As with many career paths, producing films is an endeavor where you’ll learn a lot more on the job than you will in a classroom. Still, there are certain aspects of the work that can be acquired as effectively by reading as they can be by doing. One of them is the different kinds of insurance you’ll need to cover your film equipment rental. Film equipment rental insurance will prove to be your best safety net in the event the equipment you rent is damaged or destroyed. The question is, how do you get that insurance?
STEP 1: The Basics
First and foremost, there are three basic kinds of film production insurance policies: Short-term, long-term, and annual. If you’re preparing to make a single film with a limited number of shooting days, you want to go with a short-term policy. If you’re planning on cranking out a bunch of short films over many months, or to shoot back-to-back features, you’d want to invest in a long-term plan. And if you’re making a documentary that will take years to complete, you’d want an annual policy.
STEP 2: Know Your Options
Now that you’ve decided on a policy, you should know there is a full spectrum of coverage designed to protect your production from every possibility. While you won’t need all of them, two are must-haves if you’re planning on a film equipment rental.
We wrote about both at length in this recent post LINK. The first is general liability insurance, which covers damage to property that isn’t part of the permitted filming location and injury or harm to individuals who aren’t part of the production. The second is video equipment insurance, often called “inland marine”. This insurance covers any and all equipment and gear used during production.
The reason they’re both must-have is that if you don’t have general liability, you better be prepared to shoot guerilla-style because you won’t be able to get a location permit without it. And if you don’t have inland marine, forget about it. You’re unlikely to find a bonafide film equipment rental house that’ll lease you a pair of walkies, much less a camera or lighting kit.
STEP 3: Pool or Personal
The US constitution deems that all people are created equal. Insurance underwriters have a different opinion. Factors like your age and credit history will influence their risk analysis and affect your quote on film equipment rental. If your credit score has the potential to raise some red flags, peer-to-peer insurance allows you to share the risk and pool your premiums. The problem is, there aren’t many companies that offer this option. Alternatively, there’s the traditional policy based on one individual’s risk analysis. How do you know if you can take advantage of peer-to-peer insurance in Florida? Simple…
STEP 4: Do Your Research
Because Florida attracts filmmakers from across the country, insurance companies in and out of state now offer film production insurance. If you can’t rely on personal recommendations, how do you know which one to go with? I’ve found the best practice is to treat the process like you’re shopping for car insurance. You’ll find that each place pretty much offers the same coverage, just not for the same price. But before you go with the cheapest, do your due diligence. Check out what other filmmakers had to say about their experience on customer review websites. You might realize it’s worth paying a little extra for peace of mind.
In the film equipment rental business, few things speak to quality and dependability as well as the rental houses that stand the test of time. For over thirty years, Moving Picture Rental has been South Florida’s leading one-stop-shop for all your production services and rental needs. So if you’ve still got questions about how to get insurance, we’re here to help.