Because the use of trade policy is limited by international institutional arrangements, governments pursuing a policy of export promotion may want to use more indirect instruments to achieve their objectives. In that context, this paper focuses on the public provision of export insurance. While the prime objective is insurance against the risk of default faced by firms exporting to risky markets, these insurance programmes are often embedded in more global policy objectives of the exporting country's government. This paper investigates how premium rating of official export insurance is affected by strategic export promotion and the pursuit of other political objectives. Â© 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.