FAQ production insurance for a film

When you are producing a film many things can go wrong regarding the equipment, weather or the cast. One of the kinds of insurance you should certainly have is the recording material and fault insurance. This covers damage occurring during the production period as a result of damage to or loss of film, video and/or audio material, or a broken camera, and covers mistakes later on during developing.

Insured amount and own risk

In case of damage the insurance company pays out a certain amount (less any excess, or deductible) which enables you to repair the damage or, in the worst cases, to redo the recording/filming concerned.

The insurance company compensates all actual expenses, including the fees for cast and crew. Naturally the compensation per incident is never more than the amount stated in the policy.

Insurance premium

The premium for this type of insurance is calculated based on the total budget of your production. It amounts to a percentage which varies between 0.6% and 1.5%, depending on a number of clauses which you may or may not want to include in the policy. So your production's budget is the basis for the premium and the insured amount.

Special requirements

There are special requirements which you have to comply with. For example you are required to have your film material developed within a certain number of days after it's been exposed. Another requirement is that prior to the recording/filming you have to have all your cameras, lenses and other necessary equipment checked.

The film material you use for the tests has to be developed and carefully stored. These tests are evidence that you began with good working equipment. If any damage occurs, a damage expert will ask for this proof.

Other insurance

As a producer you certainly have to have liability insurance. But there are lots of other kinds of production insurance you can sign up for. You continually have to weigh the difference between the risks and the cost of the insurance. Consider a situation in which you have extremely expensive sets built. Do you leave them uninsured? And what would the consequences be if your star got sick and the filming had to stop? Or what do you do if it rained continually for days when what you needed was sunshine? In a country like The Netherlands you probably won't want to insure yourself against rain…because the greater the risk, the higher the insurance premium.

Insurance companies

Insuring yourself through an intermediary has the advantage that the contract is often more personal and he/she can give you independent advice. But you can also go directly to an insurance company.