Film productions can spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars daily. From actor and crew compensation to electrical costs, set rental fees, and more, the cost to do business in film production can be extensive.
If something should happen to an actor during this time, the entire production could be delayed or even canceled altogether—and many of those same expenses will still need to be paid, leaving the studio with a significant financial challenge.
Production liability insurance protects teams from the adverse financial effects of many common problems during shoots, such as property damage and injury. However, understanding what’s covered (and what is not) is the first step in making an informed choice about how to protect your production.
We discuss how production liability insurance safeguards against actor injuries and what you can do to bolster that protection as much as possible to keep your project on track.
Does Production Insurance Cover Injuries?
Production liability insurance is an overarching policy that includes various potential protections. Thus, each policy should be carefully evaluated for its contents, as some will contain coverage for actor injuries, and others will not.
Generally, a production liability insurance policy will write in a baseline level of protection for actors, paying for a set amount of medical costs should they face an injury. However, not all policies will include the compensation necessary to replace the actor and keep the production going if needed.
Most production studios will bundle production liability insurance with other coverage directly targeted to safeguarding actors while they work. These can often be added as a rider to the original production liability insurance or purchased as a separate policy and bundled from the same insurance agency.
Other Types of Injury Protection
If your production liability insurance does not cover actor injuries or offer the protection you believe is sufficient, other types of policies are available. Insurance agencies operating within the film industry commonly offer cast & crew insurance, with more robust protections targeting the individuals who make your film production work.
Most standard coverage will pay for injuries sustained on set and the medical costs of treating the wound. Additionally, most policies incorporate compensation for the expenses paid to replace an actor.
Remember, however, that films can adapt around an actor’s injury! When Brad Pitt’s arm was hurt during the filming of Se7en, both he and his character wore a sling afterward by writing its presence into the context of the film.
In addition to cast & crew coverage, film studios are typically required to purchase some level of workers’ compensation insurance. This typically targets crew, such as lighting staff, rather than actors.
Workers’ comp pays for harm to a person on set, such as tripping over a camera cable or being hit with a falling prop. If someone passes away from their injury, workers’ comp will pay their family for funeral expenses and the emotional toll of the loss.
Why You Shouldn’t Skimp on Injury Coverage
Having multiple types of coverage for the individuals who keep your film production on track can seem excessive. Still, the financial toll of an injury can be catastrophic without proper protection. For instance, suppose your star is on set rehearsing, and a camera rig falls from above and breaks their shoulder.
The type and efficacy of your insurance determines what happens next. In the best case, the policy pays for associated recovery and long-term costs. But without proper coverage, the actor could bring a legal claim for the costs of treatment for the broken shoulder, as well as physical rehabilitation to restore function.
Later, the actor may find that they can no longer achieve the same range of motion as they had before the injury—and without proper coverage, your production studio can still be liable for their loss of future work due to the accident.
Create Comprehensive Production Liability Protection With MFE Insurance
Production liability insurance is a valuable baseline for a wide range of protections essential in the film production industry. However, each policy will be different, and it is important to work with an experienced insurer to include all the protections that matter most to your project.
The experts at MFE Insurance can help you explore production insurance and its role in protecting your actors from injury. Contact MFE Insurance to schedule an appointment.