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If Liam Neeson Isn't Your Dad, You Need Crisis Response Coverage

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If Liam Neeson Isn't Your Dad, You Need Crisis Response Coverage

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.

Express Kidnappings

express kidnapping crisis response

Travel website Thrillist has published a guide to seven countries where express kidnappings are somewhat commonplace:

  • Mexico
  • Haiti
  • Brazil
  • The Philippines
  • India
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela*

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

Designed for student travelers, missionaries, business professionals, and families, the Crisis Response Benefit is included in HCCMIS' Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium insurance plans.

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:

  • 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

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:

ambulance crisis

  • 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.


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Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group international insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd’s. Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. 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 HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.