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DOCUMENTARY TIP #6: Insurance!

Here’s a Guest Documentary Tip from Winnie Wong, our DOC TALKS expert on February 25th.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, INSURANCE: HOW MUCH INSURANCE DO I NEED? By Winnie Wong

Q: I’m making my first film and trying to save money wherever I can. What’s the least amount of insurance coverage that I need to obtain for my production?

A: This is dependent upon how many bosses you’ve got to please… what I mean is, as a filmmaker, you will need to satisfy banks/lenders, location/facility owners, equipment vendors, payroll services, and vehicle rental companies to name a few. All these individuals will not only want you to carry production insurance, they will require that you show proof of that coverage, by asking for what is called a certificate of insurance. Oftentimes they will require that they are named an additional interest on your policy so they have protection in case there is an injury or damage etc.

Most likely, to accommodate the above bosses, you will need to obtain the following coverages:  General Liability, Production Package, Worker’s Compensation, Non-Owned & Hired Auto Liability and Physical Damage. Not to mention, Errors & Omissions coverage for Distribution.

There will be different insurance needs for each production so the best approach is to begin discussions early. As an insurance advisor, my job is to provide all the insurance options for your consideration. Like I said, it depends on how many bosses you have to please, but when it comes to your insurance broker, you are the “Boss of Me” and get to determine which coverages to buy. Now, go out there and make a great film!

To hear an hour interview with Winnie all about Documentary Insurance, become a member of DocuMentors.  You can also hear interviews with folks from Sundance and ITVS amongst many others in the DOC TALKS archive.

Winnie Wong is Vice President of Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc and has been helping independent filmmakers for the past 22 years. She specializes in independent features, television, reality, documentary and commercial films. She is passionate about the film industry and is committed to being a resource. To that end she has taught entertainment insurance for UCLA Extension, International Documentary Association (IDA) and Film Independent (FIND), authored articles for various film publications and served as a panelist for the American Film Market (AFM) and Slamdance Film Festival.

Disclaimer: The above response is a general overview of production insurance for discussion purposes only – it is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Each policy has varied wording, limitations, exclusions and conditions which affects the insurance coverage. You should consult your policy for complete details or contact Winnie Wong for personalized service – 818-933-2735 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .