chapter  5
15 Pages

Kidnap and ransom insurance

Eight o’clock in the evening and Mrs Smith is anxiously waiting in her London house for her husband, who should be back from a business trip in a South American country. In half an hour they should be leaving to attend a concert at which their 12-year-old daughter will be giving her first orchestra performance. The telephone rings; it’s the CEO of the mining company for which Mr Smith works as chief exploration officer. He tells Mrs Smith that there has been an unfortunate security incident and her husband has been abducted on his way to the airport in this South American country. He then adds, ‘but you must not worry, the crisis management plan has been activated and the leader of our crisis management team is on its way to your house’. Minutes later, Mr Phillips, a hardened security consultant in his mid-40s and former SAS officer, arrives together with Mr Harris, the security manager of her husband’s employer. The briefing begins by stating that Mr Smith is covered by a kidnap and ransom (K&R) insurance policy which forms part of the company’s risk management strategy. The fees and costs of Mr Phillips and his team, at the service of a London-based ‘priority crisis response’ company which works in tandem with the insurer, are covered and their expert advice will be provided throughout the negotiation. Mr Phillips explains that from intelligence reports provided by his people on the ground this appears to be a ‘conventional’ case and that every measure will be taken to recover the victim unharmed. While shaking hands prior to departure he says, ‘you’re in good hands, our company has the best record in the safe retrieval of hostages in the business’.