Film production companies have many of the same insurance coverages as any other company: Workers' Compensation for injury or illness arising out of employment or during the course of employment; Commercial General Liability for bodily injury or property damage to third parties; Auto for injury and damage from owned and operated vehicles; and Property for damage to property in the care, custody or control of the company. But there are insurance coverages for risks that are specific to production companies that no other companies need and of which most people are unaware.
Most productions purchase a package of insurance coverages that cover commonly insured risks. These are Cast Insurance, Negative Film and Faulty Stock, Camera and Processing, Props, Sets and Wardrobe, Miscellaneous Equipment, Extra Expense, Third Party Property Damage Liability. In addition, there are some optional coverages that can be included in the Entertainment Package. These are Office Contents Coverage and Money and Securities Coverage. These are discussed below.
When a principal actor is in the middle of a picture and becomes injured, ill or unavailable, the costs can be substantial. Cast claims are generally very costly as the cost of crew, locations and equipment must be continued or rescheduled to a later date until the cast member returns.
Cast Insurance covers the additional, extra or ongoing expenses incurred by the insured over and above the normal budgeted costs as a result of death, disability (accident or illness) or kidnap of scheduled cast members. It usually applies to the main cast and the director or other individual crucial to the completion of the production.
A medical examination is required prior to binding full coverage and must be submitted by an approved MD. Prior to receipt of the medical examination, coverage can only be bound for accident. A medical must be conducted within a short time period prior to commencement of filming. An Underwriter has a very short time period to indicate exclusions or restrictions.
Typically, a Cast Insurance policy has standard exclusions for piloting a plane, performing hazardous stunts, for pregnancy, menstruation or childbirth and for childhood diseases.
Negative Film and Faulty Stock, Camera and Processing Insurance covers extra expenses incurred by the insured as a result of all risk of direct physical loss of or damage to film, tape, sound tracks and similar property.
Coverage applies until a protection print (or duplicate tape) is completed and stored separately or 30 days after post production or policy expiration/cancellation.
Standard exclusions include: errors in judgment of exposure; use of incorrect type of camera, lens, film or stock; exposures to magnetic or electrical fields; exposure to extreme temperatures; and delay in delivery of film.
Faulty stock, cameras and recording equipment and faulty developing, editing or processing or other laboratory work are also usually excluded. However, these can be added back by endorsement as separate insurance.