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Public Liability Insurance

Just been in touch with my Regional film office about the idea of shooting some stuff on location around the city. They were extremely helpful but require Public Liability Insurance. We are a no budget crew with minimal equipment. Is this worth it or do we just stay in the house and melt away?

Anyone know the costs?

  • My own company insurances are £10/month for £5M PLI and £10k of hire-in, that's with Hiscox Business. But then for a bigger production we paid £600 for £5M PLI and £10M ELI for a month - prices vary wildly! Try Hiscox Business or Essex Insurance Brokers but you'll need to spell out that it's for filming.

    That said, if your script doesn't need street scenes, don't shoot on the streets and stick to your own gardens.

    6 years ago
  • It's definitely worth it. I used Essex Insurance Brokers and they were extremely friendly and extremely helpful. You can purchase insurance for annual cover or for a day shoot but I'm not sure of the prices for a day shoot.

    It's definitely something I'm glad I invested in but it depends on how often you are going to shoot.

    The other thing to remember is that depending on the scale of your production you might also need Employers Liability Insurance. Insurance Brokers usually include this in the PLI cover.

    6 years ago
  • Not only is it worth it, it's also a legal requirement - although where a bunch of kids messing around with a camera becomes a professional production requiring insurance is a moot point.

    Most locations who have any experience of filming will ask to see your insurance documentation. Also check the levels of insurance they want. You can scrimp and get £2m cover and then find somewhere you want to film won't let you unless you've got £5m (for example).

    Obviously, on one level it seems like a lot of money for a service that most of the time is never 'used'. However, you might want to consider what would happen if a member of the public (or someone helping out on your shoot) were injured as a result of your filming. There are many ambulance-chasing personal injury law firms (apparently the NHS even sells people's personal details to them) who offer contingent fee arrangements (ie no win, no fee).

    Without insurance, these people are going to come after your company's assets or even your own personal assets.

    6 years ago
  • Agree with all the above. You can't afford not to insure. You need cover for your own people, and for the public, and the equipment. And some companies (see above) are well aware of small independent film companies and how little cash they have. Talk to them and explain all, and you should be pleasantly surprised.
    Much nicer than being chased by lawyers for much larger sums, with no upper limits!
    Good luck with it,
    Yen Rickeard.

    6 years ago
  • I've used Essex Insurance too - just shot a feature and they covered it for far less than I was expecting. It's really not worth shooting without PLI - the amount it will cost you is negligible, whereas the amount you'll be paying out if someone trips over your tripod and hurts themselves is frightening...

    6 years ago
  • Insurance is a must for any production Essex Insurance brokers has been mentioned and they are on our approved list of insurers. You could also consider IMS who insure film & media productions we normally pay around £300 on average per production with most of our insurance companies depending on who and what we are filming but imagine you film on the streets and say your focus puller trips up & falls in front of a bus while working on your shoot you are liable pls make sure you get the production insured.

    6 years ago
  • Check out BECTU, the union for media and entertainment. If you are a member they have a special deal on £10M PLI at £21 per year. (BECTU membership being £10 per month)

    6 years ago
  • With Bectu PLI, mentioned above by Jon, the crew and actors would all need to be members, with the insurance added on to their membership. Bectu Insurance is personal public liability not group liability. It only covers the one member A very useful thing to have if you are taking part on any film that may or may not be insured. How would you know? If you are serious about being in this industry personal protection with Pl insurance, and union membership makes sense. I would not work on anything without it. I don't want to be sued because somebody hurt somebody else on the set. Andy, union member since 1979

    6 years ago
  • having shopped around i can confirm what's been said above - just go here and enter it - will cost you close to 100 quid give or take

    6 years ago
  • I've previously used Performance, which is cheaper than the others quoted, which now makes me think - is something wrong with it? (Or alternatively, is something wrong with the others?)

    6 years ago
  • I just went to the Essex page and it said that in order to get a quote online "The budget for the production does not exceed £15,000." Is that a typo?

    I know that a lot of short films cost less than that, but really that's like a non-profit level. One person's minimum wage for a year in the UK is going to be more than that soon.

    5 years ago
    • Vasco - I doubt that it's a typo.

      It covers much corporate, reportage, music vids etc and allows them to make some fairly safe assumptions about the risk envelope.

      Step up a gear though, and suddenly you might be doing anything, i.e. they'll need to ask more questions before quoting.

      Lauris - the rule for judging policies is to read what they cover, and what they exclude. And read those exclusions like a bastard lawyer would. E.f. if a policy excludes "stunts", how do they define stunt? If there is anything remotely stunt like in your script, you def want to get their written agreement that the stunt as described is covered. And "Joe chases Sue, grabbing her and pulling her to the ground" should be viewed as a stunt until you have in writing otherwise. (They slip when grappling, lose balance and crash into the jib which topples onto the workie. Insurer, post hoc, says "look what happened, of course it was a stunt" and then you're in court for all your worldly goods).

      5 years ago
  • For bigger budgets than £15k (ie self-limiting in terms of scale), the risk goes up, so the premium is going to be tailored to your needs.

    I've just been doing a 5-figure insurance deal for PLI, ELI, kit and hire, negative all risk, and Producers Indemnity - basically covering the reshoot costs if key personnel get ill, or you have to abandon for other reasons.

    5 years ago