As Americans, we love to travel abroad for work and vacations. In some parts of the world we also carry along with us a large bullseye on our back because of our perceived wealth or the political policies of our government. There are insurance policies that cover not only kidnap and ransom events, but also extortion and illegal detention. The events that trigger the policy to pay claims for ransom or losses, also provides threat assessments. The coverage is not limited to foreign travel, it also covers incidents in the United States.
Insurance For Kidnapping, Ransom, Extortion And Other Global Threats
In the 21st century, citizens of the United States are part of the global community. A combination of affordable and accessible foreign travel, coupled with the internet, means that Americans can face the same sort of threats outside the USA as they do in their own homes or businesses. This has forced insurance companies that specialize in kidnap and ransom policies to expand the type of threats that can be covered in global crisis insurance. There is now coverage for extortion attempts when the covered company or individual may not even be traveling outside of the United States.
Events that trigger the insurance can occur within the United States or in a foreign country. Some of the situations that can be covered events under the Tokio Marine HCC – Specialty Group Kidnap and Ransom policies include
Kidnapping: an individual or group is abducted and held against their will and ransom is demanded for their release.
Express kidnapping: an individual is kidnapped and then forced to pay for their own freedom usually by making cash withdrawals from ATMs.
Hijacking: an individual or group traveling on an aircraft, boat, plane or other vehicle are illegally seized and are forced to surrender their cash and personal belongings or ransom demand made to their official sponsor or government.
Detention: usually when an individual or group is detained by a foreign government for an activity that would have been legal in the United States.
Extortion: a demand for money from an individual or company by means of a threat to property or persons.
Threat: when an individual or group announces its intention to cause harm to persons or property.
Disappearance: the involuntary disappearance of an individual or group.
All of these events can cause a financial loss to families and companies. Sometimes the monetary loss is the ransom paid. Other times it is the loss of wages, productivity, and property or from the action of a threat. Events such as illegal detention can cause a loss. For example, a same-sex married couple travels to another country where being gay is a crime. A gay person may be detained just for unwittingly informing someone of their sexual orientation. The insurance would then be triggered under the illegal detention provision and resources would be devoted to extricating the person or family from the country where they are being detained.
Covered losses include
- Ransom and ransom lost in transit
- Surrendered personal belongings
- Legal Liability
- Additional expenses (including medical expenses and salary)
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Threat response expense
- Disappearance and investigation expenses
- Recall expenses
- Crisis response fee of Unity Resource Group
With additional coverage options for
- Travel / expatriate security evacuation
- Loss of earnings
- Workplace violence expense (including AD&D)
- Child abduction
- Emergency medical evacuation
Part of the Tokio Marine HCC Kidnap and Ransom insurance is the crisis response from Unity Resource Group. When a covered event takes place, Unity Resource Group will be called to evaluate the situation and provide a range of support options from determining the credibility of the threat to negotiating for the safe return of persons kidnapped.
Individuals or groups that can be covered by the Kidnap and Ransom insurance include
- Church groups
- Family members
- Government employees
- Humanitarian and development organizations
- Non-Governmental Agencies
- Missionary groups
- Media companies
- Religious organizations
- Travel groups
Policies can be underwritten for one person of a whole group of people for a short duration or for over a year. Each case is unique and the premiums are determined based on several factors including the number of people covered and the potential risk of the individual or persons being a target of one of the covered events.
These sorts of insurance policies naturally generate many different questions. Feel free to contact me with questions or your unique scenario and I will track down the answers. With a modest amount of information, the underwriters can usually generate a quote within a couple days. Then you can assess whether such a Kidnap and Ransom policy is within your budget and would benefit your family, organization, volunteers, and employees.