Establishing a business in the film industry is no small task. From building sets to finding talented actors, each step requires great attention to detail and a hefty budget to cover ever-growing production costs. As filmmaking is a substantial investment, it is only natural that you want to safeguard your project. Film production insurance is an effective way to protect filmmakers, producers, film crews, and production gear from liability claims. Learn more about film production insurance and why you should talk to an entertainment insurance broker today about your insurance needs.
What Is Film Production Insurance?
Film production insurance is often used to protect production companies or film-related projects from costly liability claims. Nearly every state in the U.S. requires filmmakers or production companies to carry some form of insurance. For example, many film crews have access to workers’ compensation insurance which provides replacement income and covers medical expenses in the event that a member of the cast or crew is injured on the job. Film production insurance can also protect filmmakers from other types of damages, such as a loss of film-related assets or damage to production equipment.
What Does Film Production Insurance Cover?
As no two film projects are exactly the same, no two film production insurance policies are the same. In fact, each policy is specifically tailored to a production company’s unique needs. Film production insurance policies can vary from broker to broker, depending on the current offerings from insurance companies that provide entertainment production coverage.
When shopping for entertainment insurance, there are certain features you want to look for. A good policy will protect the production company from liability relating to any accidents in working vehicles, injuries on set, or any theft, loss, or damage to owned or rented equipment. Some policies also protect producers from copyright infringement claims.
What Type of Film Production Insurance Policy Is Best?
There is no one “right” type of film production insurance. First, you will want to consider if you need a short-term, long-term, or annual policy. Short-term insurance policies will cover your productions on a project-to-project basis. This could mean that the insurance provides coverage for as little as one filming day. Short-term film production insurance is often recommended to filmmakers who only need coverage for a single production, such as a commercial or music video, as well as filmmakers who are on a tight budget.
Long-term film production insurance is recommended for filmmakers who plan to produce several projects over a period of time. Similar to long-term film production insurance is an annual policy. If you plan to shoot multiple times throughout the year, then an annual policy can provide you with the best coverage. Annual policies are often acquired by active production companies who create four or more productions a year. When a filmmaker is active, an annual policy can actually be more cost-effective. If you are not sure which is best for you, talk to your entertainment insurance broker and quote short-term, long-term, and annual policies.
Having film production insurance year-round may be a good idea under a number of circumstances, such as if you have an established production company or if you are a freelance filmmaker who makes four or more productions a year. You may also want to invest in annual coverage if you own your own equipment that you rent out to productions or if you are producing an independent film. How much your insurance policy will cost will depend on a number of factors, such as the length of coverage, the type of film being produced, and the amount of risk that your crew is taking while filming.
What Are The Most Common Types of Film Production Insurance Policies?
When shopping around for film production insurance, you will be met with several insurance categories. Some filmmakers will require all of these types, while others may only need one or two. The three most common insurance policies for filmmakers include general liability insurance, equipment insurance, and errors and omissions insurance.
General Liability Insurance
This type of film production insurance covers most types of damage to filming locations. It may also cover harm or injury to anyone on set who is not working on the film. However, general liability insurance does not typically protect against liability claims caused by employee auto accidents while on the job. Short-term general liability insurance policies are available.
Inland Marine Insurance
This type of insurance typically covers all film equipment that is used during the filmmaking process. This includes any damage, loss, or theft of owned or rented equipment. With the type of insurance, the policy will usually only cover the value of the equipment that you request on your application. It is also important to note that equipment insurance only covers film and video production, not specialized shoots like music videos.
Errors and Omissions Insurance
Errors and omissions insurance protects against claims of unauthorized usage of copyrighted materials, characters, titles, formats, ideas, plots, and various forms of plagiarism. It also protects against unfair competition, invasion of privacy, and defamation. Under E&O insurance you may need the counsel of an entertainment lawyer to review your case.
Why Hire an Entertainment Insurance Broker?
If you are seeking film production insurance, you are going to need to find an entertainment insurance broker. You will want to take your time to find a quality broker who is willing to work hard to get you the best deal possible. Remember that your policy, rate, and coverage are only as good as the broker who is securing it. You will also want to have a reliable broker who you can contact if any problems should arise.
When looking for an entertainment insurance broker, choose a broker who actually specializes in film production insurance. Experienced entertainment insurance brokers know how to match the best policy to a production company to ensure optimal coverage based on the film being made. For answers to more questions or for a broker to address your concerns, contact MFE Insurance Brokerage today.