Preventing Film Equipment Theft – Tips & Tricks

Posted by Grant Patten on May 7, 2019 6:38:08 AM

All this lovely gear was stolen! Don’t let this be your gear. All this lovely gear was stolen! Don’t let this be your gear.

Thanks to cooperation between the FBI, the US embassy and Argentinian federal police, this massive haul of film production gear worth ~$3M was recovered in September 2018. The thieves had apparently targeted equipment in Hollywood and other US cities and then smuggled it into Argentina. As of May 2019, four people have been arrested in the US and 17 suspects have been identified in Argentina.

Film Equipment Theft – Prevention Tips

We’ve provided some tips & tricks for how to guard your film equipment, as well as some information on how to insure your equipment so you are protected in any worst case scenario situations.

1. Exterior/Location Filming

  • Key individuals should be responsible and accountable for transporting equipment from trucks and trailers to the filming set/location
  • There should be a tracking process established for logging equipment in/out when transported between destinations
  • Securely store equipment when not in use, especially hard-to-replace items like custom props, sets and wardrobes
  • Station security personnel within sight of exposed equipment, ideally at all times
  • Heighten security presence whenever filming in crime-ridden neighbourhoods

2. Interior Filming

  • Always favour buildings that have a central security alarm system, and check with building facilities that the system is actually running properly
  • Favour buildings that have security guard personnel on site
  • The building ideally has a concierge who facilitates logging in/approval of visitors
  • If you need to store equipment in the building overnight, double-check that the room is secure and inform security personnel about it

3. Employee/Crew Theft

  • Have written policy in place informing cast/crew that it is unacceptable to take any objects from set as “souvenirs”; clearly communicate policy to cast/crew
  • Conduct reference/background checks on all new employees/crewmembers
  • All employees/crewmembers should wear highly visible ID badges while on set
  • Make use of sign-in/sign-out sheets for entering/exiting locations
  • Conduct inventory checks on regular basis

4. Vehicles (including rental cars, vans and trucks)

  • Ensure vehicles transporting valuable equipment are as nondescript as possible (don’t call attention to the vehicles)
  • Any equipment stored in a vehicle should always be locked and kept out of sight (e.g., covered with blankets)
  • Ideally have multiple drivers available to limit the number of extended stops and take turns monitoring the vehicle during stops
  • If overnight: ideally stay at reputable hotels; hotel parking lots should be well-lit and monitored by cameras and security guards

5. Air Travel (planes carrying production equipment)

  • Always have a clearly marked luggage tag and have a card with emergency contact information placed inside the luggage/container
  • Whenever possible, carry some valuable items onto the plane instead of checking them in, such as laptops and smaller cameras
  • Maintain an inventory listing the shipped items, along with planned shipping itinerary and equipment serial numbers

Consider Film Equipment Insurance – DigiGear

There seems to be no published information on whether or not the equipment involved in the Hollywood-Argentina smuggle was insured. If it wasn’t insured, no doubt, the owners of said equipment were likely kicking themselves after this massive theft occurred.

Avoid a similar fate by insuring your film equipment with Front Row under a DigiGear policy.

RELATED POSTS:

INSURANCE FOR THEFT OF CAMERA AND FILM EQUIPMENT

THEFT FROM VEHICLE: PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE EXPLAINED

HOW TO CALL A WRAP ON CLAIMS

CITATIONS:

https://news.sky.com/story/huge-haul-of-stolen-hollywood-film-equipment-found-in-argentina-11498283

Chubb PDF T3-FilmEqTheft-3-19 https://www.chubb.com

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Equipment, DigiGear

What does online DigiGear Equipment insurance actually cover?

Posted by David Hamilton on Aug 2, 2016 4:03:51 PM

DigiGear Insurance Coverage for Film Equipment

This unique offering allows owners of camera equipment, sound, lighting and other film equipment the opportunity to get quick quotes in 20 seconds and purchase insurance for their gear in less than five minutes, 365 days a year, 24/7.

All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. This short animation explains the coverage:


Wait for the $50 discount code at the end!

The policy term is for 12 months.

Rental equipment insurance coverage is also available.

The online link ensures industry-low prices:

  • $10,000 equipment coverage: costs $80, plus a fee
  • $2,000,000 annual location liability coverage: costs $500
  • $1,000 deductible for gear

Available to Canadian equipment owners at: https://digigearinsure.frontrowinsurance.com

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that works on behalf of the Canadian arts and entertainment industry to provide insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Nashville and Los Angeles.

RELATED LINKS:

Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

Film Production Insurance: Why it is needed

Pre-Production Insurance

Film Production Insurance

How the Premium is Determined

Short Film Insurance

DigiGear Insurance

Props/Sets/Wardrobe Insurance

E&O Insurance

DICE Insurance

Third Party Property Damage

Crew Vehicles

Umbrella Vs. Excess Liability

Commercial General Liability

Negative Film / Videotape and Faulty Stock

Workers Comp

Cast Insurance

Extra Expense (EE)

Foreign Locations

Claims

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Equipment, Camera Insurance, DigiGear

Production Equipment and Props/Sets/Wardrobe Insurance Explained

Posted by Mike Groner on Jul 20, 2016 3:36:37 PM

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT & PROPS/SETS/WARDROBE INSURANCE

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT INSURANCE:

Covers against all risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction to cameras, camera equipment, sound and lighting equipment, grip equipment, portable electrical equipment and generators, mechanical effects equipment and similar miscellaneous equipment against direct physical loss or damage to said property.  This coverage also typically includes loss of use of property of others for which the renter or producer is legally liable.

The limit of coverage for production equipment should be sufficient to cover the replacement cost of ALL equipment being used on the project.

Equipment owner operator insurance offered for Canadian film producers.

Most equipment rental houses will include in their contract a statement confirming renter’s requirement to fully insure the equipment in renter’s possession. 

Did You Know?

If you are using an individual’s personal equipment, and your intent is to provide coverage for it while being used on the production, a legal contract must be executed to define your obligations as the insurer will look for your legal obligation to trigger coverage.

 

Wardrobe

PROPS, SETS & WARDROBE (PSW) INSURANCE:

Provides coverage on props, sets, scenery, costumes, wardrobe and similar property against all risks of direct physical loss, damage, or destruction during the production.

There are typically restrictions or sub-limits under props/sets/wardrobe coverage for boats, train, planes, antiques, artwork.

Did You Know?

The insurance company will look for your legal obligation to provide coverage, so if your intent is to insure property being used for PSW, then we recommend that a legal contract be executed to define your obligation.

To obtain coverage a no obligation insurance quote for your project, please click on one of the links below:

Short-Term Production Insurance:Up to 14-days with no minimum premium. Coverage can include Commercial General Liability, Film Equipment Insurance, Props/Sets/Wardrobe coverage, Automobile Physical Damage and more.

Film Production Package For a Single Production:Film Production Package for a single production: features, television series, documentaries, and more.

Blanket Annual Production Package:    A convenient way of administering your insurance if you anticipate multiple productions in the next twelve months. This type of policy covers Documentaries, Corporate Videos, Commercials, Educational Films, Music Videos, Shorts, and more.

RELATED LINKS:

Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

Film Production Insurance: Why it is needed

Pre-Production Insurance

Film Production Insurance

How the Premium is Determined

Short Film Insurance

DigiGear Insurance

Props/Sets/Wardrobe Insurance

E&O Insurance

DICE Insurance

Third Party Property Damage

Crew Vehicles

Umbrella Vs. Excess Liability

Commercial General Liability

Negative Film / Videotape and Faulty Stock

Workers Comp

Cast Insurance

Extra Expense (EE)

Foreign Locations

Claims

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Production Equipment, props sets wardrobe insurance, insurance for film set

Filmmakers: You May NOT be Covered under a Homeowners Insurance Policy

Posted by David Hamilton on May 23, 2016 12:18:22 PM

FILMMAKERS: YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED UNDER A HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY

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

get $50 off!  Use code: $50discount at: https://digigearinsure.frontrowinsurance.com

"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.”

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Camera Insurance, DigiGear

Online Insurance for Owners of Camera, Sound & Lighting Gear

Posted by David Hamilton on May 2, 2016 4:59:45 PM

Vancouver, Canada – Apr. 28, 2016 Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is excited to announce the launch of their new online DigiGear insurance program.

Man holding film cameraThis unique offering allows owners of filming equipment the chance to get quick quotes and process policy documents in less than five minutes, 365 days a year, 24/7.

“Visitors to the site that purchase a policy can sleep easy knowing their gear is covered on and off the set all year. The equipment is covered worldwide including while in transit to a job. The site also offers general liability. Office contents, earthquake and flood coverage are offered at no extra cost.“ said David Hamilton, President of Front Row in Vancouver. “This is a disruptive product for owners of camera, lighting and sound equipment because of the much lower cost and ability to purchase a policy in minutes without having to speak to a broker. The expected savings should average 30%. Commercial use of camera, lighting and sound equipment is not covered under a typical homeowners policy: our online DigiGear insurance is an inexpensive and fast solution to this problem.”

Available to Canadian equipment owners at:  https://digigearinsure.frontrowinsurance.com

The policy term is for 12 months.

All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Rental equipment coverage is also available 

The online link ensures industry-low prices:

  •  $10,000 equipment coverage: $80, plus a fee
  • $2,000,000 annual location liability coverage: $500
  • $1,000 deductible for gear

The online program for film gear owners follows Front Row’s lead over the past two years into online offerings for short term filmmakers, photographers and musicians. “We wanted to make the insurance process easier, faster and cheaper for film gear owners,” said Hamilton, “Given that there is no need to speak to a broker and an insurance company underwriter is not involved, the cost to process a camera insurance policy is much less online and we have passed the savings on in the form of a less expensive policy. Although the DigiGear policy is online, we are still available to answer questions by e mail or over the phone if required.”

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that works on behalf of the Canadian arts and entertainment industry to provide insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Production Equipment, Film Equipment, Camera Insurance

Obtaining Insurance for your Short Film

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 30, 2013 3:59:00 PM

Insuring your short film is a fast, easy process WITH Front Row


Our Short Term Production Insurance program can include the following coverage for up to 15-days: (note that this is for Canadian based producers only)

  • Insure $10,000 of rented equipment for $99
  • Insure $50,000 of rented equipment for $137
  • Insure $100,000 of rented equipment for $184
  • Insure $250,000 of rented equipment for $236
  • Short Term Rented Equipment Limits up to $1,500,000

Get Your Online Quote Now

The locations that you film at will usually want to see proof of your location liability insurance before the property owner will give you access to film. Liability insurance will repair any property damage that your crew causes at a location. This insurance will provide you with a lawyer if you are sued.

The equipment coverage will pay to repair or replace lighting, cameras and other gear that you damage.

The equipment will be covered anywhere in Canada or the USA. You will be covered even if your gear is lost or stolen while travelling.

We will need the following detail in order to provide a quotation:

  • Who is the named insured? This can  either be you personally or your company if you have one.

  • What is your address and e mail.

  • What is the approximate value of the gear that you are renting?

  • How many minutes will your finished project be?

  • How many days will you be filming?

  • Where will you be filming?

  • What is the budget of your shoot?

  • Will there be any stunts or special effects?

We can also provide you with a year of coverage if you have multiple projects and we can cover your larger projects such as a feature or a series.
Click here to get covered now! ▸

RELATED LINKS:

Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

Film Production Insurance: Why it is needed

Pre-Production Insurance

Film Production Insurance

How the Premium is Determined

Short Film Insurance

DigiGear Insurance

Props/Sets/Wardrobe Insurance

E&O Insurance

DICE Insurance

Third Party Property Damage

Crew Vehicles

Umbrella Vs. Excess Liability

Commercial General Liability

Negative Film / Videotape and Faulty Stock

Workers Comp

Cast Insurance

Extra Expense (EE)

Foreign Locations

Claims

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance

Film Production Insurance & Mechanical Devices on Set

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 10, 2012 9:42:00 AM

MECHANICAL DEVICE SAFETY ON FILM SETS

Mechanical device film set

If a mechanical device or an articulated set is used in a production, the film insurance cost can be minimized if the production company ensures that:

1.            The device or set is capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used

2.            Workers operate the device or set in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, safe work practices, and the requirements of the Regulation

3.            The device or set is properly inspected, tested or maintained

If a production company requires that a mechanical device or articulated set to be created for a production, the production company is considered the supplier of that device or set. As a supplier, the production company must provide directions for the safe use of the device or set and must ensure that the device or set is safe when used as specified. Such directions could be developed in consultation with a qualified person such as a professional engineer.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment

Film Production Companies and Camera Cars: Reducing the Risk

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 26, 2012 5:42:00 PM

The Camera Car in Filmmaking

Camera car

The camera car should  be engineered specifically for film and television production. The insert-camera car operator has the authority to suspend operation of the vehicle if they believe the vehicle is unsafe in any way.

Safety requirements when working with insert-camera cars:

  • Inspect the car – including the brakes, tires, electrical system, and towing equipment – before and after each use
  • Qualified, experienced workers must rig the car
  • When using an insert-camera car at night, install two portable tail lights on the towing vehicle
  • Do not transport crew members or equipment not directly needed for the shot sequence
  • Do not ride on the tow bar or on the exterior of the towed vehicle. Crew members may ride on a towed camera platform specifically designed for this type of work, as long as they use the necessary restraints and harnesses
  • In most cases, insert-camera cars require a police escort during operation 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment, entertainment package insurance, Film Production Companies, film insurance underwriter

Film Production Companies and Lighting Safety

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 19, 2012 11:05:00 AM

Setup Film Set Lighting Safely

Film set lights

  • Use appropriate fall protection equipment when setting up lighting
  • Ensure that all lighting fixtures are supported so that they will not fall, i.e. Use safety wire or chain to suspend fixtures
  • Ensure that all lighting stands are property weighted with sandbags
  • Cover arc-type lamps such as HMIs in wet weather to prevent rain from entering the unit and ballast
  • When using open-faced lighting units, provide protection from shrapnel in case the bulb explodes
  • Ensure that scaffolds or other metal grids that are used to support the lighting are grounded
  • Before using any grounded equipment, test for continuity between the ground pin on the plug and the metal parts of the lighting equipment
  • Before relamping or repairing a light, turn it off and disconnect it from the power source

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Equipment

Earthquakes & Film Production: Prepare Emergency Kit before the Quake

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 1, 2012 5:34:00 PM

Earthquake Emergency Kit: Film Sets

Earthquake Emergency Kit

In an emergency, you’ll need some basic supplies, and you may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure that your kit is easily accessible and easy to carry, and that designated staff and crew know where to access the kit(s).

Basic Earthquake Emergency Kit Checklist: 

  • Water – at least 2 litres of water per person per day. Include small bottles that can be easily carried.
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries).
  • Wind-up or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries).
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Extra Keys to offices.
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information.


Related Posts:

EARTHQUAKES AND FILM PRODUCTION: KNOW THE RISKS AND BE PREPARED

EARTHQUAKES AND FILM PRODUCTION: WHAT TO DO WHEN THE EARTH MOVES

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Insurance claims, Film production offices