Insurance for Freelancers

This information sets out the insurance arrangements for individually contracted freelancers (whether paid on a gross or PAYE basis) engaged by the BBC.

Service Company contracts

The arrangements described below also apply to freelancers engaged via a UK Service Company where the Service Company only ever trades in the services of that one individual.

Freelancers engaged via a Service Company that trades in the services of more than one individual (whether with the BBC or any other customer) will not be eligible for emergency overseas medical expenses cover, personal accident cover or public liability insurance, as described below.

Freelancers engaged via a Service Company should clarify insurance eligibility with their booker/manager or BBC Insurance Department prior to commencement of the engagement.

a) Emergency overseas medical expenses

Cover is up to £5m per claim for such expenses incurred whilst a freelancer is away from their normal country of domicile on BBC assignments of up to three months duration.

b) Personal accident cover

Freelancers are expected to maintain their own personal insurance arrangements. However, the BBC operates a benevolent fund which may provide benefits following accidental disablement or death while working for the BBC. This is known as the Supplementary Accident Benefit Scheme and is subject to a maximum payment of £250k (higher limits may apply where death or disablement is caused by an act of violence/ war). For a summary of the scheme, please click here.

c) Equipment

It is a condition under the BBC’s Terms and Conditions for freelancers that they insure their own equipment.

d) Personal effects

Freelancers are responsible for the care and safekeeping of their personal possessions while engaged by the BBC and they are expected to make their own insurance arrangements.

e) Liability insurance

It is anticipated that freelancers who are paid gross of tax have in place appropriate liability insurance, but the BBC may choose to extend its public liability insurance arrangements following an incident, subject to the freelancer having demonstrated that they have complied with the BBC’s health and safety requirements.

The BBC's public liability insurance operates in respect of liability to any third party for death/injury or damage to third party property arising out of its negligence and is effective in respect of the BBC's activities anywhere in the world.

Please note that freelancers who are engaged to perform certain roles and are paid gross of tax must hold their own liability insurance (this can include product liability and/or professional indemnity cover where appropriate). The BBC’s Terms and Conditions for freelancers detail the minimum requirements although the BBC retains the right to vary the insurance required and the roles to which the insurance requirements apply. The roles for which the BBC requires freelancers to hold their own liability insurance includes but is not limited to:

  • Special Effects and Pyrotechnics Experts
  • Armourers
  • Personal security/protection or health and safety related services
  • Rope access and scuba diving supervisory services.
  • Providing and/or supervising interaction with dangerous animals as defined under the applicable Dangerous Wild Animals Act (or superseding regulations).
  • Expedition Leaders
  • Medical services (e.g. Consultants, Doctors, Paramedics, Nurses, etc.)
  • Management consultants
  • Operator of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (i.e. filming ‘drone’)

The BBC public liability insurance may also extend to freelancers who are paid gross of tax and are directly engaged as stunt co-ordinators/performers, providing that they are:

  • Listed on the Health and Safety Stunt Register.
  • Able to supply a CV demonstrating the appropriate level of experience for the work being carried out.

f) Motor Vehicle

Only properly authorised freelancers, who meet the following criteria, can drive on BBC business;

  • Have a valid online driver declaration completed by the freelancer (where they have access to the BBC network) or their booker
  • Hold a full and valid driving licence appropriate to the type of vehicle being used.
  • Are at least 23 years of age, trained, competent and sufficiently experienced to drive the type of vehicle being used.
  • Are not be suffering from any health condition or infirmity which may affect their ability to drive safely.

The vehicle may only be used for purposes authorised by the BBC.

All drivers must comply with the BBC Motor Vehicle Policy. All drivers must also complete any driver assessment and/or training which the BBC requires.

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