Myth: General Liability Insurance covers damage done to my locations during filming.
Fact: Damage to your locations is NOT covered by general liability insurance. Instead, it falls under Third Party Property Damage.
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of statements from my customers just like this:
“I’m really only concerned about damage to my locations. So, can you write up a General Liability policy? That way they will be covered.”
I always have to break the news to them that General Liability does NOT cover damage to their locations. What they really need is Third Party Property Damage Insurance.
What is Third Party Property Damage Insurance?
Third Party Property Damage covers damage done to locations over which you have the care, custody, or control. For example, if somebody is letting you film in their house, restaurant, or studio, they have given care over to you. Once you have custody and control, you assume the responsibility for any damage.
From my previous blog on General Liability Insurance, you know that it covers damage to third party sites. The difference is subtle, but once you take control of a location, it’s no longer a third party. The building next door to your location would be a third party and covered by General Liability. The locations upstairs or downstairs from you would also be covered by General Liability. However, the actual location where you are filming is NOT covered by General Liability.
Why do locations ask for General Liability if it doesn’t cover damage to their property?
Well, there’s a couple reasons for that.
First, they ask for it because they need coverage for any General Liability claims brought to them because of your filming operations. If somebody is walking by their location and they tripped and fell on an extension cord, they could sue the location themselves for allowing you to film there. Your General Liability coverage would extend to them in this case. If you set up a light outside their window and it falls backward and damages the building next door, that building owner might go after your location owner for damages. It is very important that you provide General Liability coverage for your location.
The second reason that locations ask for General Liability is misinformation. They ask for it because they think it covers their property. The person who owns the home where you’re filming is obviously not an insurance expert, so they just ask for the most popular type of insurance coverage. Most of them mistakenly think that it’s what they need to cover damage to their house.
It’s up to you as the carrier of the insurance to be clear that the policy you’re providing does not cover damage to their location. They might ask that you add the coverage, which you can. The cost is actually very small. Once you do, sit back and rest easy knowing you own the proper coverage.
Call me and let me show you how you can add Third Party Property Damage to your General Liability policy.