If the Chandlers had kidnap and ransom insurance, might they have been released sooner?

15 November 2010

The Chandlers, the British yachting couple taken by Somali pirates, were recently released after 388 days in captivity, but might they have been released sooner if they held kidnap and ransom insurance?

Rob Thompson, an expert in kidnap and ransom insurance at Bellwood Prestbury thinks it’s likely that they would have been freed much earlier. Rob says: “You have to understand that these kidnappings are not political. This is simply a business. For the Chandlers, a British couple on a round-the-world sailing tour, that meant two real problems. Firstly they didn’t have fast access to the kind of funds the pirates were hoping for. Secondly they didn’t have trained negotiators in place from the moment demands were made. Kidnap and ransom insurance provides both those things and in this case I’m sure it would have freed up their release much quicker.”

It’s been reported that in the Chandlers case, two ransom payments were made, because the first failed to reach the kidnappers. It’s not clear where the ransom money came from, but it has been suggested it was raised by family and friends. Rob Thompson explains that K&R insurance would have prevented these kinds of issues. “If you hold K&R insurance, you still have to raise the funds required, but once released, whoever supplied the money will be reimbursed by the insurance company. You will have a professional team advising behind the scenes on how to make contact, how to negotiate terms and make payments where necessary. This means you are less likely to suffer prolonged captivity. It also means you won’t have to deal with any economic liabilities when you are released.”

Should anyone considering a round-the-world cruise on a small sailing ship consider kidnap and ransom insurance? Rob says: “You should certainly think about it. Pirates can strike anywhere, although the risks get much higher in certain waters. Indonesia and parts of South America all have known pirate activity, in addition to Somalia. Anybody considering kidnap and ransom insurance is welcome to talk with our independent team.”

To find our more, you can call the Bellwood Prestbury on +44 (0) 1242 584 558.

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