If Liam Neeson Isn't Your Dad, You Need Crisis Response Coverage
Posted by March 08, 2016in Insuranceon
Imagine you're strolling along the travel destination of your dreams. Someone motions you to check out a great restaurant, market, or the Instagram-worthy scenery around the corner. Before you know it, you've been kidnapped, to be let go after your captor has sucked your bank account dry and maxed out your credit cards.
It's what's known as an “express kidnapping" (a.k.a. “quickie" or “lightning" kidnapping), and it's far more common than you'd think. In fact, express kidnappings are on the rise, because unlike classic, elaborate kidnappings, they require just a single delinquent with a weapon, no planning, and go largely underreported, the Economist explains.
It's not a thought any traveler likes to entertain, but the reality is that, when planning a trip, we're venturing into a world full of crazies and bad guys — even in the loveliest destinations. And if your dad isn’t Liam Neeson (or his Taken character Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative who singlehandedly tracks down each and every one of his daughter’s kidnappers), then this risk is something to be seriously considered.
Risk is a constant companion for anyone who's alive, but it doesn't have to be something that holds us back--or something that ruins a well-deserved vacation. Astute globetrotters know this and seek to better understand their risks and use that knowledge for their benefit.
Travel website Thrillist has published a guide to seven countries where express kidnappings are somewhat commonplace:
- The Philippines
According to Thrillist, random street thugs and rogue cab drivers are the ones doing the kidnapping in most of these countries, although terror groups and even pirates may be active in some regions.
And although we're zooming into express kidnappings, let us not forget the risks that accompany the potential civil or political unrest, natural disasters, or other crises travelers might encounter abroad.
It's why Crisis Response coverage is vital, both for protection and peace of mind — even if the ultimate goal is to never use it.
Crisis Response Coverage
Here's a snapshot of what the benefit covers:
- 24/7 access to a Response Operations Center, staffed with expert crisis consultants and negotiators
- $10,000 for crisis response expenses, ransom, and personal belongings surrendered in an express kidnapping
- Medical assistance including ER admission, ambulance, physical therapy and more
Be sure to note, however, that the Crisis Response Benefit is excluded* from HCCMIS’ Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium plans when the kidnapping or express kidnapping first occurs in one of the following countries:
Or any other country subject to sanctions by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including:
- North Korea
Get the full scoop here.
Safety Tips for International Travel
Outside of arming yourself with a Crisis Response Benefit, a few habits can help ensure a crisis-free trip, including:
Regular contact with family and friends so they know your whereabouts
Signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) — a free service to U.S. citizens that alerts you to safety conditions in your destination country and facilitates contact with friends and family in an emergency
Checking on travel alerts & warnings before you travel
Scanning key documents (passport, flight tickets, other government-issued IDs) so you can access them electronically in a pinch, if needed
Carrying contact info for your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Avoiding all demonstrations and large gatherings
Leaving the country if you feel threatened, and during civil or political unrest
It's not our intent to scare you as you gear up for your next trip. Rather, we believe your enjoyment and relaxation will be greater — and more likely — when you arm yourself with the resources and experts that can shoulder potential risks on your behalf.