Recently, I was able to sit down and interview Luke Gelineau, from Equipment Production & Insurance, in Burbank CA. He was able to share with me quite a bit of information regarding the film industry and the types of movie insurance producers need to protect themselves and their projects.
“Luke, can you tell us how you started Equipment Production & Insurance”?
About ten years ago, I was working for United Agencies, Inc. in Burbank, CA. It just so happened that the clients that assigned to me were mostly in the entertainment industry. Through word-of-mouth and referrals I was able to reach out to others who were producing films, TV shows, and other small productions.
What I found was that nobody was really helping these film production companies find the types of coverage they needed. I was able to find the best short-term film insurance policies for them and carve out a niche for my company, EPI. Over the years, the business has continued to grow and we have added more and more to what we can offer.
Today, EPI represents some of the best insurance companies in the industry. We can write policies for both long-tem and short-term productions. Many of our clients are rental houses who need coverage for the equipment they supply to film productions.
What do you mean by short-term film insurance?
Lately, the calls for short-term policies has increased exponentially. Many filmmakers are small videographers who only need coverage for a couple of days, a week, or maybe a month. Because they employ people, the law requires Workers’ Compensation, and it is always a good idea for them to have General Liability Insurance. There is just no need to pay for the coverage when they are not shooting. Short-term production insurance is designed to be in effect for only a specified time period and it costs much less than an annual policy.
What sets EPI apart from the others?
When I broke into this industry, there was almost no one who specialized in insurance specifically for the film industry. Most insurance agents lumped filmmakers in with all the other businesses they serviced. The problem is that rental houses and movie producers have very specific insurance needs.
We’ve specialized in those needs for over ten years now. It’s not a stretch to say that we have taken over this niche and continue to look for new ways we can serve our clients. In fact, just recently we developed a new system for rental houses. They can now call and get insurance for their clients as they ring up their transactions. We cut down the application time so that they could finish up business and not lose their sale. It also protects their equipment should it get damaged or ‘lost.’
Why take the time for small productions when you could pursue the big filmmakers?
That one is easy. The numbers and the satisfaction I get from seeing people pursue their passion. When I first started, it was difficult. I had to find these clients and build up a product offering that was intended solely for film productions. Because I know first-hand what it’s like to have a vision and work hard to turn it into a reality, I enjoy helping others do the same. The small filmmaker may not generate the income that a large movie production company would, but there are more of them.
So, I am 100% for the YouTube videographer as I am for the large-scale movie companies. My goal is to help them find the best coverage for the needs, at a price that works within their budget, whether it is big or small.
When people ask you what you do, how do you describe your company?
My company’s name is Entertainment & Production Insurance. We are a division of United Agencies. I sell entertainment insurance and short-term production insurance. Because we believe in people’s dreams, EPI goes the extra mile to help small production companies find coverage that fits their budgets. I’m proud of the fact that we have grown to the point that not only does this company support me and my family, but also another full-time employee as well. Production insurance is not a sideline for me. It is what I do.
In the future, I hope to keep expanding and grow the business. I feel that there is more I can offer rental houses and other entertainment companies and I am constantly looking at new ways we can serve the film industry.
If you would like to speak with Luke Gelineau at Equipment & Production Insurance regarding production insurance for your next film, you can call him at (818) 295-2266 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.