Will Co-Producer Insurance Cover My Production?

Guest blog via Bruce Nahin


At least once a month some producer, or film festival contestant comes to me with what they believe is a unique question. A friend of theirs has full liability and production insurance with a carrier. They want to sell them the temporary use of that insurance. In essence they will enter into some sort of agreement whereby they both are co producers of the film and the belief is now the new party is covered by the old party’s insurance because there is a clause in the policy about co producing.

In one film festival in which I was involved, this was prevalent and actually many people sublet the same policy at the same time. The general liability policy is not what most people think they are getting in a co producer agreement, it is the production insurance. Most reputable carriers charge one premium for general liability insurance and a second for the production and yet a third for errors and omissions. For the production underwriting they look at the budget script etc in assessing a premium for that particular film.

When one applies for insurance you go through various underwriting stages where the carrier determines the risk and assigns a premium cost. In film there are several parts to the insurance. General Liability, Errors and omissions and Production. Generally some sort of binder is created and the new producer uses it for locations, equipment rentals and such. The co producer has no actual producing responsibilities and are basically only selling their insurance.

Let me make this clear from personal observation. A film I was hired to assist with in distribution was in the midst of a big lawsuit because a workers compensation claim was denied because the carrier disavowed the Co producer agreement and attempt to use the other producer’s insurance. I have heard other similar stories about coverage being denied in these situations. That to me makes perfect sense as the carrier knows nothing about the added risks they are having foisted upon them by the addition of one or more extra films..

Bottom line… Read The Policy.!!! Unless the policies specifically allows this assignment, and unless you notify the carrier in advance, keep away from this..it is probably FRAUD.


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