So, you’re about to embark on a career as a freelance journo? It’s unlikely that insurance is at the forefront of your mind, but in today’s climate, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching the various policies which are on offer and deciding which you’ll need.
As more and more journalists are starting to work on a self-employed basis, additional risks have to be considered, and indeed covered. So where do you even start when you start looking into getting freelance insurance?
There are a plethora of companies offering journalist insurance quotes, many of which offer suitable policies for journalists and freelance writers, but these policies can vary widely in terms of what they cover, so it’s a good idea to do your research.
Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to business insurance options that freelance journalists should consider…
Public liability insurance
If you’re going to be coming into contact with the general public, as most journalists do frequently, then this should be one of your first considerations. Policies which include public liability insurance, cover you against damage or injury to persons or property.
A common misconception is that this type of insurance is only suited to someone involved in a more physical profession, such as a personal trainer, but this is a misconception. If you are out interviewing someone and happen to knock over a precious family heirloom, you will quickly realise how costly not having this cover can be…
Personal liability insurance
If you are not working for a client, but are still producing published content, you may wish to consider personal liability insurance. With hundreds of thousands of freelance writers at work on the web, the influence they have has boomed – and with this increased influence comes increased risk.
Claims like libel, slander and copyright infringement are all increasingly are made against independent journalists by third parties. Ensuring what you report is correct will always remain the best defence against any counter claims, however comment and opinion, although fundamental to freedom of speech, will always be at risk of causing upset which may lead to legal dispute. It can be a wise decision to – protect yourself against this.
Professional liability insurance
Also known as professional indemnity insurance, or PI insurance for short, this is an increasingly important cover for freelancer writers of any sort to consider.
This insurance is relevant for anyone who offers services or advice to a client and protects you against a multitude of possible claims. Most common among these would be a breach of contract. This is where a client makes a claim against you, citing your work to be erroneous or substandard.
PI insurance will help cover you against such claims and, depending on your policy, may also assist you in taking erroneous claims through the courts. You may even find some policies that will pay for legal costs should your case be unsuccessful.
From laptops to cameras, freelancer journalists often work with a small fortune’s worth of equipment in tow, so it pays to ensure that all of these items are covered by your insurance policy.
These items may be covered by your home insurance, so long as you have correctly identified your career when taking it out. For many freelancers your home will also be your place of work, and this can render aspects of your home insurance void. It is well worth taking the time to find this out.