Businesses that send employees abroad need to reevaluate their strategies to protect their interests and those of the workers they contract to countries where kidnapping and the ransom and extortion that follows are somewhat commonplace in light of the US State Department’s stern warnings about travel to Mexico, which has been added to their list of no-go places.

Insurance underwriters offer advice to businesses operating outside of the US. “Your employees are definitely at risk for kidnapping,” they cite as they base their findings on statistics. Executives who travel to other locations should try to blend in as much as possible as one of the main prevention strategies.

Insurance providers advise businessmen on the road to exercise caution when in public. It is best to dress more casually because a business suit will draw the unscrupulous guy’s attention. Keep multiple electronic devices out of sight and stay away from carrying expensive briefcases. The bad guys are simply watching for clues that there is a US businessperson they can seize for their own gain.

Express kidnapping, as used in insurance terminology, refers to the quick abduction of a businessperson, which typically takes place in an airport. The victim is taken hostage by the kidnappers, who then force him or her into a waiting car. The victim is then taken to several ATMs by the kidnappers, where they force her to withdraw cash. For two to three days, the scenario is played out repeatedly before the plot is discovered. The unfortunate victim is only then set free from captivity.

The episode can turn into a dire life-threatening situation where the victim’s safety is dependent on receiving ransom from the employer and/or the family members if the kidnapping perpetrators think the victim is a prestigious personality in his or her company or corporation.

Insurance Coverage – the four agreements of kidnap and ransom coverage

a) Kidnap and Ransom and Extortion Insurance: This covers a direct loss

b) Kidnap and Ransom and Extortion Insurance: This covers associated expenses

c) Detention or Hijack Insurance: When the victim is incarcerated as he or she travels in a vehicle, plane, or any type of watercraft for purposes other than ransom of money or property

d) The term “in-transit delivery of property” refers to the kidnapping victim’s ability to deliver the property and money held as ransom while still in motion.

Speak with a knowledgeable independent insurance agent for a detailed explanation of kidnap and ransom insurance.

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