The biggest issue for videographers, filmmakers and producers is unwittingly putting their production projects or businesses at risk by not having the right industry-specific cover. Some are not even aware of specific products like Producers Insurance or Media Liability Insurance. If these terms are new or only vaguely familiar, chances are you and your video production business may be under-insured. The only way to safeguard your Videography or Film Business is to speak to a specialist broker to make sure you are fully covered.
Two Main Areas of Risk
There are essential two main areas of risk. One is fairly straight forward and relates to anything physical that can be damaged, lost or broken– think equipment, buildings, sets, props, even humans! The second is a bit more abstract and relates to professional liability and indemnities that can help protect your reputation, and your ability to continue to conduct your business. We will go into these in more detail below:
Risk of Loss or Damage
You already have, or plan to invest, many thousands of pounds into your video production equipment. Protecting your investment against loss or damage is the most basic of all reasons to evaluate your insurance needs. Examples abound of videographers losing equipment from accidents or theft. Tales of getting equipment stolen from vehicles in broad daylight or going missing in transit. Don’t fall foul of one of the most basic ways to insure your business.
From cameras to sound equipment, a specialist broker will work with you to create a cover that ensures all equipment that is vital to your business is properly looked after. That’s in all locations, whether at home, in the studio, or out on location. You will also need to ensure any rented equipment is covered, as most companies will need proof of cover before hiring out kit.
If there is one piece of advice you must take away with you from reading this is do NOT rely on your home contents insurance to cover your video production equipment.
The most well known and most common liability. Essentially if you’re planning a shoot with or near any other humans, you need public liability. Accidents happen, particularly on fast-paced, ever-changing sets and locations. You should obtain a policy in the earliest stages of pre-production and maintain it until the completion of all post-production activities. The policy can also be extended to include contingent motor liability for vehicles hired with drivers, and employees’ own vehicles. A specialist broker will be able to advise on the exact cover you need for your production or business.
Where people and their property are at risk, a split-second lapse in concentration could end up costing you dearly, and so it’s always sensible to have public liability in place. You will need proof of Public Liability in order to receive permission to film in most locations and studios. This insurance covers the legal responsibilities of your production if your activities cause injury to a third party or damage to property.
Don’t forget that health and safety is essential to an efficiently run shoot. If you do not adhere to Health & Safety regulations, your insurance policy may become invalidated.
How much cover do you need?
As a general rule you will be required to have a minimum of £2 million cover for street filming and photography. In some areas you will be required to have at least £5 million.
The amount of cover required varies depending on:
- The size of your production
- The location you will be using
- What the filming or photography will entail
Check with the location owners or the relevant Borough Film Service or local authority to find out exactly how much cover is required.
Employers Liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ even one person. This is a statutory requirement which includes those working under any direction; for example, interns, volunteers, runners paid or un-paid. The worst-case scenario is not something we like to think about but injuries in the course of work occur all the time and protection is a must – particularly on shoots where the variables can be greater depending on location and nature of the project. This will cover your crew, your cast and any freelancers you hire.
Risk of Liability
Beyond basic equipment cover Videographers and Filmmakers will need protection from the complex risk of liability. Liability is about protecting you and your long-term ability to do what you love. Just as the implications of liability are much broader than those of simple property loss or damage, the cost to limit your liability is equally broad (i.e. can be more expensive).
Professional Indemnity insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O), is designed to protect you if your client alleges that you provided an inadequate service. Should your client be unhappy with the finished product, whether you have made a mistake or not, professional indemnity insurance will provide you with protection. The cost of your legal defense will be covered, along with compensation you may need to pay to the client following a claim made against you. This is a vital item of your insurance as a difference of opinion, last minute changes to the brief by your client, or a seemingly minor error, might end up seeing you have to defend a claim.
Specifically for the film and television industry, Producers Indemnity insurance covers additional costs incurred by interruption, cancellation, abandonment or re-scheduling of a production. If you lose a day to heavy rain or illness of an actor, there could be a significant financial loss and so this is a cover well worth considering.
Which Products can safeguard your Videography and Film Business?
Business insurance protects businesses against losses that happen as a result of normal business activities – particularly when a compensation claim is made. There are different types of cover for different types of risk, from legal liability, to property damage, to employee-related issues.
Specific Media and Production Insurance
Some examples of the unique types of coverage: special event liability, multiple locations, multiple vehicles, multiple cameras, cranes, film stock, re-shoot coverage, etc.
Media Liability Insurance is a type of professional, industry-specific “Errors & Omissions” insurance. E&O Insurance is intended to limit your risk from professional errors that violate the rights of others. Its list of liability coverage is impressive as it applies to copyright, trademark, and patent infringement, as well as invasion of privacy, liable, slander, defamation of character, unfair competition, and extended personal injury liability.
How Much is Enough Cover?
To best determine how much overall production insurance is enough to cover your equipment, your people, your location and your reputation, you’ll need to speak to a specialised and experienced broker. It is crucial you make an informed decision with the right intersect of budget and need. Specialist brokers are here to work for you and will strive to provide you with the best, most inclusive cover they can. Most importantly, no cover is not an option.
Studio Productions at Camberwell Studios
This article has covered the breadth of issues production companies are likely to face. If video production is an occasional occupation as part of a wider brief, it makes sense to collaborate. Where we can help is with studio-based productions by providing professional filming kit and crew members which means we cover the equipment insurance and public liability. Check out our full range of production services, here.