Film producers face unique circumstances in the uncertain and highly competitive world of the film arts. If you have ever been involved in the production of any film, whether a short or a feature-length movie, you know that a lot can go wrong, from expensive equipment malfunctions to actors falling ill.
There are also liability risks from injuries to people and damage to property on location or in the studio. Film production insurance can be the key to protecting your investments.
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Film Industry Lawsuits
The film industry is a notorious source of lawsuits, which can affect film production companies of any size. For example:
- In 2012, Sony was sued by the family of William Faulkner for the unauthorized use of a quote from one of his novels, even though Faulkner was credited in the dialogue.
- A writer sued Sylvester Stallone in 2011 for allegedly stealing his script for the production of The Expendables.
- In 1996, two criminals sued Warner Brothers for making a film that they claimed caused them to go on a crime spree resulting in the shooting and paralysis of one the criminals.
- Warner Brothers was again the target of a lawsuit by the mayor of the city of Batman, Turkey for infringing upon the city's naming rights after the production of "The Dark Knight" in 2008.
- Multiple film industry investors over the years have sued film producers for failing to deliver on promises.
These are examples of situations that created significant expenses for the production companies involved.
The wide exposure of films, the number of people involved in the production, and the physical nature of film production generates an exceptional number of lawsuits. Most of those targeted by these types of lawsuits have no way of predicting the resulting fallout.
All Film Production Insurance Is Not Created Equal
Every film is unique, and there are a number of risks associated with different filming formats, techniques and even locations.
Some productions require the use of highly technical and expensive equipment and others can be produced with little more than a compelling script and a video camera. These and other variables will affect your film insurance rates.
If you produce films full time, your needs will be different from those of someone who does a one-time project and only needs short term film production insurance.
Regardless of the types of projects you do you, will need the right solution to protect yourself from liability risks and protect your equipment investment from accidental breakage, theft, and vandalism.
Your film production insurance plan will need to include a number of different coverage types, such as:
- General liability: This portion of your policy will provide coverage for injuries on the set to anyone associated with the production besides direct employees, as well as any damage your production may cause to other people's property. Our partner, Thimble provides this in just a few clicks on their site.
- Equipment protection: This coverage will provide protection for your valuable photographic and digital recording devices.
- Professional liability: Also known as "errors and omissions" or "E & O" insurance, this coverage can be particularly important to the film industry and protects you against risks like libel, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, and defamation of character.
- Workers compensation: Provides health protection for staff employed by the production company in the event of work-related injuries or illness. You may be required to carry this insurance, depending upon the nature of your business, how many people you employ and your state requirements.
Film Production Insurance Solutions
If you have a very small production company, you may be able to rely on the homeowners insurance or small business insurance you already have.
Many small companies work out of a home office. While the actual shooting may take place in other regions, everything else can be done from home.
To a limited extent, homeowners insurance can be helpful in the event the company is running at a loss. If it is profitable, exclusions in your homeowners coverage may prevent loss recovery.
Business insurance with the necessary inclusions is a much more reliable form of protection. A well-qualified agent in our network can confirm that you have the right endorsements and that riders are in place to protect pricey equipment.
Your agent will also want to confirm that your liability is adequate to offset lawsuits, as even frivolous legal claims can cost you.
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How to Compare Film Production Insurance Rates
Unlike many other forms of commercial coverage, movie making coverage needs to cover some unusual risks. Whether you produce films for a living full time or just need short film insurance for a one-time project, you will need assistance from a knowledgeable local agent who can advise you on the best coverage options within your budget.