As an independent filmmaker, one of your biggest line items will be insurance. Unless you are going super-guerrilla, bandito-style no-permits, no-permission renegade (not recommended), you’re going to at least need some basic production insurance.
I’ve found that having insurance is a big deal when convincing locations to let you shoot there. (Knowing they are covered for a million dollars in damages does a lot to assuage a nervous restaurant owner, or your neighbor with the backyard pool.)
You’ll also need an insurance broker for the pesky “loss payee” and “additional insured” ACCORD forms that all the equipment rental places demand.
Jon Reiss recently sent out a call for recommendations on Twitter for production insurance companies for indie filmmakers and here are some responses…
— Miles Maker(@milesmaker) November 12, 2012
@jon_reiss Ross Miller at DR Reiff has been my broker for 25 years.I like him.He really is The Best
— Ted Hope (@TedHope) November 12, 2012
@jon_reiss Peter Marshall at DeWitt. Let me know if you need intro. He is *the best*
— Jordan Horowitz (@jehorowitz) November 12, 2012
I use truman van dyke. “@jon_reiss: Who has a production insurance broker they like?”
— Milan Chakraborty (@tajmilan) November 12, 2012
— Kartemquin Films (@Kartemquin) November 12, 2012
— Zak Forsman (@zakforsman) November 12, 2012
For those keeping score, the companies recommended are:
- C&S Insurance – I can’t find a good link
- CBS Coverage Group – could not find any film-specific link on their site
- Fractured Atlas – They provide Film Production and Equipment insurance, Errors and Omissions, Worker’s Comp, Accident, Travel and Health insurance geared to filmmakers
- DeWitt Stern Group – A large insurance company with a division that specializes in Entertainment and Media
- Truman Van Dyke – whole company specializes in entertainment insurance
I’ve been on productions that have used DeWitt Stern, Truman Van Dyke and Paramount. From what I understand, all the film insurance companies basically broker from the same source. (A reinsurance company?) The best thing is to have an insurance agent who is a) quick to respond and b) knows what a film needs and doesn’t need to cover with insurance.