Insurance Top Tips From Aon
Ian Rogers, Managing Director, Aon Enterprise, shares his insurance advice for Total Production International readers.
Working within the production and events industry can be fun and fast paced, but it requires hard work, talented people and sophisticated technology to keep the cameras rolling. Regardless of whether you’re part of the technical crew, or the sound and lighting team, or you’re working on the BAFTAs, or flying out to Brazil to film the football – making sure you are protecting the tools of your trade is a must.
However, we know that insurance and making sure you’re covered can sometimes be the last thing on your mind when you’re putting on a show – but making sure you’re protected doesn’t have to take a long time or be one of the jobs you let slip down the to-do list. Unfortunately sometimes it takes the worst to happen before you realise you’re not covered for what you thought, which can have major implications on getting future jobs, or even completing the one you’re working on at the time. We’ve known camera’s to be stolen off sun-loungers, equipment dropping into water on shoots in Iceland and the theft of entire stage costumes on set!
As a busy professional, we wanted to make things a bit more straightforward and remind you of the key things to think about when taking out insurance. It’s not just having insurance that matters; it’s having the right type of cover. Take a look at our top tips to help ensure you’ve got the cover you need and to help make you’re aware of any conditions you may not have known about:
1. Be prepared: Make sure that equipment is working properly before starting a job – be it ensuring that cameras are functioning or that technology passes safety tests. When it doesn’t work at an event, you will not just waste time fixing the issue, you may also be in breach of regulations.
2. Insurance for all: When running a busy set, it’s vital that you ensure that everyone involved in a project is insured. If you’re a freelance professional that will be working with a team of others under you, you’ll need to make sure that extra pairs of hands are covered before they offer their help.
3. Don’t cut corners on costs: We all hope that the worst never happens, but unfortunately sometimes it does. Make sure you’re taking out the right policy to fully protect yourself – so while finding the cheapest option might save you money, there is no point having cheap cover if it’s not going to offer sound protection. It might cost you more in the long run if you don’t.
4. Prepare for sunnier climes: Not all events happen in the UK and not all policies protect against claims relating to work abroad. It’s important that if you regularly work internationally that you have global cover.
5. Keep policies updated: Be sure to keep your policy updated. Not just in terms of ensuring it doesn’t expire mid project, but being aware that additional equipment you hire for a project needs to be included in your cover. Claims can have a nasty sting if you find out that new lens or make up kit isn’t insured because you forgot to include it to your policy.
6. Know what is and isn’t covered: As far as possible, know what you’re covered for. For example, a cameraman might need two types of cover, one to protect the loss of digital content and another to protect against the loss of a physical camera. Professionals are also often surprised as to what they can make a claim for. Speaking with specialist insurers will help you understand what is and isn’t insured.
7. Common sense: In an industry that often requires some expensive and steal-able kit, professionals need to look after their equipment with extra care, ensuring it is safely secured. Leaving it unattended on a busy film set is asking for trouble – where goods are stolen, your opportunity to work on that project and future projects is put at risk.
8. Cover come rain and shine: Where people in production will often make sure they have cover for times when they have a project under way, they might not realise that they require insurance all year around to protect their equipment when they aren’t working. Remember, personal contents insurance doesn’t cover your professional assets when they are taken from your home.
And finally, if you’ve got a new job starting on Monday, don’t leave taking out your protection to last thing on a Friday. Just in case there are any snags or difficulties processing your insurance, it’s probably best not to leave taking out a policy until the last minute so that you never have to turn a job down.