Nowadays, it’s not just major motion picture producers that make films….
You’ve got your YouTubers, digital marketers, influencers, and a host of independent filmmakers producing everything from 1-minute clips to full-length documentaries. So, who needs film insurance? That’s a good question and one we should probably explore.
Let’s first take a look at which types of productions are covered by film insurance:
What qualifies as “film”?
Advances in technology have made it possible for a videographer to produce a great feature without a crew or expensive equipment. “Amateur” filmmakers can make thousands of dollars a month on YouTube and content marketers are spewing out new videos by the boatload in an effort to garner online traffic. Do amateur videos qualify as “film” according to insurance agencies?
According to the online dictionary, the official definition of “film” is a series of moving pictures that tell a story. Insurance companies seem to agree, in that they define film as including but not limited to the following types of productions.
- Community TV Interview
- Corporate Video
- Digital Video
- Feature Film
- Independent Feature, Low Budget
- Instructional Video
- Music Video
- Photography Shoot
- Reality Based TV Show
- Training Video
- Video Game Shoot
- Video Shoot (Miscellaneous)
In fact, there are about 100 different types of film productions defined by film insurance companies as eligible for film insurance coverage. Note, that even though the dictionary defines “film” as moving pictures, many companies will also cover photo shoots as well.
Do you need film insurance coverage?
Film insurance seems like an unnecessary expense to videographers when working on small projects or conducting a one-man show. The truth is that EVERYONE who is hoping to gain some form of compensation for their film (in other words, you are trying to make money) needs film insurance.
Because, if you can be proven to be in business, there is a good chance that your homeowner’s insurance will not cover damages to your equipment or third parties that occur through accident or negligence. Business liability policies are separate.
How do you know if you are in the film business?
Your income tax statement will probably tell you if you are in the film business. If you hope to make money on your film venture, then chances are you qualify as a business. Even if you don’t make a profit but plan to deduct your equipment as an expense, then you are in business.
Did you set yourself with a business bank account or register your business name? If yes, then you are in the film business.
Not only should you protect your investment by covering your equipment, you also need at bare minimum, general liability insurance. For the occasional videographer, you can explore short-term insurance options that will give you the coverage you need but for less than those who film full-time.
How to Learn More About Film Insurance
For more information on rental insurance or other types of film insurance, contact Equipment & Production Insurance. The team at Equipment and Production Insurance are film, photographic & entertainment industry insurance specialists. Whether you need short-term, annual, post, documentary, commercial, equipment, rental house, or Workers’ Comp Insurance, you can rely on their quick and knowledgeable assistance to meet all of your production insurance needs.