The size and scope of the film industry are reflected in the large insurance industry built around protecting these productions. Film production is a complicated business, and a lot can (and often does) go wrong. Equipment may be damaged, actors or workers could be harmed, and unrelated financial strain could halt production.
That is why, no matter what kind of production, a team must secure comprehensive insurance coverage from a trustworthy provider familiar with the industry. This is true even in the case of productions that last a single day, such as commercials.
Here is an overview of the kinds of coverage important for these short productions, including which types of shoots often need single-day protections and what types are most common.
Which Productions Often Wrap Up Within One Day?
When people think of film production, they most often think of the involved, months-long (or even years-long) process of creating a feature film. However, this overlooks the equally involved industry of short-form film production.
This niche creates commercials, short films, health PSAs, corporate training videos, and more. Even within the larger film industry, smaller crews often need to assemble during post-production to shoot supplementary material. This is called shooting pick-up.
These smaller projects may take less time to make—even as little as a single day—but it is still necessary to purchase production insurance for these tasks. A reduced time commitment does not automatically mean reduced risk.
Film Production Insurance Options
Film production insurance can be purchased in two forms. Short-term production insurance covers the contents of a single production for as long as that production lasts. Producers pay a premium for the months in which the production takes place, and once the production ends, so does the coverage.
This contrasts with annual production insurance, covering all productions within a given year. Premiums for this type of coverage are often paid annually rather than monthly.
Most producers assume that if a shoot lasts only a day, it will not require annual production insurance. However, the specifics of each production team will vary. Suppose a team plans to make multiple films over a year, even if all of those films are short-form content.
In that case, annual production insurance may be more economical. Given the size of a one-day shoot, it is easy to fit multiple productions into a single year, making the approximately $1000 yearly premium cheaper than around $100 per month in some cases.
Because of this, a sub-type of annual protection insurance made specifically for short-form projects, DICE insurance, is a popular option. DICE stands for documentaries, industrial, commercial, and educational.
What Coverage Will a One-Day Shoot Need?
Regardless of the type of insurance selected for a short project, it will include some standard coverage. Production insurance plans begin with basic general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
General liability insurance offers financial protection if someone is injured on the studio’s property. In some situations, it may also cover liability for damages to equipment the studio does not own. Filming equipment is expensive, so producers, even major studios, often rent their equipment instead of purchasing it.
This is monetarily sensible but creates the risk of legal complications if something such as a camera is broken in an accident. General liability insurance would provide money not only to replace or repair the equipment, but also to handle legal disputes.
Workers’ comp protects something even more important than expensive equipment: the workers handling it. While many projects, especially one-day shoots, are perfectly safe and do not rely on dangerous stunts and pyrotechnics, there is always the risk of injury or illness.
Workers’ comp pays medical bills for workers hurt while filming. In the rare event of a death on the job, workers’ comp can even make payments to the family of the deceased. Beyond the basics, multiple riders can be purchased to fit the details of a given production.
If the one-day shoot is a pick-up to supplement a larger project, it may be necessary to purchase stunt insurance. If the one-day shoot includes animal actors, moving vehicles, or pyrotechnics, additional riders for these specifics may be required.
Find The Best Coverage Plan With MFE Insurance
Spending money to insure a production that lasts only one day can seem like a waste. However, insurers have seen all too often the significant mishaps and injuries that can occur in moments, regardless of how long a shoot is scheduled to last.
Each project is unique, which is why working with an insurer who understands the special difficulties of the film industry is critical. MFE Insurance partners with film production studios for projects of any length to ensure comprehensive coverage. Contact MFE Insurance to discuss options.