US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance
If you’re a Canada-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.
Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?
things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:
- Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
- If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production (US), double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
- Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.
Below is a sample certificate. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.
Ok, so from the top!
The highlighted section on the left is where your company information is located.
The highlighted section on the right is your insurance company. You will notice it shows insurer “A” and insurer “B”. This will correspond to the boxes on the far left side to show which company is which.
The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.
This next part is VERY important, especially when it comes to Film LA. See the box that says “ADDL INSR”? That stands for Additional Insured, and the “Y” stands for yes. Next to that column, there is wording “SUBR WVD” this stands for Waiver of Subrogation.
This is a waiver that you must request in advance and most likely will cost additional premium. Without a “Y” under “ADDL INSR” and “SUBR WVD”- your insurance coverage will not be sufficient for Film LA.
The next part of the “grid” will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.
The bottom right highlighted section is what your rental/prop house will review. Keep in mind, this amount is not the value to rent the equipment. The amount is to replace the item in the case of a total loss.
The section ‘ded’ that is highlighted stands for your retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible.
Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.
Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessories replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.
Note: Remember insurer “A” and insurer “B”? You can now see them on the far right column.
This row on your certificate is where any special wording would be located. If you need a rental house to be named additional insured, this is where the wording would be located.
Note: Whenever there is a need for special wording on your certificate, please notify your broker. This is something only your broker can process.
Last section! So, the certificate holder will be the entity that requested to be named additional insured, loss payee, or certificate holder. If a rental house has requested to be named additional insured, this is where you would find their name and address.
About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.