Insurance Marketplace Realities: Kidnap and ransom

2018 Spring Update on Commercial Insurance in North America

April 12, 2018

Price prediction

  Trend Range
Kidnap and ransom: No change or slightly up/down –5% to +5%

Key takeaway

Special risks insurance markets continue to reduce their limits of liability for cyber extortion events.

The main drivers of kidnap in the first quarter of 2018 will continue to be economic instability, weak rule of law and ongoing conflicts.

Key risks in Latin America

  • Mexico kidnap rates will likely continue to rise. National statistics indicate that more than 6,000 kidnappings have occurred across Mexico since the inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto in December 2012.
  • The ongoing fragmentation of criminal groups and drug cartels in Mexico and the ineffective “war on drugs” policy have contributed to another violent year.
  • Economic and political strain in both Brazil and Venezuela will likely drive an increase in kidnaps and extortions.

Key risks in Middle East and North Africa

  • In the absence of political resolution, Libya will continue to present a high level of risk to expatriates and local business people.
  • The deteriorating security situation in Mali will present continued opportunities for criminals, including al-Qaeda-affiliated groups. This threat extends to a lesser degree through Niger, Chad and South Sudan.
  • In Yemen and Syria, unresolved civil wars will sustain very high levels of kidnap threat.
  • In Iraq, both the kidnap of Iraqi locals and political abductions of foreign nationals in disputed areas will continue.

Key risks in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • In Nigeria, staff from the mining, oil and development sectors face a rise in kidnap activity.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Mozambique continue to be areas of high danger.

Key risks in South Asia

  • Kidnap threat levels are rising in Pakistan (particularly for foreign nationals of Pakistani origin).
  • In Afghanistan, the Taliban will continue to be the main threat to foreigners and locals.
  • In India, kidnaps of wealthy business people’s family members will endure at a medium threat level.

Key risks in South East and East Asia

  • In the southern Philippines and parts of eastern Malaysia, the risk of kidnap of foreigners and locals by the Abu Sayyaf group will remain high and medium, respectively.