Film Production Insurance: How the Premium is Determined

Posted by David Hamilton on Jun 21, 2010 2:46:00 PM

Usually the cost of film production insurance is determined by charging a pre-determined rate against the net insurable budget of the production.  The net insurable budget is calculated by removing those items out of the gross budget that the client does not want to insure (i.e. Unit Publicity, Insurance, and General Expense).  The film insurance rates will vary from production to production and depend on things such as:


  • Type of production (i.e. Feature vs. TV series)abstract blue image
  • Inclusion of any stunts or special effects
  • Any work in or around water
  • Aerial work
  • Locations outside Canada/US


Most of these things will cause the film insurance premium to increase.  The rate from the insurance company is applied against net insurable budget to determine the final premium.  The number of episodes and length of production rarely have an impact on price.  The only time this would have an impact is if it was a very short shoot and we could offer a short term policy. This type of policy would offer very limited coverages and would usually only offer coverage for 7 days or less.


In addition to the rate and net insurable, the Insurance Companies have a minimum premium that they have to charge for a policy to ensure they can cover all of the administration costs of issuing and servicing the policies.  Their minimum premium threshold might cause two difference projects which have different budgets, to still have the same premium.  This is usually the case in lower budget projects.  The Insurance Company is stuck charging a minimum premium as they have to endure the same administrate costs no matter what the budget of the production.  

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Topics: Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Annual Film Insurance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance

Film Production Crew: Always Ask if you are Covered by Workers Comp

Posted by David Hamilton on Jun 14, 2010 3:18:00 PM

Crew members on film productions, short films, commercials, documentaries and music videos should always be covered by work comp insurance - the risk of going without is too great.

If you are a crew member working on a low or micro budget film production, you should always ask the producer if they have workers compensation coverage for the crew and general liability coverage for the production in general.

I will deal with workers compensation coverage for part one of this two part post.

Workers comp. will provides benifits to workers injured on the job such as: medical costs, rehab costs and loss of future earnings all per the policy wording. In most states and provinces the film maker is obligated to provide coverage for any cast or crew that they hire. In some cases coverage is arranged through a private entertainment insurance broker and in some cases it is arranged directly through the state or provincial agency responsible for providing work comp.

The benifit to the producer is that once the injured crew member accepts the work comp benifits, they usually waive the right to sue the producer. This is good insurance for the producer.

Sometimes that insurance company or government work comp agency will not provide coverage if the crew and cast are not being paid as there is no way to determine loss of future earnings. For this reason the producer should arrange to make nominal payments to cast and crew.

If you are a crew member that gets hurt on the job and there are no work comp benifits available to you, then you are faced with the prospect of suing the producer while recovering from your injuries - difficult and unpleasent.

Always ask the producer if you will be covered by workers comp even when volunteering on a short shoot in any capacity.

Topics: Film Production Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Film Producers, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film Production Companies, Commercials, Workers Comp insurance

Film E&O Insurance Clearance Procedures for Producers - Part 3 of 3

Posted by David Hamilton on Jun 5, 2010 12:04:00 PM

Proper film E&O insurance clearances for your film will result in the best possible coverage and cost for your producers E&O insurance policy - otherwise known as multimedia E&O.


  1. If the Production involves actual events, it should be ascertained that the author’s sources   are independent and primary (contemporaneous newspaper reports, court transcripts, interviews with witnesses, etc.) and not secondary (another author’s copyrighted work, autobiographies, copyrighted magazine articles, etc.).
  2. Shooting script and rough cuts should be checked, if possible, to assure compliance with all of the above. During photography, persons might be photographed on location dialogue added or other matter included which was not originally contemplated.
  3. If the intent is to use the Production on Videotapes, Videocassettes, Videodiscs or other technology, rights to manufacture, distribute and release the Production must be obtained, including the above rights, from all writers, directors, actors, musicians, composers and others, connected to the work, including proprietors of underlying materials.
  4. Film Clips should not be used unless licenses and authorizations for the second use are obtained from the owner of the clip or party authorized to license the same, as well as licenses from all persons rendering services in or supplying material contained in the film clip; e.g., underlying literary rights, performances of actors or musicians. Special attention should be paid to music rights as publishers are taking the position that new synchronization and performance licenses are required.
  5. In addition, dead persons (through their personal representatives or heirs) have a “right of publicity”, especially where there is considerable fictionalization. Clearances must be obtained where necessary. Where the work is fictional in whole or in part, the names of all characters must be fictional. If for some special reason particular names need not be fictional, full details must be provided to the Company in an attachment to the Application.
  6. Consideration should be given to the likelihood of any claim or litigation. Is there a potential claimant portrayed in the Production who has sued before or is likely to sue again? Is the subject matter of the Production such as to require difficult and extensive discovery in the event of necessity to defend? Are sources reliable? The above factors should be considered in your clearance procedures and recommendations.
Please contact us if you have any further questions. Applications are available on our website.
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Topics: Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance