In the past, when the words “kidnapping” and “ransom” were mentioned, they were more anecdotal, accentuated by the details worthy of the best Western films often distilled to support the statements. But this was before. Before the context changes, the world becomes global and access to information is global, available everywhere and at all times. From now on, geolocation of everyone is possible, as well as financial transactions, resources, etc. Orwell’s “Big Brother is watching you” is no longer a chimera, but a reality. So, should we all protect ourselves? How to assess your own level of risk? What safeguards should be put in place?
A brief contextual overview and possible solutions.
Seized employees, kidnapped girl, kidnapped girl, journalists held in captivity and then executed, CEO released after payment of a large sum of money… kidnapping and ransom scenarios have not been lacking for a few years. And even if – in the majority of cases – it fortunately ends rather well, the fact remains that the moral and financial damage is indeed present. While the costs of kidnapping (including expenses for ransom, negotiations, travel, compensation requirements in the event that the victim complains against his employer) must be taken into account, the costs of medical treatment must not be forgotten in the balance. And all this can very quickly amount to thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of francs.
In a context different from a few years ago, who can today be a potential target? For potential “known” victims such as CEOs and public and political figures, the spectrum is widening. It is therefore not surprising to see that among the buyers of such insurance policies today are large energy and mining companies with their employees working in unstable and very remote regions. Another example is the implementation of a European directive making the register of major shareholders public, with the possibility now for anyone to know the full names of shareholders holding or controlling more than 25% of the capital or votes of a given entity. There is no need to go any further to understand that by being more anonymous, these people become potential targets.
Today, the global market for kidnapping insurance is estimated to be worth nearly 1.5 billion dollars, “drifted” in particular by Chinese companies increasingly present in high-risk countries and wishing to protect their expatriate executive employees, but not only. With the spread of information, new technologies making geolocation a child’s play, more and more “ordinary” citizens are thinking of insuring themselves against this special risk, which is ultimately more improbable. That’s why at PSPI, alongside the other special risks we insure, we integrate kidnapping and ransom (K&R) into our offer package. To do this, we offer much more than just the payment of ransoms; we cover all losses related to kidnapping: transit, legal fees, personal accidents, additional costs, costs and expenses related to risk control.
We work with experienced and reputable partners in the management of these risks. Thanks to this partnership, we are able to negotiate and guarantee the release of the victim of the kidnapping.
Have you ever thought about it?