Film Production Crew: Always Ask if you are Covered by Workers Comp

Posted by David Hamilton on Jun 14, 2010 3:18:00 PM

Workers Compensation for Film Crews

Workers Compensation for Film Crews

Crew members on film productions, short films, commercials, documentaries and music videos should always be covered by work comp insurance - the risk of going without is too great.

If you are a crew member working on a low or micro budget film production, you should always ask the producer if they have workers compensation coverage for the crew and general liability coverage for the production in general.

Workers comp. provides benefits to workers injured on the job such as: medical costs, rehab costs and loss of future earnings all per the policy wording. In most states and provinces, the filmmaker is obligated to provide coverage for any cast or crew that they hire. In some cases coverage is arranged through a private entertainment insurance broker and in some cases it is arranged directly through the state or provincial agency responsible for providing work comp.

The benefit to the producer is that once the injured crew member accepts the work comp benefits, they usually waive the right to sue the producer

Sometimes that insurance company or government work comp agency will not provide coverage if the crew and cast are not being paid as there is no way to determine loss of future earnings. For this reason, the producer should arrange to make nominal payments to cast and crew.

If you are a crew member who gets hurt on the job and there are no work comp benefits available to you, then you are faced with the prospect of suing the producer while recovering from your injuries - difficult and unpleasant.

Always ask the producer if you will be covered by workers comp even when volunteering on a short shoot in any capacity.

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

WORKERS' COMP EXPLAINED
 
FOCUS ON SAFETY TO REDUCE FILM PRODUCTION WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS

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 Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Film Producers, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film Production Companies, Commercials, Workers Compensation

Film Production Insurance and Trains: Stay on Track

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 14, 2010 4:31:00 PM

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE AND TRAINS: STAY ON TRACK

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE AND TRAINS: STAY ON TRACK

The film production company should always advise their film insurance broker well in advance of the anticipated use of any railway cars or equipment. You should never sign a contract with respect to use of trains without first having your entertainment insurance broker review the document.

If the train is being used as a prop/set and is not in motion, then damage to the train itself would be provided under Props/Sets/Wardrobe coverage. If the train is in motion a sublimit would be in effect for physical damage to the train.

Liability coverage is provided under a Commercial General Liability policy. If you are required to indemnify the train owner, then specific coverage arrangements must be made prior to the use of the train. In order to provide a quote/coverage for Railway Cars and Equipment, please forward answers to the following:

Railroad Questionnaire

Please provide:

  1. A copy of the railroads contractual agreement
  2. Description of scenes involving railroad equipment
  3. Dates equipment used
  4. Locations of equipment:
    1. Where is equipment stored?
    2. Where is equipment moved to? Exact street address.
    3. Where is equipment returned after use is over?
  5. Type of equipment used? Please list.
  6. Activities the production company has with the equipment.
  7. How many people will be "on board"?
  8. Distances and speed of equipment
  9. Any stunts? Please list. Please complete a stunt questionnaire.
  10. Will main line tracks be used during filming days?
  11. Please advise how the cast, crew, equipment and public will be protected during filming.

The same advice will apply no matter if you are shooting a feature film, TV series, documentary or a short film. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies, TV Series, Railroad Insurance

Film Production Insurance Coverages Explained - Part 1

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 23, 2009 10:59:00 AM

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE COVERAGES EXPLAINED - PART 1

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE COVERAGES

There are several coverages that a producer needs when insuring a film project (by film , I also mean HD and video) :
 

CAST INSURANCE

  • Covers against extra expenditures caused by death, sickness, disability or kidnapping of insured cast members, director, DOP, or anyone else designated under cast coverage

NEGATIVE FILM & VIDEOTAPE INSURANCE

  • Covers against extra expenditures caused by loss of, damage to, or destruction of Negative or Tape or Hard Drive on an "all risk" basis, excluding coverages outlined under the Faulty Stock, Camera & Processing coverages.

FAULTY STOCK CAMERA & PROCESSING INSURANCE

  • Covers against extra expenditures caused by damage to, or destruction of negative or tape caused by faulty stock, faulty camera, faulty processing and accidental erasure or exposure to light

PROPS, SETS & WARDROBE INSURANCE

  • Covers props, sets, scenery, costumes, wardrobe and similar theatrical property on an "all risk" basis against direct physical loss or damage to the rented property.

MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT INSURANCE

  • Covers cameras, camera equipment, sound and lighting equipment, grip equipment and similar miscellaneous equipment on an "all risk" basis against direct physical loss or damage .

PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY INSURANCE

  • Covers against all sums the insured shall become legally obligated to pay because of loss of, injury to, or destruction of property of others in the care, custody or control of the insured
  • Excludes property covered under miscellaneous equipment and props, sets and wardrobe coverage

I will explain more coverages in Part 2.

Related: Film Insurance 101 book

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Equipment, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance

Film Production Insurance: Who is Protected?

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 15, 2009 11:49:00 AM

Film producers often ask me who is protected under the Film Package Policies. The following are all covered by Policies that I arrange.

If you are:

  1. An individual producer, you and your spouse are Insureds, but only with respect to the conduct of a business of which you are the sole owner.
  2. A partnership or a joint venture, you are an insured. Your members, your partners, and their  spouses  are also Insureds, but only with respect to the conduct of your business.
  3. An organisation, other than a partnership or joint venture, you are an insured, your executive officers and directors are Insureds, but only with respect to their duties as your officers and directors. Your stockholders are also Insureds, but only with respect to their liability as stockholders.
  4. An employee on the film production payroll you are an Insured, but only for acts within the scope of your employment whilst working on the film production. This means the actors, director, DOP, art director, production manager and so on down the crew list are all covered and protected by the production package and liability policies.

There is no need to request insurance certificates adding the producer, production manager, DOP etc., to the policy. All persons on the payroll of a production that I have arranged coverage for are protected

However, I will always provide certificates when requested.

Topics: Film Insurance, Film Production, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance