K&R: Kidnap & Ransom


Kidnap & Ransom Prevention, Response, Awareness, Insurance, Extortion, Ransom Insurance, Kidnapping Insurance, Companies: HISCOX, AIG, CHUBB, TRAVELERS, ALLIANZ, CATLIN, HCC, AON

Almost none of us will ever have anything to do with kidnapping beyond watching the ‘Taken’ movies. At most a kidnapping will happen during a bachelorette party and end with a stripper and some shots. After all, for the average person, nothing much could be gained from kidnapping them.

Prank kidnappings aside, the main motivator for it is money. The more money someone has, the more at risk they are-and like with every risk, there is insurance for it. Kidnap and Ransom Insurance it’s called, and the essential idea is that someone takes out insurance, paying into a fund. In case of an actual ransom demand or extortion, the ransom insurance company then pays for it out of the fund.

These insurance companies aren’t some small or shady specialist agency though, big ones like HISCOX, Travelers, Allianz and AON offer these services to a select clientele. Less known companies like AIG, Chubb or HCC focus more on other sectors. Either way, Ransom insurance isn’t something that’s generally advertised to the broad public, as it doesn’t affect the broad majority of people.

Like other insurance services, these aren’t among the ‘normal’ packages that people can buy. Instead, for example, wealthy businessmen will take out insurance for their children, as they are more at risk and obviously more vulnerable. While the children are educated in kidnapping awareness and warned about the possible dangers, the parents pay into an insurance fund to get them back in case the worst comes to happen.

From the companies side, the fund is paid for by all the insured-however it will only ever be used when a kidnapping happens. The advantage for the kidnapped or their family is that they are not required to liquefy and move large sums of money, while the insurance company has the relative security that the fund will only be required very rarely. Like many kinds of insurance, this is, for the most part, a win-win arrangement. The insured pays a small sum of money that in case of the emergency of a kidnapping or ransom demand eases the burden considerably, while the insurance company gains a comparably safe and easy method of income.

Despite all this, it has a very negligible influence on our everyday lives. It’s a valid concern and massive security risk to wealthy or famous people, and yet the closes an average Joe will come to it is by watching a movie, or coincidentally having taken out insurance with a company that also offers these services-and that, perhaps, is for the best.