Political risk insurance

Political risk insurance is available to U.S. investors, contractors, exporters, and financial institutions involved in international transactions. This insurance helps exporters obtain or attract financing in the face of risk. Political risk insurance offered by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) can cover currency inconvertibility, expropriation, and political violence. It is available for investments in new ventures, expansions of existing enterprises, privatizations and acquisitions with positive developmental benefits.

Through OPIC’s advocacy, long-term losses can be deterred for a wide range of possible damage or loss, including the following:

  • Tangible assets, such as trucks and manufacturing or drilling equipment.
  • Value of investment.
  • Earnings or return of the investment.

OPIC can cover up to $250 million per project for up to 20 years. Through coinsurance and re-insurance with private-market carriers, the capacity for large projects can be increased. OPIC also offers flexible programs targeted to small businesses.

Eligibility:

OPIC insurance is available to

  • U.S. citizens.
  • Corporations, partnerships or other associations created under the laws of the United States, its states or territories, and beneficially owned by U.S. citizens.
  • Foreign corporations that are more than 95 percent owned by investors eligible under these criteria.
  • Other foreign entities that are 100 percent U.S. owned.

RE&EE exports in action

  • In October 2010, OPIC provided $37.8 million in political risk insurance to support ContourGlobal’s construction and operations of three Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation plants in Nigeria. The energy efficiency of CHP can be as high as 90 percent, compared to 35 to 40 percent for conventional gas-fired simple cycle power plants.
  • North Carolina-based Southern Energy Partners obtained $900,000 in political risk coverage in 2007 from OPIC for new wind turbine installations in Tamil Nadu, India.

Where do I start?

To learn more about this program, please click on the link above.

OPIC has adopted a new approach to streamline and expedite processing for projects involving U.S. businesses in the renewable resource and clean technology sector. RE&EE investors who are interested in OPIC resources, such as political risk insurance, can contact OPIC directly via email.

The U.S. government also provides finance-related events and online training to further assist in exporting your products and services.

To receive counseling on how the programs listed below can help you achieve your international sales goals, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service International Trade Specialist.

More financing programs

Return to the online guide "Financing" section to read more about programs that can help RE&EE exporters.