What is it and why does it matter?
Insurance covers you for medical, travel, kit and kidnap incidents. Regular travel insurance has all kinds of causes that make it inappropriate for working conflict journalists. The search for an affordable insurance product that covers all of a freelancer’s needs is an ongoing one. We don’t have all the answers here, but we do have some suggestions.
There are basically three types of insurance that concern you and these are:
- Kidnap and ransom
- Personal accident
Whether you have all three depends on where you go and this will all form part of your risk assessment for your trip. For example in Iraq or Syria, you would need all three. For other areas, you may just want accident and equipment insurance. The reality is you will all probably only take out one and this is more than likely going to be a personal accident as there are more options with this. So starting with this let’s look at the options.
There are some good providers out there who can offer this. You also need to know how it will be implemented. If it covers repatriation make sure you leave all these details with your next of kin. Always keep a copy of this wherever you go, and I mean on your person, not in a bag back at the hotel.
Ukraine Update: RSF is offering insurance for Ukraine. You need to join the organization which is possible with a small donation. Reporters Without Borders.
Email contacts: Lvivpfc@rsf.org, email@example.com
Battleface – We have a good relationship with Battleface Medical Insurance – http://www.battleface.com/ and many of our members are now working with them.
Note: Battleface is not currently giving insurance for Ukraine from the US.
Ellis Cowes – Underwritten by Llyods they will source the best deals out there for you and have a lot of experience working with journalists. They also provide kidnap and hostage insurance. Please ask them for cover outside of the UK as they will offer policies to residents in Europe and the US and other countries on request. Go to http://www.ellisclowes.com/
An example: For a years policy to cover a freelancer in hostile environments (and please be aware you still have to tell the insurance company where you are as fees fluctuate) with £500,000 ransom which included fees for first responders (negotiators for your release) and included medical cover he was paying £2000 per annum.
With many new providers now working with freelancers, there is still an area that needs addressing.
In essence, the majority of insurance brokers will use similar underwriters and there are the resources out there to cover your equipment, but you need to contact them with your specific needs and they will find the best cover for you. It’s another element of planning for a trip that needs to be considered.
Williamson Carson Insurance Brokers (UK) – Example – For £12,500 cover in the UK, one of our FFR members’ current policy costs £318 a year, with an excess of £200. Go to www.williamsoncarson.co.uk
This is a little bit easier to research and the Rory Peck Trust has an excellent resource for this along with the Committee to Protect Journalists. See the following links:
- We also have a good relationship with Battleface Medical Insurance – http://www.battleface.com/
- One of the tried and tested providers is April Insurance, which is based in Canada and can be accessed through Reporters Without Borders – http://en.rsf.org/insurance-for-freelance-17-04-2007,21746.html
Please check out the Rory Peck Trust for a good article on the considerations for insurance – https://rorypecktrust.org/resources/insurance/keyissues