Producing : Production insurance-any changes regarding Covid-19 shutdowns by Kim Donovan

Kim Donovan

Production insurance-any changes regarding Covid-19 shutdowns

I was one week out from shooting my short film when the shutdown happened. The insurance company said I could not be refunded the $700 I had given them to be covered for that month even though we ended up not being able to film at all. (It was only going to be a one day shoot.) Does anyone know if any of the production insurance companies are going to refund anyone or credit them for a future film date or if they will amend their policies so that producers don't lose money from another shutdown if they can't film? I'm already stressed out knowing that I will definitely need to raise funds for a 2nd day of shooting in order to make sure there is additional time to meet new safety requirements, but I don't want to keep throwing away money on insurance that ends up not even covering a production that gets cancelled by circumstances beyond the producer's control.

Christopher Phillips

You might want to look into getting an annual policy (depending on your budget/film situation, it's not that much of a difference). Most short film productions that are on a shoestring budget don't carry insurance due to the costs. However, you really should consider that insurance is really needed for pre and post production as well. Anything can happen during auditions, rehearsals, editing, etc. It's not just about equipment, someone hanging lights could fall off a ladder during prep, as an example. Actors rehearsing in a church basement can hurt themselves. Etc.

Erik A. Jacobson

Filming involves taking risks. It's part of the DNA of filmmakers. If you're someone who always carries an umbrella on cloudy days, you probably shouldn't be a producer to begin with, especially on such a small film. But if you're a born worry-wart, consider getting a Liability Waiver instead. They're cheap and simple. And give each crew/cast member a choice - sign it or hit the road.

Erick Freitas

Hey, I've shot shorts with and without insurance. I know it's a gamble, but I'm just letting you know it's possible. The reason why I got insurance for my shorts because we were doing stunt scenes and practical effects, but when that isn't involved... roll the dice baby.

John Ellis

check out - they cover film production by the hour, day, month. A-rated insurance, add crew, add'l insured. Injury, property dmg, legal, E&O, medical. They typically exclude stunts, firearms, etc. Not the cheapest, but you can get your insurance cert literally 60 seconds before you start shooting.

Veronica J Woodard

Hi Kim, Have you checked with the insurance commissioner? Also, you do have a right to a full refund. Contact the company directly and not the agent. You also have a right to file a formal complaint with the insurance comissioner.

Kim Donovan

Thanks everyone! They said they need some kind of proof that my film date was cancelled so I forwarded them the email from the theatre we were going to film in that told me they were ordered closed starting in mid March. (Or film date was supposed to be March 30th) Hopefully I get a full refund otherwise I’ll check with insurance commissioner.

Angelo Raza

What is the name of the insurance policy for film makers please?

Kim Donovan

I went through MFE Insurance broker service recommended by ABS Payroll. As of this morning they told me the underwriter will be issuing me a refund for the full amount I paid due to the venue being shutdown prior to my scheduled filming date:)

S.B. Goncarova

Glad it worked out for you, Kim.

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