Mystery works well in a film script — less so, when it comes to insurance
Mystery works well in a film script — less so, when it comes to adjusting a claim for missing props, wardrobe and film gear.
The coverage for props, sets and wardrobe and miscellaneous equipment in an entertainment package policy doesn’t cover mysterious disappearance. The film insurance company won’t cover a loss that can’t be sufficiently explained and documented.
You leave an expensive prop in your prop truck and it isn’t there when you go to retrieve it. Or, the vintage gown can’t be found in the wardrobe truck along with the jewelry needed for the scene. When did it go missing? Or did someone take it? What proof do you have there actually was a loss?
It can be a roll of electrical cable, a rented dolly, or an expensive lens—it's gone but there is no sign of forced entry and the area is exactly as it looked the last time the crew member saw it. The production manager makes a claim for the lost item but is at a loss when it comes to explaining how and when the item could have disappeared.
What is a "mysterious disappearance" in insurance?
The inability to answer when, where and the circumstances of the loss are what the insurance industry considers a mysterious disappearance. This exclusion means the loss will not be covered and the production will not get any money from the insurance company to replace the missing item.
A theft is evidenced by forcible signs of entry or exit from the location where the loss occurred. This evidence can include things such as a broken window, a pried open door, or scratches or marks on a window or door frame where a thief attempted entry or exit from a location. If these signs are not present, then a loss may be categorized as mysterious disappearance. It is important to know the day when the loss or damage occurred.
Location filming is fast-paced; however, if possible, keep an inventory of props, wardrobe and equipment going on and off the trucks so that the loss is discovered the day it happens rather than at the end of the shoot when the rented equipment and P/S/W is being returned to the rental houses.
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.
- Props, sets and wardrobe insurance
- Preventing film equipment theft
- Grip truck insurance
- Author: David Hamilton
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