As a film producer, it is your responsibility to keep your crew, actors, actresses, equipment, props, and film location safe from certain liabilities. Unfortunately, not all producers obtain the proper coverage to keep their people and belongings protected. If you expect your film to take just a few days or weeks to complete, you may be tempted to skimp on insurance. While film production insurance is not always required, it is important if you want to avoid potential lawsuits. Short-term film production insurance is best suited for filmmakers who want to produce the occasional video.
How Short-Term Film Production Insurance Works
Short-term film production insurance is designed to protect your project or production company from certain liabilities by covering a specific value amount. As no two film projects are exactly the same, it is important for producers to choose a policy that meets their unique needs. Film production insurance can protect a producer from liability claims related to accidents in working vehicles, on-set injuries, theft or damage to owned or rented equipment, and libel or copyright infringement issues. However, unlike long-term film production insurance which usually provides coverage for a one year period, short-term film production insurance will cover your productions on a project-by-project basis.
Short-term film production insurance offers a full range of coverage options. Most short-term policies will cover budgets less than $1,000,000 and for a time span of up to 60 days. You may want to get a short-term film production insurance policy if you plan to create any of the following types of films:
- Training videos
- Promotional shoots
- Web series
- Documentary films
- Reality series
- Television series
- Digital video
- Industrial films
- Student films
- Actor reels
- Short films
- Corporate videos
- Independent films
- Stock footage
- Instructional videos
Coverage Options for Short-Term Production Insurance
When purchasing short-term film production insurance, consider what type of coverage you will need to keep your company protected. Coverage options can be found for all types of film scenes, such as stunts, fight scenes, animals, aircrafts, pyrotechnics, boats, and guns. You will also want to consider what is covered under your insurance policy in terms of personal injury, theft or destruction of owned or rented equipment, and similar liability issues. As a general rule of thumb, your short-term production insurance policy should include the following options:
- General Liability. General liability is an essential coverage option that should be obtained by all producers. Most types of general liability insurance will cover bodily injury and property damage if it occurs during the course of filming. However, there are some exceptions to consider. Cast and crew are usually not covered under a general liability policy. Only the “general public” is protected.
- Workers Compensation. Bodily injury to cast and crew is covered under workers compensation coverage. If you have employees or freelancers under your production company, the law may require that you have workers compensation to cover any medical costs, lost wages, or rehabilitation that may result following an injury to any person that works for you on your film project.
- Equipment and Video Gear. Cameras, lighting equipment, props, and other gear can accumulate to tens of thousands of dollars. When a piece of equipment is stolen, destroyed, or breaks unexpectedly, you may be worried about how you will continue on with your production. Having equipment and video gear insurance can save you money on both your owned and rented equipment.
- Errors and Omissions (E&O). With E&O insurance, you can protect your production against lawsuits for claims like copyright infringement, contract disputes, slander, plagiarism, errors in music clearance, defamation, and invasion of privacy. E&O insurance is often purchased towards the end of a production.
A Look at Short-Term Film Production Deductibles
While short-term film production insurance deductibles work similar to other types of deductibles, it is important to understand what you are paying for your deductible. For film production insurance, the most common deductible is $2,500. This means that it is not worth taking out an insurance claim if it is below this number as you will be responsible for any costs up to the $2,500 mark. Remember, the lower the deductible, the more costly the policy will be.
Learn More About Short-Term Production Insurance Policies
If you are a producer that creates short films with production times fewer than 60 days, then a short-term film production insurance policy may be right for you. You can find short-term production insurance available at all price points and with different coverage options to meet the unique needs of your production company. To ensure that you are fully protected, speak to your insurance broker about developing a policy that is tailor-made for your production. For more information about short-term film production insurance or to learn how to obtain short-term production insurance, contact the production insurance brokers at MFE Insurance.