Business

Kidnap, ransom & extortion

When your company conducts business overseas you are prepared for language barriers, exotic customs and diverse negotiating styles. What you cannot predict, however, is political upheaval and the increased danger of abduction and extortion.

Kidnapping is big business. There are an estimated 8000 kidnappings worldwide with annual global takings of $500m. With a vast increase in kidnapping over the last six years it is becoming a fact of life in many of the world’s most dangerous territories.

Kidnap, ransom and extortion insurance from Chubb includes wide ranging cover and the knowledge that you will be advised through the situation by the best in the business. We believe few other insurers provide such comprehensive coverage.

Kidnap, Ransom & Extortion Policy

Our kidnap policy is distinctive in the market and is designed to provide maximum financial and security protection in the event of a kidnapping or other extortion loss. Our broad definitions ensure your company, your employees and their family members are covered.

Key features

Kidnap and ransom cover

You are covered whether a person is actually abducted or a ransom was paid in the belief that a person had been taken. In addition to covering the cost of the ransom payment, Chubb’s policy also covers the interest costs for a loan taken to pay the ransom or extortion payment.

Extortion cover
  • Do bodily harm to an employee as well as his/her family which are politically motivated
  • Cause damage to any premises or tangible property located on the company’s premises
  • Contaminate the products manufactured or distributed by the company
  • Disseminate, divulge or utilise the company’s proprietary information
  • Introduce a computer virus against the company
Lost ransom cover

Covers money or other conveyed property used to pay a ransom or extortion demand.

Expenses

Our aim at all times is the safe return of a kidnap victim. We extend cover for expenses and legal costs incurred to achieve the release of a hostage. These may include independent negotiators’ fees, interest on loans taken out for a ransom payment, salary continuation, consequential personal financial loss and reasonable medical expenses.

Security consultantsL

Chubb can provide security consultants from one of the world’s pre-eminent security firms, The Ackerman Group, to assist in negotiating an employee’s safe return.  While it is not mandatory to use a specific firm, early involvement of an experienced security consultant can often mean the quick return of a victim at a reasonable cost.

Legal liability cover

This will protect your company in the event it is deemed to be negligent in hostage retrieval.

Optional threat response expense cover

This allows you to cover the expenses incurred when you use the services of The Ackerman Group to investigate extortion threats when no monetary ransom demand has been made.

Claims Examples

These are examples of real life scenarios we have encountered worldwide.

Kidnapped traveling

Two expatriate oil surveyors were travelling alone by car along an unfamiliar road when they were stopped at a roadblock.  Criminals, who were using the roadblock as a trap to rob passers by, decided to up the ante when they recognised two foreigners and kidnapped the pair.  One surveyor was released along with a $5m ransom demand to take back to the company.  The company selected its own security consultant, who was inexperienced and unfamiliar with the territory.  The demand of $5m was ultimately paid.  However, the negotiation of the safe return of the other employee took almost a year.

Ransom payment $5m, Expenses $500,000

In cases of prolonged abduction, Chubb’s policy can pay the salary of a kidnapped employee for up to 60 months.

Extortion threats from an anonymous source

A company’s CEO received an anonymous letter threatening to blow up several hotels unless a payment of $1m was made.  The letter appeared to by authored by a radical political group.  Risk consultants were retained to analyse the letter and assess the level of risk.  They advised that the risk should be taken seriously.  The company heightened the security measures at their hotels, and working with local authorities, unsuccessful efforts were made to contact the extortionist.  After four months, another threat was made, and again contact was attempted.  Eventually the extortionist stopped all communication to the company, and no new threats were made.

Extortion payment $0, Expenses $50,000

Chubb’s policy responds to extortion threats to destroy, damage or contaminate a company’s property.

Abducted while travelling on business

A company’s branch manager was abducted while driving back from a business meeting.  The kidnappers contacted the family and demanded $5m.  The family immediately called the local police and then called the company’s human resources manager, who contacted and retained the company’s designated security consultant.  The consultant determined the local police officers were acting in conjunction with the kidnappers.  Given the consultant’s experience and knowledge of the country, the consultant contacted the local police officers’ superiors and convinced them to negotiate the quick release of the victim.

Ransom payment $500,000, Expenses $30,000

Chubb can provide security consultants from one of the world’s pre-eminent security firms, The Ackerman Group, to assist in negotiating an employee’s safe return.

Abducted at gunpoint

On his way to a company event, an executive was abducted at gunpoint by a band of rebels.  The rebels demanded a $10m ransom payment from the company. The company immediately contacted their public relations firm and announced to the press their desire to pay the ransom demand for the safe return of the executive.  During the first few days following the kidnapping, the company secured the $10m and hired a security consultant.  After three weeks of negotiation, the company paid the entire ransom demand, and the executive was released unharmed.

Ransom payment $10m,  Expenses $150,000

In addition to covering the cost of the ransom payment, Chubb’s policy also covers the interest costs for a loan taken to pay the ransom or extortion payment.

Threats from an employee

Fired for poor performance, an exiting employee who had a history of violent behaviour demanded $100,000 and threatened bodily injury to his about-to-be-former employers if payment was not made.  This verbal threat was followed by a series of threatening letters and stalking of the company’s president.  Security consultants were quickly called in to provide security for the president and deal with the extortionist.  After several weeks, a meeting was arranged between the ex-employee and two police officers.  The man was informed of the seriousness of his threats and their legal ramifications.  As a result of the meeting, the ex-employee agreed to his termination pay and stopped his activities.

Extortion payment: $0, Expenses $60,000

Chubb’s policy can provide payment for reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining short-term security during the extortion period.

Abducted at home

The daughter of an executive living abroad was abducted from her home.  The father was contacted by the kidnappers, who demanded $500,000 for her return.  Fearing for his daughter’s safety, the father paid the ransom and she was released unharmed.  When the executive’s company was informed of the incident, it called in its security consultant.  The security consultant verified the incident and, in the process, concluded the family’s maid had been involved.

Ransom payment $500,000, Expenses $15,000

Fact:  Chubb’s policy can extend coverage to an employee’s family members.

Security Consultants

You won’t be alone in a crisis situation when you’re covered by Chubb’s kidnap, ransom and extortion insurance. In the event of a kidnapping or an extortion threat, you will have instant access to the services of The Ackerman Group. In addition you have access to a daily updated online risk forecasting system.

The Ackerman Group

The Ackerman Group is a world-renowned, independent international security consulting firm retained by Chubb to help support our clients. This organisation provides the knowledge and resources needed to handle tense emergency situations. Clients can contact The Ackerman Group directly for consultation on security procedures and crisis management prior to an extortion or kidnap threat. Moreover, Chubb clients are guaranteed immediate response from The Ackerman Group and work direct with this independent firm during a crisis.

RISKNET™

Your policy with Chubb also gives you access to RISKNET, The Ackerman Group’s widely followed on-line risk forecasting service. Updated every business day, RISKNET analyses terrorism, crime and political stability risks in more than 90 countries around the world. Features include:

  • The Executive Digest, a news bulletin of breaking developments that could affect your travel and overseas operations.
  • Country summaries of current terrorism, crime and politically unstable environments, designed for both decision makers and travellers.
  • The Airline Guide, listing major worldwide airlines, rated on terrorism, hijacking and bombing risk factors.
  • The City Guide, with recommendations on the best means of travelling from the airport to town, the most appropriate ways of getting around and the safest hotels in more than 130 cities worldwide.