There’s many things a film graduate can do, but defending oneself in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a civil lawsuit is unlikely to be on the list. Irrespective of how many times you’ve watched the courtroom scenes in ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ and ‘A Few Goodmen’, no monologue can save your Melbourne video production company from ruin after your drone tragically crushes a beloved pet hamster while on location for an RSCPA infomercial.
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What is insurance for video production?
Video and film production insurance includes a range of policies that can protect equipment, data, employees and business owners in the result of loss.
A quick story. We once used a commercial camera jib before a crowd of 2,000 people for the pyrotechnics night of a Melbourne nightclub without insurance. We wouldn’t recommend that you do that. With a 15 metre jib arm beside fiery explosions before a crowd full of hairspray and highly flammable vegan makeup, it’s incredibly fortunate that the event didn’t turn out like the film-screening denouement in Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards”. Life could have gone very differently for Enamoured Iris.
Why you need insurance
The only thing that will protect both you and your company is (a) the meticulousness of your legal contracts and (b) the quality of your video production insurance policy. The real world implications they don’t teach you in film school are that failure to do either will mean that not only can a party sue your company, but they can also come after your personal assets. This is also cause for incorporating your video marketing / video production business into a company, rather than simply a partnership.
If avoiding jail time wasn’t enough, another reason to get insurance is many clients will require you to have a public liability policy before granting your production company the contract to film. Music festivals such as Beyond The Valley and Future Music Festival (RIP) have required us to hold a $20 million public liability policy before we could enter the room to pitch. Local councils like the City of Melbourne also mandate a production company possess a $20 million public liability insurance policy before it can consider preparing a camera tripod.
What type of insurance your company needs
The revelation that there are more forms of insurance than there are Christopher Walken cameos came as a shock. Unless you’re planning a delightful documentary on the daily lives of Somalian pirates, it’s unlikely you’ll need a policy that covers extortion and kidnapping. Below are some of the policies your video production company must have and should consider.
- Public Liability: Covers third-party death, injury or loss as a result of your negligence.
- Electronic Equipment Insurance: Covers damage or losses to computers, electronic equipment or data as the result of an accident.
- Property Insurance: “Protects you from damage or losses to premises, contents or stock due to insured events or accidental damage”
- Theft Insurance: Covers you against loss or damage to your contents or stock as a result of theft, burglary or deception.
- Cyber liability insurance: Protects your business from various risks online e.g. fraud, data breaches etc.
- Workers compensation: Employee fraud or dishonesty insurance.
- Other: Given the unpredictable nature of the video production business, it’s also worth checking you’re covered for specialised forms of insurance, including: underwater filming, animals, pyrotechnics and aerial photography.
Where to get insurance
While the lens saving benefits of UV filters is a polarising topic in our industry, insurance is a necessary evil for Melbourne video production company owners. Far better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, you can save enormous time, energy and cost by selecting an insurance agency that specialises in the Film, TV and Broadcast industry. Below are some Australian agencies that deliver specialised insurance for the entertainment industry.
How much you should pay for insurance
Billed annually, Australian corporate video production companies can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per month on public liability insurance. While this amount will vary depending on factors like the number of employees, your age and how often you film in public, this article does a great job explaining the varying costs and premiums for Australian small businesses.
Searching for a video production company in Melbourne? Enamoured Iris is a creative video production company producing online video content for lifestyle brands in the Travel, Apparel and Entertainment industries. The company’s head office is known as “The Owlery” and is based in Melbourne, Australia.