Kidnap and Ransom Insurance – are you covered for Libya?

15 May 2014

The recent kidnapping of the Jordanian ambassador to Libya, is the latest in a long line of high-profile abductions by Libya’s many armed militias. Though he was released unharmed on 12th May, his ordeal serves to highlight that no one in Libya can take their personal security for granted. Anyone visiting or working here is strongly advised to take out specialist kidnap and ransom insurance.

Since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, kidnapping has become an ever-increasing threat from which no one seems exempt – not even the Prime Minister. Last October, armed militants were able to abduct the then incumbent, Ali Zeidan, with just minimal force from the centre of Tripoli. The ease with which he was taken demonstrates just how enfeebled the security forces are in the face of these armed groups.

Armed groups targeting westerners

Although Ali Zeidan was also eventually released, many victims have not been so fortunate. While the focus of most kidnapping has been on Libyan officials and Middle Eastern diplomats, some armed groups are known to be targeting westerners. Over the course of 2013, a number of European embassies were attacked, as was the convoy of the EU ambassador. Last December an American teacher was shot dead in Benghazi and in January, a British man and a New Zealand woman were found dead near Mellitah.

Oil production set to double

While some of the oil ports in the east are currently shutdown and under rebel control, pipelines are reopening in the western oil regions. It’s estimated that oil production may double this year to 500,000 barrels. While the situation is obviously unpredictable, we are finding more European and US executives are beginning to travel.

Bellwood Prestbury are providing kidnap and ransom insurance to a growing number of business people working in a range of occupations across Libya. 

The cover can provide a number of services, including an initial security briefing about the current situation and how best to keep yourself or your people safe. A 24/7 hotline to security experts is also available for updates on any developments. In the event of an incident funding is provided for experienced kidnap negotiators, and compensation can be available for any ransom that might be paid. Robust emergency medical and evacuation cover can also be arranged.

Current Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) advice is against ALL BUT ESSENTIAL travel to the coastal areas from the Tunisian border to Misrata, including Tripoli and the coastal areas from Ras Lanuf to the Egyptian borders.  Advice is against ALL travel to all other parts of Libya including Benghazi and Derna.

Specialist insurance is essential

In the light of FCO advice, current insurance risks for Libya are rated as ‘extreme’, meaning that standard travel policies will be invalid. Specialist insurance is essential to cover you for anything from illness, injury or a minor car crash to larger incidents requiring medical evacuation or kidnap support.

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