When you're a freelance producer, there is always unbelievable pressure on your budget and production timeline to get locations, cast, crew, and gear booked and ready to rock.
Almost nothing is worse than finding a snag in your production because of an insurance gap that you were unaware of before going into pre-production.
This can be a tricky business because freelance producers often don't know what a production companies insurance limits or coverages are while booking and take for granted that a shop will hold the right coverage.
Production companies and treatments are always different, so it's important to ask yourself and to ask an Executive Producer or Head of Production in charge of insurance in pre-production a few questions:
- Is the production on/use a boat?
- Is the production on/use an aircraft/UAV?
- Is the production on/use a railroad?
- Is the production shooting stunts?
- Is the production using a payroll company? If not, does the production company hold a Workers Compensation Policy?
- Are the production shooting in a location (usually a State based requirement) that requires an endorsement*, not just a certificate.
- Is the production union and what are those unions (SAG, IBEW, etc) insurance requirements - do we meet them?
These questions 90% of the time are what snag a production timeline. Boats, aircraft, and railroad all have their own policies. Unions and trade organizations (like the AICP standard contract) usually have requirements that production companies may not meet & productions that don't run on payroll may run into hang-ups if they don't have a workers compensation policy on hand.
Film Casualty Insurance Agency is here to help navigate.
*An endorsement is an additional piece of paper added to an insurance policy. Not just a proof of insurance like a COI.