Kidnap insurance was reportedly introduced after the abduction of the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh in the US in 1932. With the increasing occurrences of piracy and Islamist extremism the risk of kidnapping is worth insuring against in regions around the world.
Although kidnap insurance covers ransom demands it also offers a holistic service that, through the use of kidnap consultant, aims to secure the insured release through humanitarian, religious or political means.
According to research, cited by Hiscox, only about 1% of kidnaps are covered by insurance. This shows that there is both a lack of people taking out coverage and suggests that taking out coverage does not increase your chances of being kidnaped.
Risks are higher in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, the Somali Coast, parts of The Middle East such as Iraq and Afghanistan and parts of Central and South America such as Mexico, Haiti, Columbia and Venezuela. However only a small proportion of kidnappings involve westerners due to the greater risks and difficulties involved and the lack of western visitors in high risk regions. Kidnapping is also a low but not insignificant threat in many western countries in Europe, North America and Australasia.