Filmmakers: You May NOT be Covered under Homeowners Insurance
You arrive back at your apartment to find your door pried open and your camera, sound and lighting gear missing. You take out your phone and call your insurance broker to report the claim under the homeowners policy that you purchased. An adjuster is assigned. The claims adjuster does a web search and sees that you have credits on IMDB for various productions. Because you are hired with your gear as a part of your weekly rate, your gear is now considered “commercial” equipment and as such, not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy which is intended to cover “personal” film gear that is not used for commercial purposes.
You tell the adjuster that you only worked twice in the last 12 months on two low budget music videos and made less than $300. The adjuster shrugs, “It doesn’t matter, even if you shoot a birthday party for 60 minutes for $50, you are a professional and your gear is considered commercial and is no longer covered under a homeowners policy”.
This is a difficult, pricey lesson that is better learned before there is a loss. Our experience tells us that many professionals assume they are covered by their homeowners insurance policy when in fact they are not.
If you use your gear to make money, check your insurance policy and make sure your coverage is appropriate.
We have created a 5-minute online insurance solution called DigiGear:
Available at: https://digigearinsure.frontrowinsurance.com
The policy term is for 12 months and coverage is provided throughout Canada and the USA.
All equipment is covered for replacement cost for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Rental coverage is also available.
Industry-low film equipment insurance prices:
- $10,000 equipment coverage: $80 plus a fee
- $2,000,000 location liability coverage: $500. Liability covers property damage and bodily injury to third parties. Pays legal fees, too
- $1,000 deductible for gear (fees subject to change)
"We wanted to make the insurance process easier, faster and cheaper for musicians,” said David Hamilton, President of Front Row. “Given that an insurance company underwriter is not involved, the cost to process an online film equipment insurance policy is much less and we have passed the savings onto the gear owner. The savings is expected to be 30% compared to standard film equipment policies. Although the DigiGear policy is online, we are still available to answer questions by email or over the phone if required.”