Planning a Foreign Trip? Kidnap Demands Aren’t Just for Kids…

canstock13916519Kidnapping, both of adults and children, is common in countries across the world. These crimes can be the result of a domestic or child custody dispute, human trafficking, abduction for ransom, or related to political reasons. Whether you regularly travel abroad or travel no further than a neighboring state, kidnappings occur to people of all lifestyles.

Kidnapping Targets

The kidnapper’s most effective tool is an unprotected target, someone unsuspecting of the dangers surrounding them. Political extremists, drug dealers, or a minor criminals looking to make fast money can pinpoint any one; especially those they believe have the financial means, as a target. Any person who might be more likely to fall prey to these types of predators should consider the value of Kidnap and Ransom coverage.

Who Pays for Coverage

Many companies that operate around the world provide coverage to their traveling employees and their families. Anyone can be vulnerable to kidnap, ransom, and extortion crime while visiting a foreign land, making this coverage important to the peace of mind for many workers abroad. Some insurance companies also offer this coverage to individuals as part of their personal insurance product range, though coverage can be more limited than larger corporate policies.

What is Covered?

This coverage is unique in that it provides financial protection against kidnapping and related events. It may include expert assistance in recovering those affected, family assistance during the crisis, payments toward investigation, negotiations, and other recovery services. Some policies pay ransom reimbursements, evacuation, investigations into disappearances, and loss of earnings for the missing individual(s). Wrongful detention, payment for the death or injury of a covered person, and reasonable costs up to a policy limit are some other common features.

Exclusions apply to coverage, as it does with other policies. Coverage can be “worldwide” but exclude certain countries like Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, and Syria. When deciding if this coverage would benefit you, review for excluded countries and be familiar with the policy, as business and personal Kidnap and Ransom policies vary.

Reducing Kidnapping Risk

Kidnappings happen without warning around the world. Some avoidance techniques can lessen the possibility of kidnap.

  1. The first and best option is avoid travel to dangerous places or countries, if possible. Some high-risk regions are Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia. These are just a few areas that might be avoided but do your homework before traveling to potentially unsafe areas.
  2. Individuals should be mindful of their surroundings for themselves and their families as kidnappings can occur any time of day or night. It can happen while children are walking to school, walking to your car after work, or any time you and your family are vulnerable.
  3. Employers may consider providing their employees with “kidnapping survival training” to help victims survive the psychological or physical effects of these crimes. Many victims survive their ordeal but not without physical or psychological damage. Individuals and families can be prepared against the worst with this useful training.
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