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Film production insurance

Film Production Insurance [Essential Guide]

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Every film production set needs insurance. In this article, we look at why you need it and the various different types of insurance for filmmakers.

Filmmaking is, after all, a huge investment. By all means, protect yourself and your crew from potential liability claims. Without insurance, you risk lawsuits, expensive payouts and could even have your production shut down.

There are many types of film production insurance that cover a range of circumstances. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to insure a film set.

Below you will find a breakdown of how to use insurance as a filmmaker.

What Is Film Production Insurance?

production insurance

Insurance provides you with a guarantee of compensation payout for loss and damages that might occur whilst you conduct business. For a filmmaker, this covers a range of areas, such as your crew’s health, and location protection.

There are also several types of insurance for filmmakers available. Depending on the film you are making, you might need to take out more than one insurance policy. This is because each agreement changes based on the needs of every individual production.

For example, some films might need additional insurance for stunt performers or overseas filming.

Before you make your film, you need to include insurance in your film budget breakdown. Professional film sets, typically spend 2-3% of the budget on insurance cover. Even if you are making an independent film, you should make sure you have some basic film production insurance.

Why Do You Need It?

film insurance

Things can and will go wrong whilst making a film. For instance, equipment breaks, locations/property can get damaged, and actors get injured. Without film production insurance you might need to pay for all of this out of your pocket. If you refuse to pay upfront, you could face an onslaught of liability lawsuits.

Furthermore, it’s the producer on set that is held responsible for any claims made against the production. So in short, if you are a producer, you need to protect yourself in case someone tries to sue you.

This is particularly important if you are officially employing people, renting out equipment or filming on private property. If you are a student filmmaker, working with other students, your institution may insure you. However, it is still good practice to have film production forms completed before you begin filming.

Types of Film Insurance

To get film production insurance, you will firstly need to contact a broker. Your broker will ask for specific details and will create an insurance contract, especially for you.

Below is a breakdown of insurance for filmmakers. In addition, this list includes examples of UK based brokers that offer these services. Make sure to research and read all the regulations before signing an insurance contract.

If you are unsure what broker to go with, ask around and see what insurance filmmakers in your area recommend.

Public Liability Insurance

This covers the cost of claims made by members of the public. Public liability insurance covers injury to a member of the public and damage to public property.

In short, if you do any public filming, then you need public liability insurance. Furthermore, it is not expensive to find cover through the UK film union BECTU.

Film Equipment Insurance 

If you are renting equipment, you should get film equipment insurance. Expensive equipment is easily damaged, lost, or stolen. Rental houses will be able to recommend insurance companies to you.

However, equipment cover is also offered by the following companies.

Short-Term Insurance

This is the type of insurance most producers will need. Short-term film production insurance will cover one specific project on a day-by-day basis. In general, these insurances cover health, injury, location and workers compensation. The cost will vary greatly depending on your production type. Also checkout.

Annual Insurance

If you’re a producer that has ongoing projects throughout the year, then you can take yearly insurance instead of short-term. This would also be useful if you own a production company or rent out equipment year-round.

For annual insurance try the following.

Speciality Insurance

Depending on how you shoot your film, you may need additional speciality insurance. Your broker will be able to add these additions to your insurance contract. For example, speciality insurance might include pyrotechnics, animal actors, drones, weaponry or underwater shoots.

Wrapping Up

As a freelance filmmaker or producer, you need to invest in film production insurance. Without it, you can put yourself and others at risk. Not only can this be easy to do but also affordable for independent filmmakers.

Amy Clarke
Amy Clarke
I blog about Careers in the Film Industry. Former Script Supervisor.
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