While shooting a feature film, television series or advert, organising the TV, film and advert insurance certainly isn’t going to be seen as the most exciting part of a production. After all, the insurance industry isn’t exactly known for its creative flair and, let’s be honest, you don’t have anything to show for it once you’ve bought it.
Having said that, it’s probably one of the most important things you’ll need to organise.
You know you need it but do you know which policy you need and what exactly needs to be covered? Finding the right policy will avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Using our experience as UK media insurance brokers, we’ve put together our top ten tips to make buying TV and film insurance as painless as possible. And we’ve decided to give it a movie-themed twist…
Do The Right Thing
When you’re in the early stages of a production it’s all very exciting, with 101 things to organise. Insurance is probably the last thing on your mind but it needs to go on your to-do list sooner rather than later. You’ll definitely need Production Insurance but some things may require specialist cover and, while you agree precisely what your shoot will involve, your insurance provider can advise you on which aspects of the shoot will need specific cover.
Our tip… Give yourself plenty of time!
A Few Good Men (and women)
Take a long hard look at the people whose absence due to an accident, illness or injury would affect the production most. Whoever they are, from the DOP or Director to Actors, Animators and SFX crew, make sure you organise Cast Insurance to cover them. A declaration of health will always be required but sometimes a more detailed health questionnaire or medical could be a requirement of the commission, so check if that’s the case.
Our tip… Make sure your most important people are protected!
The Right Stuff
You’ll obviously need to protect the kit on a shoot, whether it’s your own or hired in, and your production policy can cover the equipment. Make sure that the sums insured adequately cover the replacement cost. It’s worth noting that losses due to theft from unattended vehicles or acts of fraud are usually excluded from your cover, as is damage to equipment caused by mechanical or electrical breakdown or general wear or tear. Specialised equipment will require specialist cover, so make sure you know exactly what you need.
Our tip… Get your kit covered, particularly the specialist stuff!
If you know that you need to do something a bit risky your Liability Insurance will need to cover any hazardous activities. That doesn’t just involve blowing things up or setting people on fire, in fact, horse riding is considered to be one of the most hazardous activities on a shoot! All insurers will have a requirement to accept the risk involved well in advance, any bona fide specialists will be happy to provide you with a risk assessment.
Our tip… Anything a bit risky needs specific cover, so get a risk assessment ASAP!
Far And Away
Your Liability Insurance will need to cover any filming overseas but where you film could have implications. Filming in the USA and Canada requires evidence of your cover in a specific format and in some regions of the world you may require kidnap and ransom cover for your cast and crew.
Our tip… Check for certain requirements depending on where in the world you are going to film!
Huge advances have been made in film technology and any new tech will need to be reflected in your policy. Thankfully Media Insurance is catching up. Back in 2013 Chubb Insurance changed the wording of their policies to incorporate new camera technology.
Our tip… Make sure that shiny new digital tech you’re so proud of is covered!
Around The World In Eighty Days
You need Travel Insurance when you go on your own holidays and so will your production if you take it abroad. Check to see if freelancers are covered and whether medical evacuation is included, also confirm which territories are covered since they can differ from policy to policy. You’ll be given an emergency assist card, or e-card, which must be passed on to all cast and crew.
Our tip… Double check what your cover includes and hand out emergency assist cards!
Mistakes happen and if one occurs on your production, Errors and Omissions Insurance can cover it. Your Production Insurance policy won’t cover things like a brand logo that no-one spotted in the background of a shot or the faint snippet of a famous song during a scene, but Errors and Omissions Insurance will. Just make sure you buy it at the planning stages of production because if a claim arises before delivery, any costs will be the producer’s responsibility.
Our tip… Organise E&O Insurance at the earliest stage possible.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and boats and helicopters and anything else)
Whenever you use transport of any kind on a shoot there are a few things you need to take into consideration:
- Planes need an aviation policy.
- Fishing boats may not have cover for passengers, only the crew of the boat.
- Make sure that your Motor insurance covering crew buses, hired-in vehicles, etc. has no exclusions for TV and Film work.
- Filming a car on a public highway requires motor insurance which can be difficult to arrange.
- Filming a car on a private road can be covered by some production insurance policies.
Our tip… If it moves and someone from the production is in it, you’ll need to get it insured!
Man On Fire
It won’t surprise you to learn that when you film a stunt it needs to be covered, but any stunt is the responsibility of the company who is performing it so it will be covered by their policy. Any bona fide professional will be happy to provide you with a risk assessment and a copy of their insurance policy. Don’t forget to provide your own insurer with these details.
Our tip… A stunt co-ordinator’s policy will cover their own stunts. Get a copy of it!
Ultimately you need a specialist media insurance broker who recognises the needs of a production and has experience of the media world. They can help you to get the right policies and if the worst should happen, help you to submit a claim as well as collating all of the information you’ll need in order to do that.
As luck would have it, that’s exactly what we are! If you have any questions about insuring a TV or film production get in touch with our specialist team today.