What are some key risk exposures you ought to be concerned about as a photographer or TV commercial producer or film maker?

Regardless of the type of work you do, you will face different risk exposures. The key is to manage these exposures in the most cost effective manner without taking on financial risks you cannot possibly afford to shoulder.

The most common risk exposures include:

1. Damage or Loss to Property

The property could be third party property, own property, or property you have accepted responsibility for and is in your control (for example, hired in equipment, props, sets and wardrobe). There is also the film stock or digital images – both completed and raw stock.

For equipment coverage, you should be aware that almost all forms of property insurance excludes coverage whilst the property is in the hands of the airlines.

A liability policy will take care of third party property. Your own property (equipment) should be insured, preferably, in an “All Risks” policy that allows worldwide transit including when the gear is checked in.

Insuring the film stock or digital images means having coverage for the cost of re- shooting the footage that is either lost or damaged.

2. Liability

This refers to your liability towards third parties in respect of injury to third parties or damage to third party property in the course of your work.

3. Extra Expenses

You could have a situation where your hired in equipment is damaged and you need another to continue with the production. The cost of hiring an additional unit will cost you extra money.

Or you could have your key crew or cast fall ill or suffer an accident during the production and you need to replace this person inorder to continue production.

These are known as extra expenses and can be insured.

4. Injury to Cast/Crew/Talent

This sometimes happens and you need to compensate them for the injury sustained as well as for medical expenses incurred to treat the injury. When working overseas, there is also the need for medical evacuation or repatriation of the person back home.
In this respect, you should note that not all off-the-shelf travel insurance will insure you for your work as most of these are designed for the holiday traveller – you should check before you buy.

There are also other special situations to consider – such as, when you’re doing aerial or underwater photography; when you have to perform work on an oil rig or oil installation or down in a mine shaft, etc., or when you have to enter a war zone or area where there is conflict. All these situations can be insured.

5. Risk of Cancellation, Postponement or Abandonment

There is a financial risk when the project you’ve undertaken has to be abandoned because a situation beyond your control has forced you to do so. For example, these situations could include natural catastrophes and acts of God, strikes, riots, travel delays, revoking of approved licences, injuries to cast and crew causing work stoppages, etc..

In such situations, you would want to recover as much of the expenses you’ve incurred as is possible. This, fortunately, can be insured.

6. Weather Insurance

This should be considered depending on the type of project you’re undertaking – this insurance operates just like item (5) above but is extended to include weather related situations.

Written and reproduced courtesy of: Ronald Loke, Excelsus (Far East) Pte Ltd

Phone: +65 6338 9921
Fax: +65 6336 6218
Mobile: +65 9762 1673
Email: ronaldloke@excelsus.com.sg

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