State-supported credit insurance is seemingly the most innocuous of all export incentives. Britain's Export Credits Guarantee Department, France's COFACE and Germany's HERMES have been emulated all over the world. However small the country, so long as it can boast of a national anthem – and aspire to possess a national airline – it is also bound to have a non-commercial export insurance scheme. There are three categories of risks covered in part or in whole by state insurance agencies: political, commercial and externalities. COFACE pioneered a generous insurance to compensate French exporters for 'abnormal cost increases' beyond the norm of 6.5 per cent. In one year alone the net charge of the cost escalation scheme to the French exchequer was $470 mn. When the export insurance incentive was being launched in the early post-war years, it was claimed to be a free lunch as the taxpayers were said not to be involved.