Film production insurance

Film Production Insurance [Beginner’s Guide]

Every film production set needs insurance. We look at why you need it and the various different types of insurance.

Film production 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.

What Is Film Production Insurance?

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

There are also several types of insurance 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 coverage. Even if you are making an independent film, you should make sure you have some basic production insurance.

Why Do You Need It?

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 attack 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’re 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 Production Insurance

To get production insurance, you will first 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 the production insurance available. 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 other production companies 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. Also, it is not expensive to find cover through certain film unions.

Film Equipment Insurance 

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

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 worker’s compensation. The cost will vary greatly depending on your production type.

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.

Speciality Insurance

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

Summary

In short, as a 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.

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