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When honesty isn’t part of the best policy

In corporate Canada, some employees don't know their companies have taken out K&R policies for them



In the movies, it’s never a good sign when the doe-eyed femme fatale takes out a life insurance policy against her husband without his knowledge. But in corporate Canada, some employees don’t know their companies have taken out kidnap and ransom policies for them. And maybe that’s all right.

“It’s a highly confidential policy that only very few people in the company will know about,” says Lalita Mohabir, national product leader, personal accident at Burns & Wilcox Canada.

That’s because you can’t spill secrets you simply don’t know. If a high-flying exec enjoys a few margaritas on vacation at a Caribbean resort, starts chatting with fellow sunbathers, and then the conversation turns to workplace benefits, you don’t want them to say “‘I’ve got a kidnap and ransom policy on me. I’m valued—at $5 million,’” says Mohabir. “You never know who’s sitting beside you at the very next table, listening.”

While some companies will buy short-term K&R coverage for their top people on business trips to risky milieus, other policies cover employees—and their spouses, children and guests staying on their property—24/7, at home and abroad, whether they’re abducted for business or personal reasons.

Of course, if kidnappers snatch Mr. Executive from his cottage over the Canada Day long weekend, the company might not find out until the following Tuesday. And since Mr. Exec and his family don’t know the K&R policy exists… Well, valuable time will be lost searching for him without the insurer’s resources.
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Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the February 2016 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

Transcontinental Media G.P.