How long does it take to pay a claim

Providing all documentation up front can speed up the claim process: Find out what we need, and why.

 We’ll be able to examine your claim and notify you of the claim amount to be paid within 30 days, providing you’ve supplied us with all the documentation required. Providing these documents upfront, at the time you lodge your claim, can speed up this process. Here’s a list of what we need and why


Invoices relating to your claim

  • To identify the policy holder and the buyer
  • To confirm the terms of payment because each policy has a maximum credit term
  • To see the product or service sold to determine if it’s covered by the policy
  • To show breakdown of VAT (or equivalent) and invoice currency

Statement of accounts as a monthly breakdown  

In Excel, a system derived debtors ledger that includes individual transactions raised during this period with invoice dates, amounts, payments and credit notes. This allows us to do a reconciliation to determine if the maximum extension period has been breached which could mean an automatic stoppage on cover.

Evidence of debt

Evidence of the debt from a party other than the policy holder needs to be provided so we can confirm that debt is owing on the policy. For example an insolvency practitioner  

All correspondence between the policyholder and the debtor, or other interested parties

Providing all correspondence in relation to the matter starting from the oldest invoice up to the date of claim can help support the efforts you’ve made to collect the money owed to you 

Any securities, retention of title, caveats or guarantees

Providing details of the stock in the buyer’s possession and actions you’ve taken to minimise loss can help us understand any potential recoveries either before or post payment of a claim.

If we can recover money post paying your claim by pursuing a guarantor or recovering stock through a retention of title then you’ll gain a share of this in proportion to the loss.  

Discretionary credit limit documentation

On your policy it will outline your discretionary credit limit procedure. This will let you know what documentation needs to be provided.

Delivery documentation & debt correspondence 

  • To determine that goods have been shipped
  • To see evidence of the total debt owed and that it’s not subject to any dispute

7. How can I maximise my claim pay out?    

Maximising your claim pay out: Our seven tips for traders when making a credit insurance claim.

Here are 7 tips to make sure your claim is successful


  1. Always trade within your Maximum Extension Period (MEP)

Avoid continuing to supply a buyer that is overdue beyond MEP as this will jeopardise your claim.  Please refer to our Q&A titled What does MCT & MEP mean?

2. Don’t trade above your Credit Limit Decision

Your trade credit insurance policy covers you up to your approved credit limit.  Any deliveries above that will not be covered. For example if you have a £100K credit limit approved and trade at £120K, the additional £20K will not be covered and will be excluded from the claim calculation.

3. Do not offer payment terms to customers beyond the Maximum Credit Terms allowed in your policy

When you set up your trade credit insurance policy, we agree to Maximum Credit Terms. Payment terms agreed with your buyer must be within your Maximum Credit Terms. Exceeding these terms will jeopardise your claim and will result in Atradius having no liability.

4. Ensure you take action to minimise any loss and try to recover the debt as soon as you realise there is a payment problem

You need to demonstrate action taken to minimise your loss.  Evidence of this can include:

  • Issuing a demand letter
  • Appointing Atradius Collections to chase the debt on your behalf -  we can offer contribution to costs of collection
  • Taking legal action

Pursue guarantees or any other security interest available.

5. Ensure you notify Atradius of any overdue or adverse information as soon as possible.  (Usually your policy wording will state the deadline of when you have to report.  Typically this is 30 days after the maximum extension period.

The sooner Atradius is informed of an overdue amount or adverse information, we can start protecting you and your business.

Notify Atradius if:

  • Your buyer becomes insolvent
  • Your buyer has Cash flow issues
  • Your buyer has offered to pay in instalments.  A repayment plan can be considered, however the repayment proposal must be approved by Atradius

You are aware of any reason that may prevent the buyer from paying you

Always know your buyer - Where possible get business card or email giving full contact details.

Read the conditions on your credit limits - Failure to comply might result in a restriction or decline of your claim.

6. Understand exactly what is required to be able to justify any “discretionary limit” Atradius grants you

Your policy spells out the justification criteria for you to establish a limit under your Discretionary Limit.  Ensure you fully understand that criteria.

7. Don’t jeopardise your cover by trading on cash terms with a buyer without our approval.

Your policy does not cover you for cash on delivery business, if approached by a buyer for cash trading contact Atradius immediately. Remember, any payments made in cash are allocated to the oldest outstanding receivable which may reduce any potential claim payment.

Related content

What is Credit Risk

All about credit risk: See how a good credit risk management strategy can protect your cash flow and support your business.

What is Trade Credit Insurance?

All about trade credit insurance: Find out about trade credit insurance, how it works and how it can benefit your business

How do you know if a business is failing

Any combination of factors can lead to a business failing - here are our top ten warning signs to look for.

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