Not sure if you need General Liability Insurance?
Here is a true story of a client who was very glad they had purchased it!
This particular production client was shooting a film on location in an apartment complex. During the staging of a shot in one of the upper-level apartments, somebody overturned a really large cup of coffee. Unfortunately, nobody noticed. The coffee seeped into the carpet and permeated the apartment floor, dripping into the apartment below. As bad luck would have it, the coffee spilled onto on a very costly pair of gator skin boots. The eccentric boot owner downstairs was not happy and filed a claim against the film company for damages to the boots and the ceiling.
Thankfully, the company had a general liability insurance policy to cover damage to third-party property. Not only did they not have to cover the cost of the damages, but the insurance company also handled the claim process and interacting with the boot owner.
Sounds like a happy ending… right?
Not entirely… you see, the film company DID NOT receive compensation for the carpet upstairs and had to pay for it themselves. You see, they had general liability but they did not have property damage insurance.
Which damages are not covered by general liability insurance?
General liability insurance only covers injury and property damage TO THIRD PARTIES.
Because they had contracted to shoot in the apartment upstairs, that location and the items within it were considered to be part of the production company’s set. They temporarily “owned” it. Therefore, it did not qualify as third-party property.
And what about your cast? Contract labor? Interns?
They won’t be covered by your General Liability Insurance either. To protect them (and yourself) in the case of an injury, by law, you will need Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
I know it’s confusing… but here are the basics.
3 Types of Film Insurance Every Production Company Needs
You need, at the very least, these three types of insurance if you are shooting a film (even if you are only shooting for one afternoon).
- General Liability Insurance – to protect yourself against injury and damage claims from people not part of your production. If you use a SAG actor in your short film, the SAG New Media contract requires you to have liability insurance.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance – to protect the people working for you should an injury occur.
- Property Damage Insurance – to insure the costly equipment you have purchased or rented in the event of damage.
Those three form the basis of a production package. Consult with your film insurance agent to determine what other types of insurance you should add to make sure you are fully covered, but not over-insured. A good agent can help you put together a comprehensive package that best fits your needs.
I hope this article clearly illustrated the difference between Property Damage and General Liability. If you have any other questions, then please feel free to call me to discuss things further. (818) 295-2266