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  • Writer's picturePauline Handy

Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance for Individuals

What You Need to Know

man pointing gun at people in vehicle

When considering insurance for your personal needs, the last thing you might expect to need is coverage for kidnaping and ransom payments. However, kidnapping crimes are actually on the rise and high-profile celebrities aren’t the only ones at risk of kidnapping for extortion.

The most common cases involve folks who have substantial assets. Kidnap and ransom insurance is a type of coverage to strongly consider for these families and individuals. Smart technology has made it easier for nefarious actors to steal, sell and share your personal information.

One example is virtual kidnapping — a scam that has all the trappings of an actual kidnapping but is faked. Virtual kidnappers contact their targets by phone and claim they’ve kidnapped a family member. The kidnappers use personal information (found on social media and other online resources). AI can generate life-like images and voices that are impressive. Criminals use what’s called a deepfake to scare the target into paying their ransom demands. The FBI most recently released a PSA regarding this to warn the public.

Before the victims realize the kidnapping was faked, the virtual kidnappers disappear with the money. No one gets physically hurt, but the emotional trauma is long-lasting and the financial loss is real.

Insurance Can Help

It’s important to act quickly and rationally when faced with a threatening event. Having a team of experienced professionals to rely on is paramount. Kidnap, ransom and extortion insurance for individuals can’t prevent a kidnapping, but it can help with the following:

  • Professional negotiators

  • Security teams

  • Special investigators

  • Ransom reimbursements

  • Lawyers

  • Forensic analysts

  • Media consultants

  • Political and cultural consultants (to help navigate the local customs)

  • Psychiatric and aftercare support services

  • Preventive response measures (crisis training and security risk analysis)

Of course, exclusions may apply in known high-risk areas or when the government issues “do not travel” bans.

Before you travel internationally

Educate yourself and travel smart to reduce your risk of becoming a target:

Work With a Trusted Choice® Insurance Agent

Make it a priority to safeguard yourself, your family and your business. Contact V.F. McNeil Insurance today to learn more about kidnap, ransom and extortion insurance.

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