I get calls from people all the time that go something like this: “Hey Luke, I’m doing a short film, and just want a policy to cover injuries to my cast/crew and damage to my set, so I just need a policy for $1,000,000 of General Liability”.
I always say the same thing: “That sounds great…except General Liability actually, doesn’t cover either of those things!”
Myth: General Liability Insurance is film insurance that covers injuries to my employees and damage to my locations.
Fact: General Liability Insurance covers neither of those things!
So what does it cover? General Liability – Movie Insurance insures you for Bodily Injury and Property Damage TO THIRD PARTIES. Those last three words are important! Liability film insurance only covers injuries to people that you are not working with, and locations where you are not filming. So how does that work? Say somebody is walking by your set, and they trip and fall on an extension cord, and they break their leg. They decide to sue you for damages. That would be a General Liability claim because they are a third party to you. They have no part in your film production. They were just going about their day when something happened to them.
The same goes for the location, as well. If you are filming somewhere and you have a light set-up to shine through a window. Then, that light falls backward and breaks the window of the building next door. That is a General Liability claim. You weren’t filming at the building next door, but they were adversely affected by your filming operations. So, your Liability coverage would extend to them.
What Types of Movie Insurance Do You Need?
Even though Liability coverage might not sound very helpful to you, it’s still important to people with whom you’re working. Your rental houses and locations are all going to require it because they don’t want this person who tripped or the building next door to drag them into a lawsuit. So, they make sure that you add them as additional insured to your Liability policy. Adding them keeps them covered under your insurance, and safe from anybody who might see them as the “deep pockets” and try to drag them into court.
So how do you get coverage for injuries to your employees and damage to your locations?
Those types of insurance are called Workers Compensation and Third Party Property Damage, respectively. You can learn more about those types of movie production insurance elsewhere on our website. Or better yet, why not give me a call? I’m always happy to explain all of this confusing insurance stuff!