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Terrorism: how Aetna International and red24 keep you safe

In a world of extremist ideologies, terrorist organisations and widespread violence, people are becoming increasingly aware of potential threats to their personal safety.

For international travelers especially, whether taking a single business trip, engaging in an extended foreign assignment or permanently relocating abroad with a family in tow, understanding the security risks in the country they’re travelling to is critical. Having someone who can help if a terrorist attack actually takes place, thereby helping to protect the traveller’s health and well-being, even more so. Which is why international private medical insurance (iPMI) firm Aetna International has partnered with security specialists, red24.

Red alert

Head quartered in Cape Town, red24 has two decades of experience in risk management and crisis response. Operating an expert team of intelligence analysts, and a network of ex-military and law enforcement consultants, they’re on call 24/7 to assist our eligible members (those with international private medical insurance cover that includes an emergency response plan, known as ActionResponse). From providing country intelligence reports before our member embarks on their overseas trip to rapid extraction in the event of a terrorist attack, they can help whatever the situation.

Intelligent updates

Although terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the world, they’re more likely to occur in some countries than others. Aetna International members who have an international private medical insurance plan which includes emergency response can take advantage of red24’s services. For eligible members with iPMI cover that includes the safety and security plan, AdviceLine, the aim is to ensure that the member has the latest security status information for different countries around the world at their fingertips.

Through opt-in emails, bulletins and SMS, and via the red24 website and app, the global security firm highlights the risks of travel to different locations, based on local intelligence and an analysis of the political and military situation in that country.

Threat reports

Some countries, including active war zones like Syria or highly politically unstable places like Libya, represent an extreme security risk for travellers and red24 advise that they should be avoided. But for countries with a general high level of risk, such as Brazil or Egypt, red24’s briefings highlight any safe areas, which is useful to know if travel is essential. Egypt, for example, is relatively safe in the southern resort regions, but kidnapping is a significant risk along its western border with Libya.

red24 puts together threat analysis documents for almost every country in the world, allowing eligible Aetna International members (those with iPMI cover that includes a red24 plan) to make informed choices about their travel safety, requesting advice and further support as required, wherever they are.

Significant risks

The type of threat likely to be encountered differs, depending on the location and the level of risk. In places like Iraq or Afghanistan, terrorist groups engage in acts of extreme violence, including armed attacks and suicide bombings, designed to cause maximum impact and disruption.

Other countries might see an increased risk of kidnap and hostage taking, where extremists are looking for opportunities to secure ransom pay-outs or generate propaganda.

Changing places

While the focus for security threats is on politically unstable countries, it’s important to recognise how rapidly security stability can change, leaving travellers caught in dangerous situations they might not have anticipated in their plans. This can take the form of unexpected attacks on specific locations, such as those seen in Paris, Berlin and Mumbai, or they can be more large-scale events that trigger a countrywide breakdown of law and order.

A good example of this was the attempted military coup in Turkey in 2016. Areas of the country were already high risk due to its border with Syria, but during the coup, the threat level rose rapidly, with red24 security teams actively engaged in evacuating clients from potentially life threatening situations.

Essential travel

red24 provides the information our members need to make informed decisions about where, when and how they travel. But for some people, such as business leaders, diplomats and government officials, travelling or living in areas where there’s a high security risk is an essential part of their work. Aetna International can help by providing members with more than just information. For members with iPMI cover that incorporates red24’s ActionResponse plan, they can rely on security support, drawing on red24’s teams of military and counter terrorism experts.

Close contact

If one of our members is travelling in a country where there’s a high security threat, red24 has incountry specialists available to provide advice, over the phone or, if necessary, in person.

Wrap around care

For Aetna International members, iPMI isn’t just about emergency health care or access to quality private doctors. It’s about taking care of the health, safety, well-being and security of our members. Eligible Aetna International members with iPMI cover that includes a red24 plan benefit from wrap around care that begins before they travel right up to their return home, including red24’s security services.

We aim to help our members who are planning a trip abroad, ensuring they have access to health assessments, medicinal transport and ongoing treatment for any chronic conditions.

For group members whose employees provide Aetna Summit cover, our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) aims to ensure their well-being from the moment they land, offering practical help and ongoing support settling into a new culture.

And during their trip, our eligible members with one of our red24 plan options can contact red24 for security advice and updates, 24/7, all year round.

Total protection

In the current global political climate, it’s difficult to predict when or where a terrorist attack could come from. Partnering with red24 means Aetna International members benefit from expert intelligence insights, highly trained security specialists, and the peace of mind of knowing that, if an attack does take place, there’s someone there to help them.

If you’re looking for iPMI that includes high levels of security cover, contact our expert sales consultants to talk through our plans. We can cover individuals through our Aetna Pioneer plans, while groups and businesses can benefit from our Aetna Summit plans. 

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