What is the Crisis Response Benefit?

Sometimes travel can take an unexpected turn for the worse, even when you’ve taken every precaution. That’s why it’s best to always be prepared with travel coverage that protects you from a worst-case scenario.

An unexpected illness or injury is, unfortunately, not the only concern to consider when traveling abroad. Today, kidnapping is a very real possibility for a business person or tourist in some countries.  

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Fortunately, travel insurance from HCC Medical Insurance Services now includes kidnap and ransom coverage known as Crisis Response. This new benefit provides policyholders with access to a team of knowledgeable crisis consultants who can handle scary situations such as kidnappings.

What is the Crisis Response benefit?

No traveler wants to think about the threat of being kidnapped abroad, but terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminal organizations all use kidnapping and extortion to advance their agendas. Foreign travelers and their families can be prime targets, especially in places where security is weak or non-existent.

woman working in call center

Some incidents are referred to as “express kidnappings,” a method of abduction where kidnappers demand a small, easily-accessible ransom in exchange for a quick release.  

Because of the threat of kidnapping, Atlas Travel insurance plans now include a Crisis Response benefit that covers expenses related to kidnapping. The coverage is designed to help families with the financial and emotional burdens of such events—and to ensure the victims’ safety above all else.

With the Crisis Response benefit, you get $10,000 for:

  • Ransom
  • An experienced crisis response team
  • Personal belongings surrendered in an express kidnapping
  • Crisis response expenses and fees
  • 24/7 access to the Response Operations Center

Who could benefit from this coverage?

Kidnap and ransom insurance can benefit a wide range of travelers—from students to business professionals.

  • Students: The University of California warns students in its study abroad program of the growing frequency of express kidnappings. This could occur when a seemingly trustworthy native temporarily abducts and forces an unsuspecting student to surrender an easily-accessible ransom in exchange for release.
  • Missionaries: Missionaries might not be aware of dangerous areas where they are easy targets for radicals and political activists.
  • Children: Kidnappers sometimes take children who have ventured too far away from their parents, and then demand money for their safe return.
  • Business Professionals: Professionals can stand out from their surroundings based on their attire, technology use and the places they frequent.
What happens if you get sick overseas? Guarantee you have health coverage.

How is the benefit activated?

young boy hugging mother

The policyholder (or a family member if it’s the policyholder who is kidnapped) contacts local law enforcement agencies and Unity Resources Group, which partners with HCCMIS to provide dedicated crisis response services worldwide. Unity has more than 1,200 employees worldwide and has led the negotiations in more than 600 cases in over 70 countries, including the world’s most challenging locations.

Unity supports and advises the victim’s family throughout a kidnapping incident, while working on negotiations and resolution strategies. The 24/7 Response Operations Center employs a team of analysts with expertise in security, terrorism, international politics and logistics—all to help smoothly and safely return your loved one.

Conditions and Restrictions

The policyholder must comply with all conditions and provisions of their insurance policy.

Before surrendering a ransom, the person authorizing the surrender must notify or make every reasonable attempt to notify:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation or local law enforcement agencies as soon as practicable, bearing in mind the safety of the person(s) held or threatened, and
  • Unity Resources Group

The surrender of a ransom must not be:

  • Carried by, transported by or possessed when a kidnapping or express kidnapping first occurs
  • At the location where a kidnapping or express kidnapping first occurs, unless it’s brought there for the sole purpose of conveying a previously communicated ransom demand

Any kidnapping or express kidnapping cannot be the result of fraud or other criminal act by the policyholder or their authorized representative (whether acting alone or with others), unless the person authorizing the ransom payment had made every reasonable attempt to determine that the ransom demand or threat was genuine before paying the ransom.

Any kidnapping or express kidnapping is excluded if it first occurs in:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Nigeria
  • Somalia
  • Venezuela
  • Or any other country subject to sanctions by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including:
    • Iran
    • Cuba
    • Sudan
    • North Korea

Limits of Liability

The policy’s total liability for all insured losses won’t exceed the aggregate amount outlined as follows:

  • Total liability: In the event of a kidnapping or express kidnapping, if the policyholder is covered by two or more policies issued by HCCMIS with Crisis Response coverage, the policies’ total liability won’t be cumulative, and can’t be more than the largest amount available under any single policy.
  • Valuation: HCCMIS won’t be liable for more than the actual cash value of any ransom when it is surrendered. If insured losses involve currency other than U.S. dollars, the currency exchange rate will be based on the rate published in the Wall Street Journal on the day when the ransom is surrendered.
  • Confidentiality: The policyholder must use their best efforts at all times to ensure that others don’t know about the existence of the kidnap insurance.

father and daughter

Conclusion

A kidnapping is a traumatic situation that takes an emotional toll, and most travelers aren’t prepared to handle it. That’s why it’s so beneficial to have access to an experienced team that can keep you informed while managing negotiations and finding a resolution for a loved one’s safe return.

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Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. We are regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.