Claims on trade credit insurance jumped in value by 42% to nearly £150m in 2015, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The product provides cover for businesses if customers who owe money for products or services do not pay their debts, or pay them later than the payment terms dictate.
The ABI explains this is due to growing economic uncertainty. While total company insolvencies in the UK are "at their lowest level" since 1989, the organisation says UK businesses continue to face risks with economic volatility in many export markets.
ABI general insurance policy manager Mark Shepherd said: "Economic uncertainty appears to be causing firms to claim on their insurance if one of their customers pays late, or not at all."
Latest figures published by the professional body found there were 11,000 claims made in 2015, an increase of 19% from the previous year.
There were more than 11,900 trade credit insurance policies sold. Three quarters (74%) covered businesses trading domestically.
The ABI believes companies of all sizes recognise how trade credit insurance can help manage the financial risks that can come with exporting, given that the proportion of policies that cover businesses exporting goods abroad rose to 22% in 2015.
"Trade credit insurance remains an invaluable tool for UK businesses in facilitating international trade," it says.