I’ve been blogging about production insurance for a long time, and I can talk about insurance premiums and coverage types until I’m blue in the face. At the end of the day, the insurance claim is where the rubber meets the road. It’s the part of an insurance policy that nobody wants to talk about, but it’s obviously the only reason that insurance exists in the first place!
What if something goes wrong or somebody gets hurt? What if you damage some production equipment or it gets stolen? You would need to file an insurance claim, so let’s talk about how we do that.
Submitting an Insurance Claim Does Not Admit Fault
The most important part about filing an insurance claim is to remember one thing – You are NOT admitting guilt when you file a claim.
I have clients tell me all the time that something happened on set, but it’s not their fault. They don’t feel they should file the claim. They want to wait around for the other party to handle it. I understand this thought process. However, all that you are doing when you file a claim is alerting your insurance company that there has been an issue. We can tell them when we submit it that you weren’t at fault and they will go after the at-fault party directly. They will understand. It’s their job to fight for you and your company. They want to make sure you get treated fairly, so why not let them know as soon as possible so they can join the process early on?
Keep Your Documents
Once you report the claim, you will have to answer quite a few questions from the adjuster. They will want to see your records.
- Proofs of Purchase
- Police Reports
- Medical Bills
- Any Other Documentation on File
If it is a claim for damage to rented equipment, they are going to ask to see a copy of the certificate of insurance and a rental contract. Make sure you keep all of this stuff on file somewhere, because you never know who’s going to need it!
Once the insurance company has all of the information they need, they start investigating the incident to determine who was at fault and who gets paid. This process can sometimes take a while. It could take around 30 days from first notice to final payout. Some claims even last longer if it turns into a protracted legal battle. Nobody enjoys handling insurance claims. They are almost never easy, and they usually take longer than you want, but it’s the most important part of an insurance policy, so we all want to make sure it gets handled correctly.
Remember that you should never be ashamed or bashful to report an incident to your insurance agent. Keep in mind that it’s one of your responsibilities as the insured to report claims to your agent promptly. If you are filing a report on something that happened a few months ago, it might be difficult for us to explain the tardiness to the insurance company.
It’s my goal as an insurance agent to make the claims process as quick and painless as possible. If you need more information on film production insurance, check out Important Information on Insurance for Film Equipment Rental Houses.
Feel free to contact me to discuss your coverage options!