Film production insurance is one of the most important things a filmmaker needs to consider before shooting the project.
Candace in Oklahoma asks:
I want to shoot a video in my small town I was told to bring proof of Insurance with my insurance binder. What kind of insurance do I need?
Anytime you’re shooting on public property you’re going to be asked for production insurance. Unless you’re guerrilla shooting and being a rebel this usually means you’ll need at least a one million-dollar policy binder.
This is basic liability insurance. This will cover you if someone is hurt on your production. It could be something as small as a passer by tripping on a sandbag. Some cities today are asking for a minimum $2 million policy binder for a production to be shot on public property.
Insurance is needed anytime you are dealing with a municipality. If you have a large cast and crew there is always a chance someone could get hurt. Usually a basic liability policy will cover you. Always check with the specific town where you are shooting to see what they expect for coverage. Then make sure your insurance agent can get you that coverage. This does not cover extra funds you may need for permits or police and security that the town may require.
Production insurance is not cheap. If you are planning to have action scenes, car chases or staged fighting scenes the rates will soar through the roof. Anytime you add the possibility of someone getting injured, the rates will increase.
We recently shopped for a quote for just a three-day shoot inside a farmhouse, no action, no fight scenes and the policy was about $400 for three days. Insurance is based on many factors locations, stunts, vehicles, and shooting on public or private property.
Do your homework. In all productions if there’s any possibility that something could go wrong, it usually does. Insurance is needed for short films as well. If you are shooting a feature film don’t even think twice, insurance is necessary. One lawsuit at the beginning of your project will doom the project for good. Insurance is a smart thing to do when you have others on your shoot.
Thanks for the question, Candace!
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