Q and A

Clients should consider whether it is possible for themselves or their company to become a target, considering whether their circumstances fit the profile. Most successful individuals and companies do fit the profile.

Individuals and companies are normally targeted because they have something the extortionist wants. The most common example of that ‘something’ is money, but it can be in order to exact revenge, or publicity for a cause, or it may be a group (which might even be a foreign government) wanting to put pressure on the government of their country of domicile or nationality.

Because it is a policy of indemnity the insured (the client) has to pay for any ransom losses first and then insurers reimburse the client. Additional expenses are normally paid for directly, as are the fees and expenses of specialist advisers. The policy also offers the services of specialist advisers in the event that a client does experience an incident. These expert advisers are professionals, experienced in assisting and advising in this area.

It depends on how much the client would be prepared to pay as a ransom for the safe return of a family member or employee. The point to stress again is the insurance will only reimburse them for any ransom paid; it will NOT pay a ransom up front. Quotations can be obtained for different sums insured for as many different categories of person as required. Sums insured can be as low as USD 250,000. It is our experience that if clients are prepared to make use of the Insurers’ specialist advisers’ offer to assist in solving the problem the final agreed ransom will be a substantial reduction on the initial demand.

Anybody or anything that it is felt may be used to put pressure upon the client. In the case of products and property extortion, it should be all their products and property – we advise not to exclude anything. For individuals: if unsure, a quotation to include them for a lower sum insured (for example) can be obtained. If a company, it is sometimes possible to buy an all-encompassing coverage for all directors, officers and employees and family members.

In respect of Kidnapping for Ransom: Robbery in the client’s own home, or office, or at a cash point; or where they are not physically taken away and someone else (either a family member or a colleague) is given a ransom demand.
In respect of all interests insured: A fraudulent or criminal act of the Assured or an insured person.
In respect of Detention only: Failure to maintain immigration, work, residence or similar visas and if employed on any governmental, private police, guard, security or armed forces.