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Insurance Horror Stories ????

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Chip ThomeInsurance Horror Stories ????
by on Jan 15, 2010 at 6:35:37 am

It's time to step up to coverage specific to doing my video work and covering my gear. I asked my house/car/personal agent about it, and she had no clue at all. I did some searches and found quite a few small companies geared toward this business model. the problem, never heard of any of them before.

My needs are small, basic liability for up to 3 shooters and maybe $15K coverage for gear.

So, because the last thing I want is to fight with the insurance company after some ugly situation happens, do you have any horror stories you wish to relay, that might aid me in NOT picking the WRONG company for coverage ???

Thanks !!!!

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Steve KownackiRe: Insurance Horror Stories ????
by on Jan 25, 2010 at 2:20:48 pm

Don't forget to check out the Business & Marketing forum for lots of Q&A on insurance.

I just posted a similar item in the Audio Forum.

I'm not an agent or atty or otherwise, just relating my experiences.

Your gear is covered by and Inland Marine policy and you need Gen Liability for the crew and damage you may cause to others or property. I'm covered by and Erie Ultraflex package for this. Also covers rentals.

Taking a lead from personal injury attorneys as many ads state - you are not suing your company, you are suing the insurance company. This is why we carry insurance.

With that in mind, your freelancers on location should carry their own liability policies. While the client will look to you for payment of damages, if it is directly the result of a freelancer, their policy will be the object of your carriers suit. Why should your premium go up for their negligence? What if they drop your camera? They should pay that bill. Accidents happen.

Just like if your camera is damaged by a client, they are responsible to make it right, that's why they have insurance.

I was shooting snowboarders a few years ago. I signed a waiver at the resort (my client) and when a snowboarder crashed into me and caused $3000 damage to the camera, the resort was not liable in this case. However, the snowboarder was. I didn't know it at the time, but had I gotten his name and address, his parents homeowners insurance would have been sought by Erie to pay the repair. Instead, my rate went up about $300 that year. Just like a car accident, ALWAYS get names and addresses of those involved and the insurance companies fight it out.

I've had 3 major claims on gear over the years and my agent was right on it. No hassles and super-speedy service. Gear was repaired and in one case so was the rental of a replacement camera.

So the "horror" there is the premium increase. I also suggest taking photos of existing damage in a room you plan to shoot in. We were blamed for a large scratch on a cherry floor in a boardroom and they were adamant we did it moving a credenza. What saved us was the amount of dust on the floor under the furniture that proved the scratch was there for some time.


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Steve EisenRe: Insurance Horror Stories ????
by on Jan 27, 2010 at 5:10:00 am

These guys specialize in insurance for businesses.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group

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Chip ThomeRe: Insurance Horror Stories ????
by on Jan 27, 2010 at 6:05:25 am

Thanks Steve,

I looked at their site before, but it appeared their videographer coverage appears to be limited to WEVA members. Do you know if that is the case ???

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Adam DeierlingRe: Insurance Horror Stories ????
by on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:15:54 pm

You guys should look at They specialize in film/video insurance. Great customer service!

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