Nigeria insurance – protecting your people

19 May 2015

Nigeria continues to be one of the world’s hotspots for kidnapping and anyone considering working or travelling here should consider specialist high-risk Nigeria insurance.

These elevated risk levels are informed largely by the terrorist threat from Boko Haram in the country’s northeast, and criminally motivated abductions focused mainly on the Niger Delta and city centres, such as Abuja and Lagos.

Kidnapping tactics in Nigeria

According to statistics, between 2012 and 2015 a significant proportion of victims were abducted while travelling on routine journeys, particularly between their work and home. Kidnapping gangs tend to carry out surveillance of a target's daily routine before carrying out the abduction. Frequently, informants and inside knowledge are used to establish the best time and location for the kidnap. 

Victims are also targeted on non-routine journeys, when travelling by foot, car or other forms of transport. Despite the presence of police roadblocks, the main roads linking Port Harcourt to other regional cities such as Aba and Owerri have become kidnapping hotspots. Kidnappers tend to use vehicles to carry out abductions.

Residential compounds are sometimes monitored by kidnapping gangs, who tail and target victims once they have left the security of their compound.

Ransom demands and settlements

During the mid-2000s militant organisations in the Niger Delta commonly made financial, political or humanitarian demands for the release of energy-sector workers. Such demands tended to relate to jobs, amenities, compensation for pollution or the release of prisoners. However, although political demands are occasionally still reported, the overwhelming majority of kidnaps now result in purely financial negotiations.

The majority of kidnappings today in Nigeria are characterised by fast-moving negotiations involving initially high financial demands that quickly fall.

Outcomes for victims

Victims in Nigeria are usually released following the payment of a ransom. Between January 2012 and January 2015, 53% of kidnap victims were released, 30% were rescued and 11% escaped. 

High-risk Nigeria insurance

Bellwood Prestbury can provide specialist insurance for individuals, companies and organisations operating in Nigeria’s most dangerous occupations and regions. We have in-depth knowledge of the risks involved and we can tailor a policy to address the specific needs of each client. 

Our protection can remain effective in the event of a deteriorating political or security situation, and includes robust life, personal accident, disability and medical evacuation insurance.

Stuart Dix, consultant with Bellwood Prestbury, explains that kidnap and ransom insurance is all about getting the right people on your side. “Kidnap and ransom insurance will include a country briefing before people travel so that they are aware of the kinds of threats they may face, how to avoid becoming a target and how to be aware of a potential threat. Should the worse happen, the policy will pay for skilled negotiators. 

If you need more information about Nigeria insurance or kidnap and ransom cover please contact our experienced team for a confidential discussion on +44 (0) 207 305 5650.

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Categories: Kidnap & ransom, Kidnapping insurance, Nigeria Insurance

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