International Group Insurance Products with Full Description:

Who helps you today to navigate international risk management and global benefits for expatriates, TCNs, foreign nationals and global travelers?

The 3 most important reasons to team with us for international group insurance needs are outlined below:

There is no cost to have McKinley International on "retainer" and we share advice with clients every day with no consulting fees.

If you employ expatriates and other international assignees, you never know what may cross your desk and you need a partner that can navigate ANY issue that may come your way.

Your current broker or consultant may lack international experience (99% do), and there is no conflict because we do NO U.S. domestic benefits.

For an in depth review of these international group insurance topics, please review each of the 4 white papers below:

Unfortunately, expatriate abduction is not fiction, and the need for the proper planning and expatriate kidnap and ransom insurance is very real.

It's not just expatriates that global employers need to worry about. The need for international kidnap and ransom insurance is just as real for top executives that take international business and personal trips abroad.

You can issue your people Canadian backpacks or you can firm up you international security policy for expatriates and global travelers. Our speciality is the latter.

Kidnap and Ransom Insurance for Expatriates.

We find there is a tremendous amount of confusion in the marketplace concerning kidnap and ransom insurance for expatriates and for executives that travel internationally. We would like to explain the relevant issues benefit managers need to know.

McKinley International is pleased to focus on kidnap and ransom insurance for the retail market through

The world is a dangerous place today, the proper kidnap and ransom program is absolutely essential.

If the organizations kidnap and ransom program is not treated with the utmost importance it exposes the organization to millions of dollars of liability that in uninsured and unfunded. Although these policies are called Kidnap & Ransom or K&R, they go beyond what most people understand, or would imagine the coverage to be.

Please note, there are big differences in what is offered in the marketplace for kidnap and ransom insurance for expatriates. Prices and quality vary. This is not the type of program where you want to buy the first cheap program to come along.

The quality expatriate kidnap and ransom polices are also referred to as KED (kidnap, extortion, detention). Policies of high quality can include (and should include) coverage for all of the following:

  • Kidnap
  • Extortion (the making of illegal threats to health, safety, or welfare of an insured or against business or personal property. Property can be defined to include trade secrets the extortionist may or may not have).
  • Detention; holding under duress even by local authorities!
  • Personal Accident (similar to U.S. AD&D benefit for loss of life or limb)
  • Permanent and Total Disability if the disability comes from a covered occurrence

In terms of what is paid out by a policy, or what the coverage actually provides for the covered occurrences described above, it can include all of the following loss payments and services:

  • Ransom monies up to the policy limits including loss of ransom in transit
  • Full expenses of the security consultant retained under contract
  • Cost of certain communications equipment or recording devices
  • Fees and expenses of an independent negotiator
  • Misc. expenses such as an interpreter and public relations consultant
  • Travel costs for insured and family out of country, or back to country
  • Certain psychiatric and medical fees
  • Reward paid to an informant
  • Salary replacement for insured or an insured person (spouse)
  • Legal liability payments up to policy limits and defense costs

As an international benefit manager working with an international brokerage, not having a full understanding of these policies (or worse yet, not understanding the kidnap and ransom insurance policy you have now) can pose tremendous legal liability. In some countries, it's beyond a financial liability and if the organization did not take the proper "duty of care" to protect employees, it can become a criminal proceeding.

First, it is imperative that expatriate kidnap and ransom insurance polices be kept a secret as much as possible. Unless it can be demonstrated to an insurer that only those in your organization on an absolute "need to know basis" were aware of the policy, the policy could be cancelled by the insurer or even become voidable in the event of claim. The reason for this is simple; gangs, criminals, and even terrorist organizations may make a target of an employee where a known K&R insurance policy exists, over a random person that may not be able to pay the ransom. Policies that don't require secrecy are not worth very much and should be replaced.

Although, many have wondered how they possibly could find out about the existence of a kidnap and ransom insurance policy, and the chances may be quite small, good underwriters take this matter very seriously. Second, unlike what most may initially believe, the actual payment of the expatriate's ransom is far less important than the security firm that will be under contract to manage the process and deal with the kidnappers. These kidnap & ransom programs are about far more than just paying a ransom.

We have spoken to many large companies that take an arrogant approach to this coverage and we get the response, "we are large enough where we don't need this coverage…we would afford to pay the ransom ourselves." Such statements demonstrate the lack of understanding regarding these policies. Of course, we assume XYZ Global Oil & Drilling can come up with several million dollars of ransom. However, walking through the actual event will help to clarify why this is not a coverage that can just be "figured out" during a crisis.

The CFO of XYZ Global Oil & Drilling gets a call at 4:50 p.m. on a Friday. A kidnapper is calling from Mexico City informing the CFO that 2 employees and a spouse are currently being held. Instructions are given where $500,000 USD needs to be delivered "somewhere in Venezuela" at a location to be determined at a later time. The kidnapper asks for the personal email of the CFO and the CFO is told that an email will arrive at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning confirming the meeting place or the "drop location" for the ransom. What would this CFO do? Valuable minutes are beginning to tick off the clock. Here are the immediate problems presented to this individual: Who do I call at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday? Do I call the local police, the FBI, the CIA … who? What security firms can I contact? Is the call for real? No names of my people were given to me? How do I even know they have my people and how can I tell if I can't reach all my people in Venezuela quickly? We have the funds, but how can we come up with that much cash in small denominations so quickly?

How do we transport or wire the funds into Venezuela in time? What security company is best for this job? Clearly, there are just too many variables to not be currently under contract with an international security consultant or K&R insurer, that has the security expertise and expense "built in." Even if you are a large firm, the best security consultant's time and resources are finite. Existing customers are always given first priority and in this example you are not a customer.

Even if there are ample resources, there is no guarantee that our CFO will have security consulting firms jumping through hoops to bid this very difficult assignment at the last minute, even for an extraordinary amount of money. They have their reputation to think of, and it's worth 100 times what you can offer to pay them to "jump on this case" with little time, and a chance of the operation being unsuccessful. Finally, having an appropriate professional to outsource this nightmare situation is critical, especially to mitigate the legal liability that comes with item # 2 above. Let the professionals make the determination. A CFO and CEO who waits to receive the email on Saturday morning before taking certain actions could be looking at a tremendous lawsuit if things turn bad. On the other hand, taking steps and waking people up in the middle of the night to secure $500,000 cash, for an obvious hoax, it an expensive embarrassment. We hope we have provided new information here that is valuable. It's intended to get you thinking of a few things you may not have considered before. If we can be of additional assistance in review existing policies, or securing additional coverage please let us know.