Are there film insurance policies for COVID-19?
Note: the below information pertains to Canadian productions shooting in Canada.
Currently, in Canada, there are no film insurance policies for COVID-19. All of the insurance companies are excluding communicable diseases (including COVID) on their policies. It is kind of like after 9/11, all of the insurance companies introduced terrorism exclusions and they are still on those policies. It doesn’t cost the insurance companies anything to keep these exclusions on their policies, so they tend to remain on the policies indefinitely.
There was the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund from Telefilm (note: closed on March 31, 2023). Filmmakers/producers could apply to this fund to be compensated for uninsured losses due to COVID-19. As a comparison: in catastrophe insurance, if people are living in a flood zone and they’re ineligible for flood insurance, there are government programs that they can apply to for assistance in case of a flood loss. The COVID-19 pandemic situation is similar in that the insurance companies have said, “OK, we’re not going to be covering any production shutdown losses due to COVID.” So, the government then stepped in and provided this temporary relief fund through Telefilm.
In applying to the Telefilm relief fund, filmmakers had to provide some insurance documentation to show that they did, in fact, have communicable disease exclusions on their production policies to make them eligible for the relief.
Cast logs also had to be provided (i.e., the names of the cast members who are insured).
Are you a producer in Canada or the US? Get a quote for film production insurance here.
About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment. Offices in: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, NY, and LA.
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