Film producers need several kinds of insurance in order to produce their film. Some forms of insurance are required by unions, some are required by equipment and location owners, and some are required by just good sense. Here is a quick over view of different kinds of insurance you may need to produce your film, and a suggestion on where to find it cheap.
General Liability Insurance. You need it to rent locations and to provide a back up to your equipment rental insurance. When you book locations and rent equipment you will often be asked to provide a general liability insurance certificate that names the owner of the equipment or property as additionally insured. Failure to have this insurance can represent a significant roadblock for any production of any size. This insurance costs a few hundred dollars and you buy it by the year.
Equipment Rental Insurance. You need this in order to rent production equipment and vehicles. Get this insurance long before you intend to rent because it is not an overnight process. The higher your limits, the more you can rent and the more you will pay. When you rent equipment the rental house will require you to provide an equipment rental certificate that names them as an additional insured and that can take several days to acquire. All this means that new film producers should work get this insurance a month or so before they intend to shoot. Policies last a year.
Workers Compensation Insurance. This is probably the most important and expensive insurance you will buy. You need it to shoot anything with SAG actors or to work with the members of any other union. Having an annual policy, as a business owner, is also requirement for purchasing corporate health insurance. In the state of California, setting up an LLC and getting a workers compensation policy, may be a cheaper way for you to get better health insurance than you can afford by just purchasig a policy on your own. And you have better coverage if you become sick or disabled. Workers comp is a good investment for both you and your company.
Since most of these policies are purchased on an annual basis, they are good for multiple film projects. You will have to add riders, or get new policies, to cover stunts, pyrotechnics and other exotic operations.
Failure to have this kind of coverage basically puts all the property you own now, or ever earn in the future, on the line. If someone gets injured on set, if a location gets damaged, if you drop a light or a camera, you are footing the bill personally. Students often think their lack of assets represents some kind of barrier against being sued. The truth is that their income in future years is what is at risk. So if you ever plan to make it big, you have to deal with the insurance problem.
If you can’t afford this insurance, form a production company and then work to find other filmmakers who require your insurance in order to shoot their projects. You will become a producer on their project which will allow your insurance to cover their requirements. It will mean that you have to be actively involved in their production, protecting the equipment, location and personnel you are insuring, but you will quickly acquire many professional credits and build some long lasting business relationships.
Where do you get film insurance? I recommend working with an non-profit organization, like FracturedAtlas, that supports filmmakers and other artists as part of their charter. They give you the very best rates and are very responsive when you need certificates issued.Tweet
Powered by Facebook Comments