Kidnap and Ransom Insurance Coverage Overview

Kidnap and Ransom Insurance Overview

Kidnap and extortion is legitimate threat for Canadian businesses. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, these illegal acts have become a business in and of themselves, with sights set on wealthy Canadian companies and business travellers. In most cases, kidnappers take professionals captive to make a profit, releasing the individual once demands have been met. Because many overseas attacks are related to business, the need for kidnap & ransom insurance coverage continues to grow. This is particularly true in areas where law enforcement has a blind eye to guerrilla activity and in areas that are stricken by poverty. To combat financial losses in the event of a kidnap or extortion situation, kidnap & ransom insurance (aka K&R or Special Risk Coverage) is a practical risk transfer option.

What is Kidnap and Ransom Insurance Coverage?

Kidnap and ransom insurance coverage is typically a stand-alone policy for employees engaged in international business travel. It covers costs relating to events such as:

  • Kidnap and ransom – seizing an employee with the intent to demand money in return for the employee
  • Wrongful detention – confining an employee under the guise of government
  • Extortion – demanding money with the threat to injure or kill an employee, damage property, divulge trade secrets or spread a computer virus
  • Hijacking – holding an employee for an extended period of time against his or her will on an airplane, motor vehicle or ship.

Kidnap and ransom insurance coverage typically includes ransom and extortion payments, in-transit money delivery coverage, consultant costs, negotiation costs, public relations costs, interest fees coverage, judgment settlements and defence costs. The policy can also cover harm to the captive employee and his or her family such as death and dismemberment benefits, medical costs for injuries and psychiatric treatment after the employee is freed. Coverage is particularly helpful during times of negotiation, as experts are provided to the company to successfully free the captive employee with minimal harm.

In addition to purchasing proper coverage, you should check with your insurance carrier to see if they offer training sessions for travelling employees to educate them on how to react in a hostage situation. The training typically provides insight on how to initially deal with captors until an expert is available to take over negotiations.

Insurance carriers also advise that employers not reveal that they have kidnap and ransom insurance coverage. This confidentiality provision is designed to prevent employees from revealing to potential captors that they are insured. A large kidnap & ransom insurance policy may make the employee a lucrative target.

Who Needs Kidnap and Ransom Insurance Coverage?

Companies operating overseas need kidnap & ransom insurance to protect their travelling employees. This applies to businesses of all sizes—kidnappers do not prefer larger companies over the small ones. In this business, everyone with money is considered a good target.

The coverage is particularly beneficial for employees who travel to regions of the world that are considered high risk. Countries with a consistently elevated rate of kidnaps and/or extortions include Afghanistan, Brazil, Honduras, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Venezuela and South Africa.

Underwriting Considerations

The premium for this type of coverage is generally based on the following:

  • Type of industry
  • Revenue of the insured company
  • Country of residence
  • Travel patterns of the employees

ALIGNED Insurance can assist you in designing a kidnap & ransom Insurance policy that meets your company’s specific needs. We work closely with kidnap & ransom insurance  carriers, including AIG and others, to ensure you have the coverage, training and support you need, when you need it most. Speak with an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate today for more information or connect with us at

ALIGNED Across Canada   100% Canadian owned, ALIGNED is a premiere insurance brokerage that serves more than 1,400 clients across the country. ALIGNED’s offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver are supported by a national operations centre in Cambridge, Ontario. Uniquely within the industry, ALIGNED creates, negotiates and delivers the best business insurance and risk management strategies/solutions to organizations like yours.


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