were re-elected as President and Vice President of ICISA, respectively.
  • ICISA welcomed three new members: Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Interamerican, and RenaissanceRe, enhancing ICISA’s growth trajectory.

ICISA annual report overview

Throughout 2023, ICISA members reported robust business growth amidst a noticeable increase in claims across various sectors. These trends highlight the ongoing volatility in macroeconomic conditions. 

Despite these obstacles, the industry continued to serve as a stabilising force for trade and investment in the real economy, while maintaining strong capitalisation. The demand for protective measures against economic challenges grew throughout 2023 in both trade credit insurance and surety markets. 

Surety exposure increased by 7.7% to €1.4 trillion, while trade credit insurance exposure grew by 4.5% to €3.2 trillion.

The macro risk landscape remains uncertain and challenging. Businesses confront significant obstacles due to elevated interest rates, escalating costs, the energy transition, and disruptions from conflicts and geopolitical tensions. 

While central banks plan to cautiously adjust monetary policy in the near future, ICISA members anticipate continuing market challenges in the short term. Amidst this environment, surety claims increased significantly from 2022 to 2023, with €2 billion paid out in 2023, marking a 68.5% increase. Similarly, trade credit insurance claims rose to €3.2 billion in 2023, up from € 2.7 billion in 2022, providing essential support to businesses globally.

ICISA President, Benoît des Cressonnières, said, “ICISA members have consistently demonstrated their commitment to support the global economy and aiding companies in securing their trade. Despite significant macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges over the past year, we can be relied upon to help businesses enhance their resilience.”

ICISA Annual General Meeting

From 5-7 June, ICISA members gathered in Madrid, Spain, for the 82nd Annual General Meeting. These sessions provide a vital forum for discussing the current challenges facing trade credit insurance, surety, and related sectors.

Discussion focal points included the macroeconomic and geopolitical climate, impacts of regulatory changes such as the implementation of Basel 3.1, and the importance of talent acquisition and retention. 

ICISA also launched the Women’s Surety Network, its second diversity initiative, while Women in Credit Insurance shared their progress. Both initiatives received positive responses from members. 

At the AGM, members re-elected Benoît des Cressonnières (Allianz Trade) as President for 2024/2025, and Jan Müller (Hannover Re) as Vice-President, acknowledging their leadership and achievements. ICISA welcomed three new members: Export-Import Bank of Thailand, Interamerican, and RenaissanceRe. 

ICISA’s network now includes 31 Trade Credit Insurers, 38 Surety companies, and 23 Reinsurance firms worldwide.

Richard Wulff, ICISA’s Executive Director, said, “We are delighted to welcome three new members to the ICISA network, reflecting growing interest in our association and its value to trade credit insurers, sureties and their reinsurers. Our members are lynchpins in the global economy protecting trade and investment, especially during difficult economic conditions, such as today.

The Export-Import Bank of Thailand plays a key role in driving Thailand’s trade and investment strategies for the country’s sustainable growth, aligning well with ICISA’s goals. Interamerican, a leading insurance company in Greece, enriches our network with Greek surety products. 

RenaissanceRe, as one of the sector’s leading reinsurers and based in Bermuda, adds to the expertise within our membership on key topics related to risk management and financial solutions. We are excited about the opportunities for collaboration with these new members and warmly welcome them to our expanding family!”