Although a substantial percentage of the Fortune 500 companies purchase "kidnap-ransom-extortion" for employees who live or travel in high-risk countries, insurance companies that sell such coverage with the proviso that the details of such policies be kept secret from those the policy underwrites.
Companies with major exposure in developing countries derive definite advantages from this coverage, considering that roughly 65% of kidnap cases involve ransom payments, whereas less than 20% involve release without ransom payments.
In addition, most underwriters have formal relationships with experienced consultants who deploy to a country in the event of a kidnapping and provide strategies to negotiators, intermediaries, family members and underwriters’ management.
The downside of "kidnap-ransom-extortion" coverage is that payment of the negotiated ransom is often on a reimbursable basis.
The downside is that the majority of small or entrepreneurial companies rarely have the liquid assets to reimburse a US$500,000 to four-to-five million "kidnap-ransom-extortion" payment, thus such firms are urged to establish a vigorous risk-reduction aimed at preventing the abduction of an employee.
Typically, travelers and expatriates should ask whether their employer provides reimbursement coverage for ransom demands, although confirming details regarding such insurance are not normally honored.
My personal suggestion is that anyone destined for a high-threat country, particularly in a developing nation, should insist that their negotiations include insurance coverage in the event they are abducted for ransom.
Major reputable vendors that provide "kidnap-ransom-extortion" coverage include: