Film Production Insurance 101 for US Filmmakers
As productions begin to ramp up knowing the inns and outs of your production policy can be very important. The below article is a guest post from Front Row Insurance.
A SOLID FILM INSURANCE POLICY WILL PROTECT THE PRODUCER FROM:
liability related to injuries on set
accidents in working vehicles
loss and damage of rented and owned equipment
AN OVERVIEW OF THE FILM INSURANCE POLICIES OFFERED BY FRONT ROW FOR US FILMMAKERS:
PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT INSURANCE
Covers against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction to cameras, camera equipment, sound & lighting equipment, grip equipment, portable electrical equipment & generators, mechanical effects equipment and similar miscellaneous equipment.
This coverage also typically includes loss of use of property of others for which the renter or producer is legally liable. The limit of coverage for production equipment should be sufficient to cover the replacement cost of ALL equipment being used on the project. Most equipment rental houses will include in their contract a statement confirming the renter’s requirement to fully insure the equipment in their possession.
SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION INSURANCE (SHORT SHOOT)
Short-Term Production Insurance is perfect for the new or indie filmmaker who may not have more than one project scheduled in the next six months. This coverage is ideal for singular projects and can satisfy insurance requirements from film schools, rental houses, permit offices, prop houses, and/or studio location rental space.
Pricing starts at around $500 USD for minimal coverages. The premium amount for 1-10 days of coverage is the same price and it will increase with the more days you add, but 60 days is the maximum coverage period for short-term policies.
DICE INSURANCE (ANNUAL)
What's the difference between short-term production insurance versus annual?
Short-term production insurance covers your productions on a project-by-project scale. Purchased on this scale, short-term policies can cover as little as one day of production (although you should cover your prep days, too).
Planning to shoot multiple times throughout the year, and have an estimated budget over $15K USD? Then you’ll want an annual (DICE) policy. This coverage can be much more cost effective than Short-Term Production Insurance. Pricing starts around $2,500 USD for the year. Financing may be available.
Although DICE policies can be completely customized to fit your productions need, the following coverage options are available:
FILM PRODUCER’S E&O INSURANCE
If your project is being sold or distributed, Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage may be for you; in fact, most distribution contracts will require this coverage. All television, streaming services, and feature films will require this coverage.
E&O coverage protects your production and covers any legal cost if another party accuses you of an unoriginal idea, e.g., title, characters, plots.
Pricing starting around $3,000 USD for three years of coverage.
OTHER FILM INSURANCE COVERAGES TO CONSIDER:
Although film policies vary widely, you’ll always need general liability. General liability covers bodily injury and property damage that occurs during the course of filming. Cast and crew are exempt from this and covered separately through a workers compensation policy. This coverage is required by most city/county permit offices.
Workers compensation protects you should something happen to your employees on the job. It's important to go over how you are covering crew (employees) and independent contractors.
THIRD PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE
Legal liability for damage to or destruction of property belonging to others (including loss of use of the property) while the property is in the care, custody or control of the production company and is used or to be used in an insured production.
Hired/Non-Owned Auto Liability covers damages and injuries sustained by other motorists that your production rental vehicle accidentally hits when your production is considered “At Fault”.
This policy provides additional limits to the general liability, auto liability, employers’ liability (under workers’ compensation policy) and third party property damage coverages. Some locations will require higher limits than the standard general/auto liability policy of $1mil USD.
GUILD/UNION TRAVEL ACCIDENT
Provides travel accident coverages (accidental death and dismemberment) as required by the guild or union contracts to which the producer is signatory. Coverage is blanket and the limits of liability meet all signatory requirements. Coverage may be extended to non-union employees, usually with a benefit limit of $50K USD each person.
A production package is an accumulation of coverages to protect multiple or singular projects such as features, TV series, or documentaries. If you have an annual gross production cost over $100,000 USD and are looking for annual coverage, a production package will be necessary.
Some coverages available in a production package are:
Cast Coverage– Provides coverage for net loss sustained or extra expenses incurred due to death, injury or illness of an insured artist/director. This coverage can also be extended to include kidnap and family bereavement.
To view all the US film production insurance coverages offered by Front Row, go here: https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/usa
At Front Row, we understand how confusing production insurance can be because many of us were filmmakers (in prior lives) and have been there ourselves! Every film production insurance policy needs to be tailored to the company, or to the project if a short-term film policy. A film insurance policy is based on the best offerings from insurance companies that provide entertainment production coverage.
About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance brokerage that provides film insurance, including producer’s E&O insurance, for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that all clients receive the money that they are owed per the policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Nashville, LA and NY.
By: David Hamilton, President+CEO