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Kidnap insurance is designed to pay the ransom of any individual who is kidnapped. The premiums for this kind of insurance are often quite high by many standards, but since most ransom kidnapping targets are financially wealthy, it can be a worthwhile investment. The plans often come with special advantages, including hostage negotiation teams and security consultation teams that can be launched into action if something occurs. Kidnap insurance has been around since the 1930s, and it became popular partly because of the famous kidnapping incident involving the son of famous American aviator Charles Lindbergh.
Individuals who purchase kidnap insurance will generally be rich people who travel a lot. Kidnapping for ransom is relatively rare in most countries, but there are hot spots in certain regions of the world. Some areas with kidnapping problems include parts of Mexico, South America and many areas in the former Soviet Union. Many financially successful people consider kidnap insurance a vital purchase because they travel in these dangerous areas frequently.
Kidnapping corporate leaders is another common tactic, and for this reason, many businesses purchase kidnap insurance. This is especially true for large companies with major international operations. Corporate kidnap insurance plans will often cover any employee that is kidnapped, and they generally have all the same bells and whistles as the personal plans. There are sometimes limits to how many employees these plans will cover in a single incident. This could commonly include limits of seven to 10 simultaneous kidnappings.
Kidnapping is a relatively common crime in many countries. As a general rule, successful recovery of hostages is also more common in areas where kidnapping is common. For example, in many regions, it is common for 90% or more of hostages to be recovered successfully. In areas where the law has cracked down on kidnapping operations, there are generally less incidents, but there are also more failures to save hostages. This is partly because the criminals are often more afraid of the consequences of being caught, and therefore, more likely to kill the hostages as a way of protecting their identities.
In areas where kidnapping for ransom occurs, there are sometimes other similar incidents involving the same kinds of criminals. For example, people may be grabbed and forced to extract money from a bank account, or criminals may invade someone’s home and force one family member to withdraw money. Kidnap insurance policies are often made with these crimes in mind as well.