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one day production insurance coverage

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Russell Robertson
one day production insurance coverage
on Jun 3, 2011 at 6:08:18 pm

Apologies in advance for cross posting this question.

I submitted a proposal to supply video production services for a 1 day shoot. To get an idea of scope, it’s a 4 cameras, jib, typical audio etc. It’s a pilot of cooking show, for either web and/or cable broadcast.
Within my proposal I insist that the producer assume complete liability for any accidents or other issues during the shoot. The producer came back and said he did not have insurance, but would acquire it – did I have any idea where he could get this – I’m not sure – a simple Google search doesn’t really show up anything definitive.

Can anyone recommend a firm that can handle one day production insurance coverage? Anything else I should be aware of in this regard?

Many thanks in advance!


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Bill Davis
Re: one day production insurance coverage
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:57:32 pm

Personally, I'd hesitate - big time- to be working on anything this substantial with an individual or organization that is so inexperienced that they don't AT LEAST have proper liability insurance figured out well in advance.

I'd also balk at the program idea itself, largely because producing something as complex and HIGHLY competitive as a cooking show (modern TV is AWASH with them) is one of the most efficient ways to uselessly burn up money that I can imagine. But that's another topic entirely.

If you want to try to hop in early and get some of someones risk money, have at it. But understand that no matter what written policies or agreements you have in place with the producer or any other parties, if you're substantially responsible for what happens on the set - you can expect to be named as a party to any lawsuit. And I wouldn't count on being able to shift that liability to anyone else with just a signed piece of paper.

You can require someone in an agreement to carry their own insurance for THEIR screwups. But I'm doubtful you can effectively shift a liability burden for your actions to another party. But I'm not a insurance pro so this advice is worth exactly what you're paying for it. But I see it as a little like a gunman trying to shift blame to the person who hired him to shoot someone. Who ends up in jail? Typically everyone involved.

If you have insurance now, consult your agent for real information. If you don't - understand that you may still be on the hook for this no matter what documents you have signed.

Business liability insurance isn't particularly expensive. What it is, however, is a sign that someone has a clue about what they're doing because they've done it before and know that nobody serious in business operates without basic economic risk protections - like insurance - in place. And believe me, if you work in this business for long and get better at what you do - at some point you WILL be signing documents that avow that you have this stuff in place.

For what it's worth.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner

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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: one day production insurance coverage
on Sep 19, 2011 at 7:38:32 pm

It's called production insurance or entertainment insurance and you're best off googling for a broker local to where you reside. If all else fails, you can try photographer's insurance but make sure they cover motion picture equipment as some do not.

Generally, they are slightly different from normal business liability in that some policies let you claim days lost to weather or actor cancellation (super expensive in some cases), but there are affordable plans covering equipment and crew.

Any kind of equipment insurance also needs to be submitted to rental houses unless you mind paying the full replacement value as your security deposit.

In California, I've had no issues paying my friend to use his insurance and co-branding my productions. We do, however, have a contract that states my side is responsible for paying the deductible if something were to occur on our set.

-Angelo Lorenzo

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