Anything Goes : Insurance Costs by Janet Elizabeth Swainston

Janet Elizabeth Swainston

Insurance Costs

So, I'm reading a lot about getting filming insurance for location shoots. Can anyone give me an idea how this works? What companies do i approach? How much is the average? How long do I need it for. What kind do I need? This is the part I'm confused by.

D Marcus

There are a broad range of answers that will depend on many factors. No "one size fits all" answer. Their isn't an average. You may need it for the entire length of your shoot. You may need equipment insurance. You may need workers comp insurance. You may need third party damage insurance. You may need General Liability. You approach companies that specialize in Film Production Insurance.

Chris Reed

Hey Jane, what you need obviously depends on what you are shooting, where, how big your cast and crew are, and other factors but the basics apply across the board. Film Insurance is broken down into Production Insurance and Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance. Production Insurance is an umbrella term for the various coverages you need while filming like public liability, workmans comp, rented equipment, production auto, and so on. Most US cities require you to carry at least a $1m public liability insurance policy naming the production company as the primary insured and the city as additional insured, most locations will also want to be added as additional insured. Workmans comp covers your cast and crew, the exact requirements vary state to state but its good to carry this even if its not required. Rented equipment covers you and your rental house(s) incase of any damaged/ lost/ stolen gear, most rental houses will waive security holds on credit cards if insurance is provided making your production more liquid. Production auto covers the production vehicles and any people or things they might crash into, your drivers should be covered by your workmans comp. E&O is basically post production insurance and it covers you incase you forgot to get location releases or there is a member of the public in one of your shots who didn't sign a release and other such errors and omissions. It is required by every distribution company I've ever heard of and most festivals. I can't give you an idea of the costs of insurance with out a look at your script and production schedule (and at that point we'd be talking about my day rate too) but I've always used Film Emporuim. They are fair and helpful, I'm sure they will be glad to walk you through more details.

Royce Allen Dudley

In addition to the above, stunts, pyrotechnics and other considerations all drive the policy up. Many production insurance companies refuse to underwrite certain things... public live rap music performance is for some a no-no, as an example. Drones are a gray area for many. Minimal policies with all-in coverage on simple projects in the US can cost a couple thousand dollars at the minimum; premiums are often almost identical for one day or 7. Coverage requirements go up for certain things; $10 Mil coverage is needed by some municipalities if you will use a (manned) helicopter. There is no way to get a real quote without dates, location, and project specifics. The insurer will ask for a title and plot description as well. Truman Van Dyke is a major player in North America :

Vasco Phillip de Sousa

Check some film directories for a list of insurance providers. You call them up, and ask for a quote. They'll want to know the total budget of your film, the value of the equipment, any dangerous scenes, including stunt work and filming near rivers, the total salaries and other things. They'll want to know what you have planned to do to take care of any risks. Most have a form to fill out. Total insurance might be about 3 percent of the budget, depending upon your needs. But, you really need everything else in place (as far as budget, production schedule, and planning goes) before you can figure out the insurance cost.

Yasmin Neal

I just did a google search for "entertainment insurance" <<thats what they call it, and i got a list and called each one for rates... It was very easy... Just like getting car insurance

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