Production Insurance 101
What is production insurance?
Production insurance is an important tool for filmmakers to protect their property, project and the well being of their cast and crew. Like any type of insurance product that a company can buy — insurance is a legal contract that agrees to pay for claims for losses like destruction of property, bodily injury, and many other types of insurable risk.
Filmmakers and Production companies often face unique risks because they work on sets and at locations. To address these risks, specialty insurance coverages — built for filmmakers — protect against many of the unique and interesting situations that producers face when creating film projects.
Why do I need to get production insurance?
Expensive equipment breaking, art cars crashing, bad weather on your shoot day — these types of situations on-set are often so disruptive that the result often has life-changing effects on the livelihood and health of producers, personnel and production companies. Without production insurance these losses can be devastating.
The risks that producers face in filmmaking are so known, and expensive when they occur, that almost all film related rental organizations for camera, grip and electric, location and props, sets and wardrobe will refuse to rent their property without proof of production insurance. So, not only is production insurance useful for protecting against a devastating loss, it’s almost always a prerequisite requirement to even get a film project started.
What types of things does production insurance typically cover?
Common lines of insurance coverage for productions and filmmakers are as follow:
General Liability Props, Sets & Wardrobes Negative Film or Videotape Faulty Stock, Camera & Processing Extra Expense Third Party Property Damage Hired/Non-Owned Auto Physical Damage and Liability Errors and Omissions Workers Compensation
These lines of coverage are useful tools for mitigating against downside risk.
How many policies do I need to get?
When purchasing production insurance you are able to purchase multiple lines of coverage in a single insurance policy on a short-term or annually basis.
Some production companies will also wish to purchase additional coverages like Errors & Omissions and Workers Compensation policies.
An insurance expert and licensed insurance broker will be able to assist and secure coverage.
Does production insurance cover workers compensation insurance?
Workers Compensation coverage is often included in production insurance packages.
How does workers compensation insurance work?
Workers Compensation is a mandatory insurance coverage for hiring and working with employees. The coverage often covers medical costs to treat injuries and illness, lost wages, ongoing care after injury, funeral costs, benefits & legal costs from lawsuits that result from the injury.
If I break a camera with a rental policy, will I have to pay anything?
If your policy covers owned or rented equipment, the policyholder will have to pay a deductible. A deductible is a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.
Do I need to be a registered company to get production insurance?
You do not need to be a registered company to secure a production insurance policy. An insurance policy can be written to cover an individual, as well as a corporation, joint venture, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, non-profit, partnership or trust.
How do I prove to others that I have insurance?
Once an insurance policy has been purchased, an insured can generate and send a Certificate of Insurance (often referred to as a “COI” or “cert” in the film industry) to show the limits of coverage on one or more insurance policies.
How do I know if I’m getting a “good deal” for insurance?
Insurance policies are priced based on proprietary data held by insurance companies. Premium prices do fluctuate between different insurance carriers who offer film and entertainment insurance.
What should be my relationship with an insurance broker?
An insurance broker is an important partner is navigating the purchase, management and claims process. It’s important to work with a broker who has a specialty in the industry you are working in to help explain the insurance coverages and what they do and do not cover.
How do brokers work with insurance companies?
Brokers often have access to multiple insurance companies. This creates many benefits for customers seeking insurance coverage as it allows the broker to find various insurance companies to cover risk gaps and find the best priced policies in relation to the coverage that if offered.