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Film & Television Insurance

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Insuring a feature film or television pilot or series may require one or more* of the following insurance policies:

  • Production Package
  • General Liability
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Non Owned and Hired Auto
  • Errors & Omissions

The Truman Van Dyke Company is expert at working with producers to ascertain and implement the exact right combination of insurance products for any form of film or television production.

* Additional policies may also be required depending on your situation, for example a Guild Union Travel Accident policy. Please contact one of our agents for a comprehensive evaluation.

Click on the headings below to read more:

  • Production Package Policy

      The Production Package policy protects you against loss incurred during the production of a feature film, television series or television pilot. The losses covered include things such as the death or illness of a key cast member, destruction of props or sets, loss or destruction of media, etc.

      A Production Package Policy has many coverages:

      • Cast Coverage

          Reimburses the production company for any extra expense necessary to complete principal photography of an insured production due to the death, injury or sickness of any insured performer or director.

          • Insured performer or director must take a physical examination prior to being covered by this insurance.
          • Physical examination cost to be paid by the production company.
          • Coverage usually begins two to four weeks prior to the beginning of principal photography.
          • It is the production company’s responsibility to inform our office as individuals are cast. 
          • If a cast member is declared, but we have not received a medical examination declaration for a declared cast member, that cast member is covered for accident only.
          • Medical coverage does not apply until a cast member's medical examination is submitted and approved.
      • Faulty Stock & Camera

          Covers loss, damage or destruction of:

          • Raw film stock or video tape
          • Exposed film (developed or undeveloped)
          • Recorded Videotapes
          • Sound Tracks and tapes

          caused by or resulting from fogging or the use of faulty materials (including cameras and videotape recorders); faulty sound equipment; faulty developing; faulty editing or faulty processing; and accidental erasure of videotape recordings.

          COVERAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE loss caused by errors of judgment in exposure, lighting or sound recording, from use of incorrect raw stock, or faulty manipulation by the cameraman.

          This coverage can only be purchased with Negative Film and Video Tape coverage

      • Negative Film & Video Tape

          Covers against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction of:
          • Raw film or tape stock
          • Exposed film (developed or undeveloped)
          • Videotape
          • Software and related materials used to generate computer images
          • Sound tracks and tapes

          used in connection with a production, up to the amount of the insured production cost.

          COVERAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE loss caused by fogging, faulty camera or sound equipment, faulty developing, editing, processing or manipulation by the cameraman; exposure to light, dampness or temperature changes; or errors in judgment in exposure, lighting or sound recording, or from the use of incorrect type of raw stock or tape.

      • Props Sets & Wardrobe

          Provides coverage on props, sets, scenery, costumes, wardrobe and similar theatrical property against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction occurring during the production.

      • Third Party Property Damage

          Pays for damage or destruction of property of others (including loss of use of the property) while the property is in the care, custody or control of the production company and is used or to be used in an insured production.

          COVERAGE DOES NOT APPLY TO destruction of property caused by operation of any motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, including damage to the foregoing; liability for damage to any property rented or leased that may be covered under Props, Sets and Wardrobe, or Miscellaneous Equipment coverage.

          THIS COVERAGE IS NOT PROVIDED by a General Liability Policy. Property damage coverage written as part of a Commercial General Liability Policy excludes damage to any property in the production company's care, custody or control.

      • Miscellaneous Equipment

          Provides coverage on rented or owned camera, camera equipment, sound and lighting equipment, post production and editing equipment, portable electric equipment and generators, mechanical effects equipment, grip equipment, mobile dressing rooms and honey wagon trailer units and similar miscellaneous equipment against all risk of direct physical loss, damage or destruction occurring during a covered production, including loss of use to a rental company.

      • Extra Expense

          Provides reimbursement to the production company for any extra expense incurred to complete principal photography of a covered production due to loss of, damage to or destruction of property or facilities contracted by the production company for use in a covered production.

      • Non Owned & Hired Automobile Physical Damage

          This coverage can be added to the Production Package Policy. It covers physical damage to your rented vehicles, film trucks, mobile studio units, dressing rooms and other trailers, grip trucks, and other autos rented and used in connection with your production.

      • Animal Mortality

          Provides reimbursement to the production company for the declared value of the insured animal due to death and illness or disease resulting in the death of the animal.

      • Office Contents

          Provides coverage for the production company's office, its furniture, fixtures, equipment and supplies against all risk of direct physical loss, damage or destruction while property is on the scheduled premises or at other locations used during the production and while in transit between the two.

          Office contents coverage is usually needed to cover the temporary production offices set up for feature films.

      • Civil Authority

          This coverage would reimburse the production company for any extra expense incurred as a result of the prohibition of access by a civil authority to your office, shooting location, or a facility contracted by the production company. For example, if a crime occurs at or near your filming location, and the police restrict your access to the location, this coverage would reimburse you for any additional expense that results from the delay.

  • General Liability

      Most businesses have a commercial general liability insurance policy to protect themselves from claims of bodily injury or property damage caused by the negligent operation of their business. The production company formed to create a film or television series should protect themselves the same way.

      Commercial General Liability protects against claims of bodily injury or property damage arising out of filming activity. This coverage will be required prior to filming on any city or state owned property, or any location that requires filming permits. Many privately owned locations require you have this coverage before they will allow you to film on their premises. The cost of commercial general liability for productions is based on the budget of the insured production.

      Bodily Injury

      Covers the costs associated when someone is injured, or becomes ill or dies as a direct result of working on an insured production. Covered costs include:

      • The cost of care
      • The loss of services
      • Restitution for any deaths that result from the sickness or injury

      Property Damage

      A common problem encountered during a production of a film or television is damage caused to locations used. The property damage coverage will compensate the property's owner in the event that you damage their property during the filming of an insured production. The compensation includes:

      • Physical Damage to the Property
      • Loss of use of the property

      Medical Payments

      If someone is injured or killed as a result of working on an insured production, this coverage will pay for medical or funeral expenses incurred within one year of the accident date.

  • Workers' Compensation

      Worker's compensation coverage is required by state law and applies to all temporary or permanent cast or production crew members. Coverage provides medical, disability or death benefits to any cast or crew member who becomes injured in the course of their employment. Coverage usually applies on a 24 hour per day basis whenever the employees are on location away from their homes.

      Even though a production company may be using a payroll service company, which usually provides Worker's Compensation insurance to all pay rolled employees, the production company should always consider carrying a backup policy of their own. This will protect the production company for any unpaid interns or others who might not be pay rolled.

  • Non Owned and Hired Auto

      Physical Damage

      This coverage can be added to the Production Package Policy. It covers physical damage to your rented vehicles, film trucks, mobile studio units, dressing rooms and other trailers, grip trucks, and other autos rented and used in connection with your production.

      Liability

      Hired Auto Liability replaces or augments the liability coverage offered by the company that rents you the vehicles used in your production. It covers bodily injury and property damage caused by a vehicle rented by the production company and being used on an insured production.

      Non Owned Auto coverage protects you against bodily injury or property damage caused by someone's personal car if being used while that person is working on an insured production.

  • Errors & Omissions

      An Errors and Omissions policy covers legal liability and defense costs for the production company against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of title, format, ideas, characters or plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or piracy. Errors and Omissions also protects for alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy.

      Once a film, television pilot, series of television shows, or documentary is finished, the next step is normally distribution. Most distributors will require the production company obtain an Errors and Omissions policy on the production. If you are a distributor, you should always carry your own E&O policy, in addition to requiring each of the productions you distribute to be covered.

      Obtaining Errors and Omissions coverage can be complex and time consuming. The Truman Van Dyke company has specialized in E&O for over 40 years. We have access to a wide variety of insurance companies that provide E&O coverage, so finding the exact right policy is assured.

      For further information please visit our Error & Omissions page.

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