insurance for suppliers, vendor, supplier

Creating a product is a long and complex process, as there are many businesses involved in creating one product. The process of creating a product is known as a supply chain process. It is the process of turning raw material into a market product. Companies aim to make the process efficient and financially reasonable.

Suppliers are the backbone of the supply chain. The whole process begins with suppliers who provide the raw material to another firm that starts creating the product(s). Every business may need a range of suppliers to fulfil their process needs.

Supplier businesses are always in demand and send products or services to various companies worldwide. Suppliers also have a range of industry risks that can affect their process, business and income.

Suppliers must know their risks and have the right strategy to deal with and recover in challenging situations. Hence, insurance for suppliers is crucial to cover their complex supplier risks. The right policies can help suppliers protect their business and recover from unpredictable threats.

Who Are Suppliers?

Suppliers are individuals or companies that provide a specific product or service to another company to assist in creating a product. Suppliers provide or produce materials, fuel, components or end products (E.g. a plain mug with no branding).

For example, a car company will need suppliers for their material (metal, plastic, glass rubber), fuel, specific components, etc. All these suppliers are typically different companies that sell in bulk.

Suppliers can also be manufacturers that turn material into components and sell customised pieces. When providing such products or services, many things could go wrong. These situations could be due to clients, internal damage or any uncountable risks.

Main Insurances for Suppliers

Trade Credit Insurance 

Suppliers are part of the B2B industry, where the payment is made on an agreed according to terms of pay. The payment is known as a credit payment. Suppliers send their products in bulk and trust their clients to pay on time.

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However, there is always a chance a trusted client may not pay on time or not pay at all. Suppliers depend on their payments to keep running and upgrade their business. One client not paying can disturb the supplier’s balance sheet and business process.

The non-payment can be due to the client being insolvent, bankrupt or political reasons. Trade credit risks can be common for suppliers with various local and international clients.

Trade credit insurance for suppliers is vital to cover late and non-payments by clients. The insurance will reimburse a high percentage of the unpaid amount to reduce the impact of the financial loss. Even the most trusted clients can suddenly go bankrupt or face political issues; therefore, every supplier must have trade credit insurance to protect their finances.

Cargo Insurance

Depending on the agreed Incoterms (International Commercial Terms), some suppliers are liable for a portion of the delivery of products – for example, CIF, DDP, etc.

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Once the order is placed, suppliers must pack the products and decide on a mode of transport from their location to the client’s location. Products are known as cargo when moving through sea, land or air.

When the cargo is moving on a ship, truck or plane, there are risks of damage or loss due to weather, fires, mishandling or carrier negligence. For example, a supplier may choose the sea to send a large raw material order. The ship may face bad weather, resulting in the cargo container tipping over and disappearing

The supplier will be liable for the loss or damage and must send another order immediately. Cargo insurance for suppliers helps protect cargo in case of unpredictable damage or loss. The insurance will reimburse the value of the goods to reduce the financial loss and reinvest into the new cargo. The insurance allows suppliers to recover quickly without worrying about the massive loss.

Property All-Risk Insurance

Most suppliers have factories and equipment used to produce and provide their products. These assets are business property, which is crucial to keep the company running to the best level.

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There is always a risk of property damage due to devastating incidents such as natural disasters, fires, floods or vandalism. These incidents can result in the property being beyond salvageable or costly to repair. Without quick repairs, a supplier may have to delay all its orders and be unable to get the income they need to move forward.

Property all-risk insurance for suppliers is a must in these property damaging situations. The insurance protects business property when damaged or lost due to unpredictable reasons. Suppliers may also need business interruption and machine breakdown insurance. Interruption insurance will cover the financial loss while the business repairs its property. Machine breakdown insurance will cover sudden equipment breakdowns due to freak accidents. 

It’s vital to understand no insurance will cover property damage due to wear and tear. The insurances allows suppliers to recover from property damage and resume business activities quickly.

Cyber Insurance

Like most businesses, suppliers use the internet and digital platforms to take orders, promote their service and store a wide range of data. Suppliers store large amounts of client data, including emails and payment information, ideal for cybercriminals.

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Cyber attackers have recently begun to target more and more suppliers due to their important position in the supply chain. Additionally, cybercriminals have noticed suppliers have the least cyber security, making them easy targets. The attacks that begin with suppliers are called supply chain attacks.

Supply chain attacks start from suppliers, where attackers infiltrate suppliers’ serves and then keep attacking down the supply chain. Cyber-attack recovery is extremely costly and can damage reputation if not dealt with quickly.

Cyber insurance for suppliers is becoming more important every year with increased attacks. The insurance will cover cyber experts’ advice, threat removal, data recovery, informing third parties and financial loss. Having cyber insurance will help suppliers bounce back from even the worst attacks. However, the insurance will not cover suppliers with poor cybersecurity.

Environmental Insurance 

Many suppliers are manufacturers that use various methods to manipulate raw materials in factories. These factories and processes can release toxic fumes or waste that needs to be disposed of carefully. Suppliers may not realise how their process harms the environment and the people nearby.

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If the business activity is causing serious harm to the environment and local people – the government, local public, or an environmental organisation can take legal action against the supplier. The damage could be air, water or even noise pollution. Even if the pollution is accidental, the suppliers will still be responsible.

Environmental insurance for suppliers is essential to fix mistakes and cover legal actions. The insurance will cover costs related to claims and lawsuits. Environmental insurance will also provide the costs to fix business-related environmental damage, such as oil spill clean-up. 

Environmental insurance also helps prove they are environmentally aware. More companies are interested in working with environmentally friendly and sustainable suppliers today.

Why Insurance for Suppliers Is Vital Today?

Insurance for suppliers is crucial to protect their business and future. Supplier risks can occur at any point and affect any supplier. Even if you are a supplier with just a few local clients, you can still be negatively impacted by most of the risks mentioned.

Having insurance helps the supplying company and client companies that depend on the supplier. It is easier for a supplier to grow their client list when they know the company has a range of insurance. Clients feel better knowing the supplier has a safety net when things go wrong.

Thus, with the proper insurance portfolio, suppliers do not need to focus on the risks; just provide their product or service in the best way they can (with suitable precautions). Suppliers have the financial protection to deal with and move on if things go wrong.


To Learn More about supplier insurance and get the best protection for your supplier company in Hong Kong and Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.