And is your company properly protected?
When you hire a video production company or independent production professional you expect them to be fully insured against all reasonable dangers and liabilities that might arise as a result of their engagement. Chances are, nothing will go wrong… but if something does go wrong you’d better hope that you and your production company are fully protected. If you video production company is not fully insured they may not be able to ‘make whole’ any damages that result from their actions.
Most video production professionals insure their production equipment against loss or damage. This insurance, while valuable for the production company, does nothing to protect you. You want to ensure that your video production company also has other types of insurance in place to protect you and your company against the cost of any damage directly caused by the video production company.
The first and most common form of Insurance taken out by video production companies to protect their clients is General Liability Insurance. This is insurance to cover accidents that happen in the normal course of production: A light falls over and damages your CEO’s Ming Dynasty vase collection, or one of the crew accidentally knocks out all of the power on your campus. This type of insurance covers most production-related risks.
Professional Liability Insurance is a separate form of insurance and relates more to the proper / professional performance of the production company’s duties. Errors and Omissions insurance is a form of Professional Liability insurance. If the production company makes a mistake on a large project and is forced to re-shoot, at their own expense, they should have Professional Liability insurance to cover the cost of the re-shoot. If your production company accidentally films someone who didn’t grant permission to use their image in your video, or if the video production company uses music that they do not have proper copyright permission to use, the harmed party may come after both you and the video production company. Whoever has the most money is usually the primary target of the suit.
As well, there are other types of insurance that your production company should have in place:
Specialized Insurance If your video production involves foreign travel to dangerous areas or hazardous activities like stunts, filming onboard a boat, aerial videography, etc. you may require specialized insurance that covers these contingent activities.
Slander and Liable is a specialized coverage required in certain professions. If, in the production of your video, the production company represents an employee, a competitor or public figure in a way that is inappropriate, the offended party could have cause to make a slander or liable claim. Again, you want to know that your video production company has a rider in their insurance policy that contains adequate protection to cover this risk. While most industries cover slander and liable as part of the General Liability Insurance, certain industries such as media, publishing and video production often require specialized insurance because of the higher risk associated with work in these industries.
The current industry standard for commercial production is $2,000,000 in general liability insurance. In entertainment projects typical insurance coverage will run much higher than this depending on the scope of the project.
Bottom line – if you are not sure ask your video production company about what insurance coverage they have in place. If you are not sure what coverage they should have, ask your insurance broker.