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In the film industry, trial and error are common practices and insurance plays an important role

Every year, movies script their own stories. With the 96th Academy Awards, the most prestigious accolade in the film industry, we once again witnessed the marvel that directors, writers, actors, actresses, and the entire team behind a film create for the audience. In addition to the stars, within this vast team, there are fundamental elements ensuring the smooth functioning of the entire process. Have you ever wondered if movies are insured?

In the film industry, trial and error are common practices. Often, things don’t go as planned; directors and actors speak of the challenges they face to complete a production. Due to the myriad of potential setbacks, production companies often opt for film production insurance.

What is film insurance?

Film insurance protects the production company and/or project during filming, tailored to different types of film projects. Typically, the producer or production company owner acquires insurance during pre-production. It encompasses various coverage types, including:

General liability insurance – Covers injuries and damages to locations during filming, excluding injuries to cast and crew, who are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. It also covers accidents involving work vehicles.

Equipment insurance – Protects all equipment used during production, whether owned or rented.

Errors and omissions insurance – Shields against copyright claims, unauthorized use of titles, characters, etc., and covers allegations of plagiarism and unfair competition.

Film insurance is as essential for producers as car insurance. It’s recommended for all types of productions, large or independent, ensuring smooth development without setbacks. While insuring homes, cars, or subscribing to life insurance is common, stars often opt for more specific policies.

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Protecting the stars: celebrities and their insurance

Film companies are cautious and take all necessary measures before deciding on an actor’s insurance, aiming to minimize risks. Insurance for stars can vary in surprising and sometimes ridiculous ways, with the nature and amounts often kept secret, though occasionally leaked to the press. Insurers often tailor policies to the stars’ demands, showing their quick response to this lucrative market niche.

Here are some curious insurance stories involving stars:

  • In the 1920s, Ben Turpin became the first insured actor in Hollywood, covering a physical defect that became his trademark: his strabismus.
  • The producers of Terminator 3 insured the film’s performance for $2.54 million with International Film Guarantors, highlighting Arnold Schwarzenegger as a key element. If Schwarzenegger had interrupted filming, IFG would have reimbursed the production $181.6 million.
  • After Nicole Kidman’s knee injury during the filming of Moulin Rouge, the insurer paid $3 million in damages to the production. The aftermath led Kidman to leave the set of Panic Room 15 days later, resulting in a loss of $7 million in additional fees due to the delay for the insurer.
  • Both Julia Roberts and America Ferrera have insured smiles. Julia Roberts’ smile is valued at $24.5 million, while America Ferrera, star of the television series Ugly Betty, insured her smile for $11.5 million.

It’s always crucial to protect a film production and the people involved. Finding the right insurance policy can result in affordable protection, regardless of the film’s size or budget. Ultimately, it’s more cost-effective than facing losses or equipment theft without protection.

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