Employers underestimating kidnap and ransom threat

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The Health Insurance Group, based in the UK, has said that employers are underestimating the threat of kidnap and ransom, and that they should be doing more to protect their staff when abroad.

According to the company, approximately 40,000 kidnappings occur every year and over 40% of these are of business personnel or their dependants. It also points out that though there are several regions where employees are more at risk of ransom, Mexico and Bangladesh for example, it can happen anywhere.

Business travel in areas that are getting more and more dangerous is increasing, says Heath Insurance Group. Africa, for example, is seen as attractive for new business, but according to Result Group, has had a ‘significant deterioration of safety’ in the last four years.

With this in mind, Health Insurance Group say that companies need to conduct research before travel, get advice from experts and ensure the relevant insurance is in place before sending employees to a region.

“Sadly, we have to recognise that the risk of kidnap and ransom is increasing and it isn’t just limited to high-risk areas,” said Sarah Dennis, head of International for the Health Insurance Group. “The good news is, there are specific kidnap and ransom policies that have been designed to specifically protect companies with staff working abroad. A kidnap and ransom policy should be an integral part of the provisions that employers make to meet their duty of care for overseas and travelling staff – wherever they’re working.”