Country Guide 2018 : Portugal

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The 2018 Portugal Country Guide is brought to you by Costa Duarte, our founding Astreos member. Since 1921, Costa Duarte has been at the forefront of insurance in Portugal.


About Costa Duarte

Main Contact

Key Information


João Silva

Account Executive
Tel : +351 21 350 44 64

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Date of Establishment: 1921
Ranking: First independant
Employees: 51
Credit Insurance Specialists: 3
Nb of offices: 2 (Lisbon and Porto)

  • Credit Insurance
  • Factoring
  • Bonding

Latest News

Costa Duarte in 2017 continued its path with a 16% growth in fees and 31% in premiums. This continuous growth was achieved in a very hard economic environment and with a strong interest rate drop.

Macro-economical environment

Main Indicators

Top Commercial Activities

GDP Growth

  • 2016 – 1,2 %
  • 2017 – 2,7%
  • 2018 – 2.2%- forecast

Population: 10.5 million
Unemployment Rate: 8.9 %

  1. Machinery (14,6%)
  2. Auto Industry (11,4%)
  3. Fuels (7,7%)
  4. Metals (7,6%)
  5. Plastic and Rubber (7,4%)
  6. Agriculture (6,3%)
  7. Shoes and Textile (5,8%)




  • Privileged location and a gateway for
    other main markets including 250 Million Portuguese speaking countries
  • Recognized work force with talented
    people thanks to the Portuguese educational system
  • Top country in technological services
  • Modern network of infrastructures
  • Tourist attractiveness
  • Lower labor costs


  • Hig Public Debt (129% of the GDP and
    126% in 2016)
  • Political Environment
  • Low national growth (0,2%)
  • High Deficit (3,2% 2015 and 2,5% in 2016)
  • Unemployment rate above the EU average
    (12,4% in 2015, forecast of 11,6%
    2016 and 10,7% in 2017 according with


What's new?

According to the OECD, GDP growth is projected to remain above 2% in 2018 and 2019. The recovery will continue to be supported by past reforms, favourable external trade and domestic demand conditions. Investment activity will be underpinned by an increase in the absorption of EU structural funds in 2018. Consumption growth will remain solid, reflecting strong employment growth.

Trade Credit Insurance

Credit Insurance Market

  • Focused on ground-up insurance
  • Low penetration rate (5% of companies
    use trade credit insurance)

Available products

  • Ground-up
  • Single Risk
  • Bonds


  • Number and amount of insolvencies: 3,100
  • Average Day Sales Out (DSO): 68 days
The production of trade credit insurance in 2017 saw an increase when compared with 2016. The total production was 66.930K€ in 2017, 1.5m€ more than in 2016.

However, since 2009, the market struggles to reach again the 70M€ premium target and the reasons behind this evolution are various : the world crisis, the sovereign crisis, the Portuguese International aid in 2011 and in our days the complete soft market with a strong pricing decrease.

Our vision is that we might see in a future a deeper problem when the market start to increase prices and because of that, we could see some companies passing from using credit insurance to self-insurance methods.

Main Players and ranking

  • 53% Cosec (Euler Hermes)

  • 26% Crédito y Caución (Atradius)

  • 12% Coface

  • 9% Cesce

In 2016 Coface was the company with the best growth (12,6%) but in 2017 they lost market share by 3%. On the other end Cesce increased by 9% in 2017 after losing 9,4% in 2015.

Cosec has still the biggest market share with 53,44%. But even though they have over 700K€ in premiums in 2017, their market share decreased by 0.2%in 2017. Cesce discovered a way to reverse the downward spiral initiated in 2014 by presenting a new product on the market called “pay per cover” that allows the client to chose which clients he wants to cover. This policy is unique on the market and it’s being used by companies that have insurance in other companies and uses pay per cover to have credit limits for the refused clients.


All the material is the property of Costa Duarte, this article has been written by João Costa.