High-risk insurance for West Africa
2 March 2015
Anyone requiring business or travel insurance for western or central African countries may need to factor in the increasing regional threat presented by Boko Haram. High-risk cover for war, terrorism and kidnapping might be advised, depending on the area you are visiting and the nature of your business there.
Boko Haram is now a regional threat
Over recent weeks and months Boko Haram’s deadly insurgency has spilled over the northeastern Nigerian border into neighbouring Cameroon and Niger. Last week armed militants crossed Lake Chad to attack a village inside Chad for the first time.
According to Boko Haram, these attacks come in direct response to the formation of a joint military task force by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, created specifically to defeat the Islamic extremists. Other central African countries have also pledged support including the Central African Republic, Burundi and Benin.
In a recent statement Boko Haram have warned that any country sending troops against them would find themselves at risk of armed attack and suicide bombing.
In particular it singled out Niger saying "If you insist on continuing the aggression and the coalition with the government of Chad, then we give you glad tidings that the land of Niger is easier than the land of Nigeria and moving the war to the depth of your cities will be the first reaction toward any aggression that occurs after this statement."
‘Western education is forbidden’
The name ‘Boko Haram’ translates as ‘western education is forbidden,’ and the group’s stated aim is to establish an Islamic state.
Since the insurgency began in 2009, it is estimated that three million people have been displaced. More and more lives have been lost each year. In 2014 it is estimated that Boko Haram killed over 9,000 people in northeastern Nigeria as well as carrying out a number of attacks in Abuja, the capital, and other cities. They were also responsible for the kidnapping and enslavement of 200 schoolgirls from Chibok.
Boko Haram is currently thought to be in control of an area the size of Belgium.
Their size and resources seem to be growing due to the tactics of forced conscription, raiding banks and acquiring arms by attacking police stations and military bases. Kidnapping is also very lucrative and though it is local people who are bearing the brunt of this, western nationals are seen as a particularly valuable target.
Country Risk Ratings escalating
Over the last few months we have seen Country Risk Ratings in the region escalating. With the Nigerian election postponed and most political commentators expecting violence during and after elections, high-risk insurance for businesses, personal and equipment is highly recommended.
For companies and NGOs
As a Lloyd’s Coverholder we can tailor a policy to your particular requirements, whether you are a operating on behalf of a company, an organisation or government. We can source a range of competitively priced cover that will remain effective in the event of acts of war, terrorism and hostage taking. Policies can provide robust, cost-effective protection for people, liabilities and assets.
To find out more about high-risk insurance for Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad or other high-risk regions in Africa, please contact our team on +44 (0) 207 305 5650 or email us now.