Everyone involved in the entertainment industry, from producers and production companies, to film financiers and film distributors, are under constant pressure to produce outstanding products. Movies nowadays have the ability to top one billion dollars in sales word-wide, so imagine the enormous amount of risk that comes with seeing these projects to fruition. You need to provide your client with the type of flexibility and expertise needed to deal with any issues that could come their way, including many unexpected exposures.
For legal and contractual reasons, as well as the protection of a lot of valuable property, production insurance is definitely vital to the financing of these projects. Without insurance, the risks include public safety, equipment damage, concerns over private and public property, and the safety of the cast and crew.
The amount of insurance should equal the risk
The type of policy your client will need will depend on the type of project they plan to produce. If, for example, they’re making a simple music video, that type of policy will differ substantially from someone making a feature film. There are three common types of coverage generally acquired: short-term, a DICE insurance policy, (DICE stands for “Documentaries, Industrial Films, Commercials and Educational Films”) and an annual policy, which covers an entire year of production.
Short-term policies are used for a single production, such as a commercial. A DICE insurance policy is used for several projects during any given year. Any film projects spanning several months will often require an annual policy.
Once it has been determined which policy addresses your client’s needs, each production insurance policy purchased will need to offer protection in the form of general liability (GL), equipment insurance, and errors and omissions (E&O). The GL will cover for damage to the filming location, along with any injury or harm that may befall those present that are not a part of the production and not working on the film.
The equipment insurance provides cover for any and all film equipment used in the film making process and will cover loss, damage, or theft of any rented or owned equipment. The E&O insurance policy protects against any lawsuit alleging unauthorized usage of titles, copyrighted materials, ideas, formats, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition, defamation or invasion of privacy. We suggest having an entertainment lawyer review the script, along with all clearances and releases to ensure compliance.