Professional liability insurance for freelancers in the works

Freelance contacts are sprouting some worrisome clauses these days, with many publishers attempting to shift responsibility for defamation onto writers. As a result, Writers Coalition (the plan developed by Actra Fraternal Benefits Society to offer group insurance to independent content creators) is looking into the possibility of offering professional liability insurance to freelance writers.

Jason Saulay, with AFBS, says the idea for such an insurance package came from freelancers themselves.

“This is something we’ve been asked for. The shift in the industry, from what I’ve heard, is putting the onus on the actual freelancer to get this coverage on their own,” said Saulay during a phone conversation with Story Board last week.

But Saulay says there are a number of questions that need to be answered before such a product can be made available.

“I’m trying to figure out if there’s an actual need for this and who needs it. People say they want this, do they actually want this? What are they willing to pay?” he said.

“They say there’s a shift in the industry, what triggered that shift? Is it an actual shift or is it lip service?  Who has blanket coverage policy as a freelancer? Does that depend on where you work and what gigs you’re working on?”

Saulay said he needs to confer with as many as 30 writers’ organizations to try and determine what percentage of their members have a real need for this type of insurance.

“We’ve got to know all this before I can take it to the broker and say ‘this is what we’re looking for, this is the actual number of people who need this product,’” he said.

Saulay said he’s hoping to meet with most of the writers’ organizations this month so that he can bring something to the insurance brokers by February.

“This is something we’re hoping to roll out as soon as possible,” he says.

Saulay invites freelance writers to contact him if they have an interest in this type of insurance.

“Any questions, concerns, even offers of some kind insight would be great,” he said. “Because the more I know, the better.

You can email Jason Saulay at

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 9:10 am by Rachel · · Tagged with: , , , ,

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