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Vaccines, getting back to normal, insurance, and Covid - how are they interacting

Some of you will know Paul Hillier. Some of you will have bought his policies, in fact. He's a big name in movie insurance for Integro/Tysers (brokers) and arranges insurance for hundreds of projects a year. He has had an occasional customers mailing list during Covid, and I hope he won't mind me sharing his latest contribution. In return, if you're ever looking for cover, give Paul a shout, everyone gets top-tier service.

--- Paul's email follows, I hope you find it useful if planning getting back to work---

A production we are insuring is hopefully arranging vaccines for all cast and crew who would like to have one and asked about insurers input in terms of how soon before shoot this should be etc. I asked the insurer who pointed out the CD/Covid exclusion applying, which I thought was a little harsh, but then I asked the question of 4 other F/TV insurers and 4 of the 5 came back with similar advice (ie they wouldn’t really comment on anything covid related, or vaccine) but they pretty much all concurred separately that any adverse effects, death or illness due to Covid Vaccine would be considered Covid/Communicable Disease related and would be excluded from (CAST) cover in the same way the main virus/illness is.

Something to bear in mind. Some of the comments were as below:

I would add that we would expect due diligence here. For example, if someone is due a vaccination, knowing that there may be short term side effects we would expect the artist to have a down day or two after the jab. Likewise, we would always expect production to follow national and local covid protocols.

Re the cast side of things, my view is that any adverse reaction would be excluded from our wording since it still relates to Covid (a CD) where there has been restrictions on the movement of people, etc. Also, our exclusion also doesn’t cover “any action taken in controlling, preventing, suppressing or remediating any communicable disease.” Since a vaccine is clearly all of these things then my view again is that there would be no cover for any adverse reaction caused.

The CD exclusion would absolutely still apply I’m afraid. There are two parts to the Communicable Disease Exclusion in our working – Section 1 Cast and then a more general exclusion that applies to Sections 2-7. The CD exclusion we have under Cast (excerpt attached), includes some additional language to other markets that serves to clarify intent – which is absolutely no exposure to any Communicable Disease related loss of any kind (as we have no reinsurance protection). Covid-19 now joins the ranks of all other known diseases

We are completely excluding Covid-19 and I would expect that to include anything to do with the vaccine too. It has not come up in discussions with other underwriters but let me know if anyone has another opinion. You need to refer to the Cast Section part of the wording rather than the top part.

We will not pay you under the Cast Section for any loss, damage, liability, cost or expense in any way caused by or resulting from communicable disease and/or threat or fear thereof (whether actual or perceived)