As a photographer, videographer, or any professional in the film and production industry, insurance may be the last thing on your mind. If you have not yet experienced any type of mishap that would bring any financial damage or harm to you or your company, accidents are more common than you think. All it takes is one accident to a crew member or damaged property you caused to the movie set for your company to be facing an expensive lawsuit. Whether you are operating as a startup production company or are well established and highly successful, having adequate insurance to protect your company from costly liabilities is essential. Excess liability insurance will help protect you if you incur damages beyond your underlying insurance policy’s coverage limits.
What is Excess Liability Insurance?
Excess liability insurance is an insurance policy that protects you in the event a claim exceeds the limits of your current insurance plan. It provides additional limits of insurance to keep you and your company protected at all times. Should you be faced with an expensive claim filed against your production company, with an umbrella policy for excess liability insurance, you will not only be covered for the liabilities you are legally obligated to pay, but also for additional liabilities beyond general, automobile, and employer liability. Though it may not seem like a necessary insurance policy to have, excess liability insurance can provide you peace of mind in an investment that could potentially save your production company from bankruptcy.
Why You Need Excess Liability Insurance
In the entertainment industry, you are only one claim away from having to spend thousands of dollars or more worth of damage costs if the damages exceed your insurance policy’s coverage limits. Costly excess liabilities could significantly derail your production schedule, setting you back months or years from your planned production timeline. Additionally, should legal fees and damage costs climb higher and higher, you may be facing financial ruin.Protecting yourself from excess liabilities by making a smart insurance investment could very well ensure that you can stay in business and accomplish your goal of a successful production. There are many additional reasons to retain an excess liability insurance policy. Some include the following:
Equipment Protection is Available Through Excess Liability Insurance
If you are running a small production company, you cannot afford not to have an insurance policy in place. For businesses that rely on third-party equipment rentals for things like lighting, cameras, or expensive set production, if anything were to happen to those rentals, having an excess liability insurance policy would keep you covered. As well as its additional layers of coverage, it would also help you avoid any out of pocket costs for replacing equipment or paying legal fees and monetary damages.
Excess Liability Insurance Offers Protection in Different Geographic Areas
Running a production company often forces owners to travel through many different destinations when producing films that require different movie set locations. Having an insurance policy in place makes sure that you are covered in case of any mishaps, including travel accidents, in another state or country. For example, if you are working in California and there is a fire that damages your camera equipment, or if a helicopter is damaged when shooting a racing scene from above, having an excess liability insurance policy protects you from catastrophe. You can rest easy knowing you would have ample additional coverage for equipment that may become damaged when conducting a movie shoot in a particularly dangerous location.
Data Theft Protection is Included in An Excess Liability Policy
Outside of onsite damages and theft, the digital aspect of your production can be critical to your success. Though you may not see it coming, your company could fall victim of data theft. If you only have a general insurance policy, you may not have any additional coverage that protects your cybersecurity. Having an excess liability insurance policy can help cover the costs of any legal fees if you needed to go to court over theft and damages to your company and materials.
Excess Liability Insurance Helps With Meeting Contractual Obligations
Working with multiple clients requires you to handle multiple contracts. Since every contract is different, this also means that your insurance policies will vary, along with the obligations that come with each contract. When including an excess liability policy, if you enter a contract that requires $500,000 worth of coverage but you only have a $350,000 coverage plan with your business insurance, having this type of policy will ensure that the remainder is paid out with no out of pocket costs required.
Additional Protection Beyond Insurance Compliance
As a production company, many film locations will not let you begin filming unless there is proof you have an insurance policy in place. You will likely have to show valid proof that your company would be able to handle all costs associated with equipment damage as well as any client or staff injuries. The field of video and film production comes with exciting tasks, but a host of associated risks. Even if these potential liabilities may not occur too often, having excess liability insurance keeps you and your company protected against additional expensive claims at all times.
Consult With A Production Insurance Broker
Acquiring an excess liability insurance policy should be high on your list of priorities when planning your next production. Fortunately, production insurance brokers ready to help and answer your questions. The expert production insurance brokers at MFE Insurance can help you choose the right policy for your company and determine how to fully protect yourself against any damage costs that may occur during your production. Contact MFE Insurance today to get started on acquiring your next policy.