Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance [Beginner’s Guide]

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We look at everything you need to know about public liability insurance and why it’s so important for freelancers and small businesses working in video production.

Film and video production is an exciting industry, but also one that comes with a specific set of risks. Having the correct insurance in place can not only offer you peace of mind but will also give you protection if any claims are made against you.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

This type of insurance is designed to protect you if a client or a member of the public makes a claim against you for injury or damage to their property while you were working. This could be either an incident that occurs on your business premises or as a direct result of your operations.

For example, someone may trip over one of your cables and hurt their knee. It could even be something as simple as knocking over a mug of tea and damaging a client’s phone. Having public liability insurance in place will ensure that compensation and legal costs are covered without having to dip into your own pockets.

Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

Filming often takes place in public places and so there is an inherent risk that accidents or injuries could occur.

Legal costs alone can add up to thousands of pounds and could be enough to get you into some real financial difficulty. Add compensation on top of that and the results of a claim with no insurance could be catastrophic for both you and your business.

While it may be unlikely that you will ever need to make a claim, the benefits of having coverage far outweigh the costs of the policy. Oftentimes, public liability insurance is also a contractual requirement if you are shooting on location.

What Does A Typical Policy Cover?

Policies vary from insurer to insurer, but you will usually find that damage to property and bodily injury to any person is covered. Fortunately, this offers you protection for a wide range of scenarios, whether it was indirectly or directly your fault.

Most policies start at $1,000,000 maximum liability (the most they will payout), with higher limits available upon request. How much you will need depends on the nature of your projects, level of risk, and level of interaction with the public.

How Often Do I Need To Renew Public Liability Insurance?

How often you need to review will depend on which insurer you go for, though public liability insurance is usually offered as annual cover.

If you are only working on one project, or only filming for a few months of the year, some insurers also offer short-term cover so you can tailor the protection for your project (some even offer policies for just one day).

What Should I Be Aware Of Or Look Out For?

As with any kind of insurance, you should always compare deals from a few different companies before you choose a policy.

For each one, you want to pay attention to exactly what is covered and if there are any exemptions, not just the annual premium that you will have to pay.

It can be tempting to go for the cheapest option, but you must make sure that you will have adequate cover. Always read the fine print to make sure you are completely clear on exactly what you are getting.

Where Can I Find Good Public Liability Insurance?

It’s well worth having a look online for insurers that specialize in public liability insurance for film and video production. Their prior experience and industry-specific knowledge can be invaluable when it comes to sorting claims out quickly and efficiently. They will also often offer combined policies that include other things like professional indemnity insurance.

To make sure you are getting a good deal, using insurance comparison websites will show you at a glance the kind of things that other policies include and how much they cost. You can also ask colleagues in your field if there are any companies that they would particularly recommend.


In short, public liability insurance is a must-have for many professions, and with heavy equipment and bustling sets, film and video production is no different. Speaking of equipment you might also want to look into film equipment insurance.

Though the chances of having to make a claim are slim, it’s always better to be prepared. With just a bit of research and an easy online application, you can be fully protected in the event of an accident or injury.