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Kidnapping Rates Rising Worldwide.

The number of kidnappings rose about 6% last year, from a high of 1,690 in 1998 to 1,789 in 1999, according to the Hiscox Kidnap Monitor, a survey published by the Hiscox Group. About 92% of the crimes occurred in 10 countries, half of which are in Latin America.

Seventy-five percent of all reported kidnappings in 1999 occurred in Latin America, according to Hiscox Group, a London insurer. The former Soviet Union, which includes Russia and 14 independent republics, reported an 84% increase in kidnappings in 1999 from the previous year.

Hiscox offers kidnap and ransom coverage with a capacity of $100 million. Its policy covers kidnapping, extortion, hijacking and products extortion. Hiscox says it writes about 60% of the $110 million annual global market in premium for kidnapping coverage.

American International Group, New York, also offers kidnap and ransom insurance in its Worldrisk coverage. It covers kidnapping, wrongful detention, bodily injury extortion and product-contamination extortion.

"The combination of political unrest, lawlessness and poverty are key reasons for the rise in the number of kidnappings for money over most of the last decade," said Rob Davies, senior special-risks underwriter at Hiscox. "The problem remains that in some parts of the world kidnapping for ransom has become an accepted part of life."
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Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2000
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