New Chubb product offers cover for kidnap and ransom

Chubb Insurance has launched a financial crime product to fight a new crime known as tiger kidnapping, which targets key executives of major companies.

Over the past couple of years there has been a marked increase in the number of tiger kidnappings mainly within the UK and Ireland, said Halcyon Ellis, a Chubb vice president.

Ellis said: “Because it’s a relatively new development – over the last few years we’ve seen some banks, hotel and retail chains held to ransom under this crime – no one knew if it should fall under financial crime or kidnapping.

“We decided to cover it under financial crime because it involves someone taking money through a criminal act. We have the ability to do it because we write both financial crime and kidnapping.”

The crime takes place when a person of importance to the victim is held hostage until the criminal’s demsands are met during the robbery of a business or financial institution.

Employers are hesitant to release any details on kidnappings, making it difficult to compile statistics on the rate of this particular crime.

However, there have been reported cases over the past few years.

In 2006 a Securitas manager and his family were kidnapped in Herne Bay, Kent, and held until he gave the robbers access to the depot. A similar plot unfolded with a Northern Rock branch in Belfast in 2004 where two executives were abducted.

Security consultants Control Risks have estimated the number of tiger kidnappings rose by 300% between 2003 and 2006.

Ellis said the cover Chubb was offering was novel: “We expect other insurers will follow suit.”

Chubb has rewritten its financial crimes product to cover all events whether perpetrated by an employee or an outsider.

Previously, the burden of proof was on an employer to prove that a crime was committed by a third-party before a claim would be settled.