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Kidnap and Ransom – A dangerous world

Kidnap and Ransom cover is designed to protect individuals and corporations operating in high-risk areas around the world. Locations most often susceptible to Kidnap and Ransom incidents include Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Nigeria, Somalia, Brazil, India and Central Asia (Afghanistan and Iraq).

In practice, generally speaking, a crisis management helpline is also provided by the insurer as part of the service. This provides access to specialist response consultants to provide support in the event on an incident.

Typically, the insured would initially pay the ransom and then look to seek reimbursement under the policy.

So, what is covered?

  • Kidnap and Ransom– Seizing an employee with the intent to demand money in return for the employee
  • Extortion – Demanding money with the threat to injure or kill an employee, damage property, divulge trade secrets or spread a computer virus
  • Wrongful detention– Confining an employee under the guise of government
  • Hijacking – Holding an employee for an extended period of time against his/her will on an aircraft, motor vehicle or ship.

You should know…

The existence of Kidnap and Ransom insurance cover is highly confidential; there are clear conditions in the policy that require the insured company to take reasonable steps to restrict knowledge of the insurance as far as possible i.e. only key personnel to be aware of its existence. The employees travelling should not have any knowledge that the cover is in force, as this could result in the individual revealing to potential captors that they are insured.

Facts & figures

There are 15,000-20,000 kidnappings reported globally each year, with many more going unreported. A kidnapping is not only traumatic, but it can lead to significant financial losses from ransom payments, associated costs, business interruption, litigation, adverse publicity and long-term reputation damage.

If you are unsure as to whether the territories you operate in are high risk of Kidnap and Ransom activities, you can check this on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: If you require any further information or advice you can contact us on 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Lauren Quincey ACII – Chartered Insurance Broker


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