Movies and TV shows are entertaining for audiences but are major risks for filmmakers, studios and production companies – especially if the story calls for filming on location.
“Think of the cameras, the lighting equipment, the trailers for the on-screen talent,” says Todd Haring, vice president, marketing and distribution manager for Argo Marine. “You have to take into consideration the terrain, the weather – all kinds of variables that affect these unique insureds.”
The reward for taking such a risk is a finished product that generates big box office or ratings numbers. Entertainment insurance coverage – inland marine in particular – can help protect the equipment, the transportation and even the recordings themselves to make sure a film is successfully completed and has that chance to be a hit.
What is inland marine insurance?
Inland marine coverage is an extension of property coverage, says David Brooks, vice president, underwriting, Argo Marine.
“It’s property that’s mobile in nature,” he says. “Most commercial and personal property insurance forms extend only 1,000 feet from the premises. Beyond that, items are no longer insured under that policy.
“That’s where inland marine comes in. We insure things beyond those 1,000 feet.”
It used to be that most movies and TV shows were filmed in Hollywood or New York City, Brooks says. That’s no longer the case. Argo Marine has local experts around the globe to help understand the exposures wherever movies are made.
Underwriter expertise is key in entertainment insurance
The inland marine market is interesting because, depending on exactly what is being insured, coverage products and placement will likely need to be customized beyond a standard form.
Insurance providers who have experience working within the entertainment industry will have more success underwriting those risks. And when dealing with the arts, underwriters have to be meticulous about how property is being taken care of.
“Think about what you see in a scene,” Brooks says. “A tugboat converted into a pirate ship is a $2.2 million prop that has to get to the right location. You have to check out the moving company to make sure they have the right experience – and that the insurers of the moving company have the right experience too.”
A total loss could have a huge impact on the insurance provider, not to mention the production itself.
“It’s amazing what all you don’t see when you’re watching the movie,” Brooks says.
Learn more about Argo Marine at argolimited.com/marine.