Film Commercial General Liability

This insurance covers you for two things: damage to a location and injury to an uninvolved bystander or audience member. It does not cover your crew, your volunteers, or your equipment.

Some possible scenarios:

  • An innocent bystander trips on the curb while distracted by your beautiful set dressing, falls, and breaks his arm. He then sues you for medical expenses.
  • You burn a hole in the ceiling of a building by putting a lighting instrument too close to the drywall. The location requires you to pay for the damages.

When do I actually need it? Almost every city will require that you show proof of general liability insurance before they will issue a permit for filming. Since the permitting process can be lengthy, especially if you are planning to shoot in a location like an airport, a prison, or a hospital, it’s best to purchase this coverage as soon as you know that you will be doing the shoot. Even if it is not required, it’s a great thing to have: $500 now is much easier on the budget than a $500,000 claim in the future.

I’m still waiting for my other film to get picked up by a distributor and until I have that money my friends are performing for me for free. The insurance companies consider them volunteers. Do them a favor. Volunteer Accident

I’ve had wild commercial success and have thousands of dollars to pay my crew and actors. That’s spectacular! Workers' Compensation

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