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16 Production Insurance Guidelines to Safeguard Your Shoot


INFLUENCER: APR's Alan Sadler and Luke Beauchamp on the current state of insurance and liability in production

16 Production Insurance Guidelines to Safeguard Your Shoot

Due to Covid-19, there are a number of liability and insurance issues for production which need to be addressed to protect marketers from any issues that arise related to the pandemic. With the plethora of corporate, governmental, and industry guidelines, APR’s advice is to treat each project separately, consider the production approach and any potential risks, and agree on the safest route forward with all agencies and vendors involved.


It is important to leave enough time in the process to involve your company’s corporate risk management and/or legal team. We expect that over time, as locations open up, the different insurance policies and guidelines will start to align. 


Here is a link to APR’s Location Tracker detailing where production is possible and happening currently. We anticipate insurance coverage will start to standardise once insurers see the extent of their future risks, though it is hard to predict when that might occur. 


Below are specifics related to insurance and liability in production (as of May 26th, 2020): 

Production Insurance has changed. 

1. Initially, Client-side and agency wrap-up policies covered losses due to Civil Authorities’ impact on production. For example, if a governmental agency stopped an approved shoot, insurers would pay for delays. Early cancellations due to Covid-19 were covered when governments pulled permits or closed borders.

2. Now that Covid-19 has affected every country, insurers are excluding any losses due to COVID- 19 (or any communicable disease) as a pre-existing condition, therefore any losses due to Covid- 19 will most likely be denied.

3. Insurance policies supplied by vendors generally did not cover Civil Authority interruption. However, even coverage for traditional claims may be denied if the cause is based on Covid-19. 

The Production Liability landscape has also changed due to Covid-19. 

1. As of yet, there are no standard practices. We have seen agencies, production trade groups, and/or vendors define and share new language as addenda or included as part of proposals and bids. This new language includes liability, cancellation and postponement changes and places more of the risk on the client. 

2. For example, in early May 2020, the US trade body organisation the AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) updated its production guidelines to its members. There are significant enough changes that warrant review and alignment.

3. On-set Covid-19 protocols are in development by trade bodies and individual production vendors, and/or being published by national, local governments and industry groups. These include health checks, waivers, distancing and on-set behaviour, etc. Typically, the Employer (Vendor) is liable to institute and follow these rules, however, some of these new guidelines make the Client accountable. Therefore, the documents and details must be reviewed carefully to ensure Clients understand what they are agreeing to and signing up for.

APR Recommendations: 

1. Review and revise existing contracts with agencies and preferred production suppliers/rosters to ensure cancellations, postponements, and other issues are addressed.

2. If your agency MSA, client, and/or agency production guidelines have committed to following the AICP Guidelines, we suggest your legal team review the changes.

More specifically, here is some guidance on what clients can do to address each production. 

1. The Brand, agency, and vendors should align on risks so that everyone is navigating issues together and in advance. 

2. Review any new project proposals for risks. Pay attention to the exclusions on proposals, bid letters, and bids. 

3. Evaluate insurance coverage (production insurance will NOT cover any Covid-19 related claims on new projects); therefore, APR recommends you consider answers to these and other questions related to your project: 

4.Who is providing production insurance and will manage the claims for the project (client, agency, vendor)?

5. What is covered and not covered? As production insurance will no longer cover Covid-19 claims, how will potential interruptions be addressed, such as: 

- What if the Director gets sick and cannot make the shoot?

- How will we address any postponements and/or cancellations due to cast, crew, or location concerns?

- What happens if the crew or agency gets ill on set? Who would be responsible for paying quarantine costs for anyone affected?

- If internet access is interrupted, who would be responsible to re-shoot any unacceptable scenes? 

6. Note changes to a traditional production plan and discuss travel, on-set, and remote approval issues as part of the overall discussion on risk.

7. Develop multiple contingencies. Discussing options in advance can speed decisions should issues occur.

8. Continue to monitor throughout the production and realign periodically. 

Alan Sadler is director of production at APR
Luke Beauchamp is managing director, EMEA at APR
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APR, Thu, 25 Jun 2020 09:38:17 GMT