Financial planning in an uncertain world (part 1): Kidnap and Ransom Insurance
Written by Trey Archer on April 14, 2016.
According to the UN, kidnapping is defined as unlawfully detaining a person or persons against their will (including through the use of force, threat, fraud or enticement) for the purpose of demanding for their liberation an illicit gain or any other material benefit, or in order to oblige someone to do or not do something.
Over the past decade, the number of kidnappings worldwide has skyrocketed. There are two main reasons for this: a growing socioeconomic divide which has created a vast chasm between the rich and poor, and the rise of radical groups such as ISIS, street gangs like MS-13, and powerful drug cartels like the Sinaloa Cartel.
However, according to the UN figures, India wins the dubious award of kidnap capital of the world with an incredible 65,461 kidnappings in 2013 – a figure which has almost tripled in just eight years. Mexico and Syria are also obviously high risk countries, which may not come as a surprise, but other countries with a relatively high incidence may be more shocking; take Canada, France, Germany and the UK for example.
The hostage profile has also changed. While kidnappers used to target wealthy locals in just a handful of countries, now tourists and business travellers alike are targeted in a much wider variety of locations. If you are an expat and/or you travel regularly, the horrifying fact is that you could be a victim.
Luckily there are sensible precautions you can take to minimise your risk of being kidnapped, such as avoiding insalubrious areas and being discreet in your dress and conduct. But another idea that may not come to mind is protecting yourself with kidnap and ransom insurance. These policies not only offer reimbursement for a paid ransom, but also come with additional benefits to help you deal with the fallout of such a harrowing event. Examples include a crisis response team, expert advice from trained negotiators, medical expenses (including psychiatric or cosmetic treatment after release), loss due to injury (such as mutilation), loss of fingers, total disability, compassionate leave after release, travel expenses, and even rewards for information which lead to the arrest or conviction of a kidnapper.
This is not a pleasant subject to contemplate and it is sad that we live in a world which makes it necessary, but unfortunately that is reality. At the end of the day, it’s better safe than sorry, and the piece of mind that comes along with being protected with one of these plans is priceless.
If you’d like to discuss whether a kidnap and ransom policy should be a part of your financial armoury, why not get in touch? Feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at +86 138 1620 7274.