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Insurance for Commercial Production (D.I.C.E)

Protect your documentary, industrial, commercial, and educational (DICE) production business with an insurance plan and dedicated risk management advisor. Scroll down to learn more about coverage, pricing, and the next steps.

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Commercial Film Production Insurance
What is a D.I.C.E production company?

Ah yes, another confusing term coined by the insurance industry, DICE production. At it's core, DICE stands for Documentary, Industrial, Commercial, Educational, and Industrial types of productions. However, a DICE insurance policy typically covers more than these 4 activities. For example, if you produce Music Videos, Short Films, or even Feature's, a DICE insurance policy can include these operations.

ADVISOR TIP: if you're producing a feature film or TV show, it's legally wise to have a separate entity for these projects.

An off the shelf DICE insurance policy is designed to cover most productions on an annual basis. Most will exclude features and tv shows, but everything else is probably covered. An experienced insurance broker will customize a policy that aligns with your businesses operations.

The main benefit of a DICE insurance policy is to increase coverage and reduce costs if your business is producing multiple projects per year (versus getting individual short term policies).

Most producers will start by purchasing one-off policies, typically for 30 days, and acquire insurance like General Liability, Automobile Liability, Property, and Workers Compensation Insurance. These policies can cost around $1,500 per production - an annual DICE insurance policy starts at around $5,000, so if you're doing more than 3 productions the cost is economic. In addition, the time you spend underwriting each short term policy can be inefficient.

Overall, a DICE insurance policy is something any growing production company should consider if they are looking to broaden coverage, reduce premiums, and save time.

Why do they need insurance?

Insurance, the thing you pay for and hope to never use. Often, you'll wonder why you pay for it because loss scenario's seem impossible. But the reality is - life is unpredictable.

Production insurance is a tool that can be used if things go south. An actor gets hurt, or your PA accidentally drops a $50,000 camera, or crash a rented van... the list goes on and from our perspective as insurance advisors, it's quite a long list.

Things can go wrong and insurance is going to protect the people, property, and third parties involved. It's also going to pay back your production budget if you suffer a bad loss.

Insurance can also be required - either by a location, government entity, studio, or rental house. For example, in Los Angeles, if you'd like to secure a permit insurance is always required (check out FilmLA's website for more information).

It's smart to be thinking about insurance before you get stuck with a contract so you're not scrambling to get coverage.

What insurance do they need?

Short-term film production and DICE annual film production are the two types of insurance offered for the commercial production industry. Regardless of which one you choose, production insurance has to cover the whole period from the first to the very final day. No producer wishes to face unplanned astronomical costs.

Short-term production insurance is designed for a specific production. It covers protection from injury, health insurance, animal protection, stunt worker and pyrotechnic engineers, worker’s compensation, and more. The packages are tailored to the need of the production. 

Contrary to short-term film insurance, which covers only one project, annual production insurance, or DICE insurance, covers all production company projects. If you are wondering, DICE is an acronym for the primary types of production, as in Documentary, Industrial, Commercial, and Educational films. 

An all-risk insurance policy coverage mainly depends on your production’s needs. Still, it usually covers general liability, damage to third-party property, wardrobe, props, sets, workers' compensation, equipment, and issues. This policy covers productions like digital videos, documentaries, commercials, demo reel shoots, and direct sales videos.

Here are the top insurance policies typically bundled into an annual DICE insurance package:

General Liabilities Insurance 

This policy covers injuries and damages during film shoots, but only for those who are not working on the movie. In the event of third-party bodily injury or property damage, insurance will cover settlements, legal fees, and other legal expenses. It covers the following:

  • Bodily injuries: the General Liabilities policy will cover the medical costs related to severe injuries or possible death;
  • Property damage:  any damages to third-party property like damaging the office floor or computer equipment will be taken care of by this commercial property insurance; 
  • Personal and advertising injury: this particular commercial production insurance will shield you from lawsuits involving malicious prosecution, false arrest, intellectual property, wrongful eviction, copyrights, infringing on others’ slogans, and slander;
  • Product liability: since it isn’t all that strange for businesses to get sued if their products injure or damage another person’s property, which is usually out of their control the Product Liability insurance will offer protection against such claims.

The General Liabilities policy doesn’t cover worker injuries, employment practices lawsuits, professional mistakes, and the property owned and rented by the business.

Commercial Property Insurance

Businesses usually own property and equipment used on the premises and quite often move around -t his policy takes care of all that. Keep in mind that insuring a lot of equipment can get complex, so don’t try undertaking this task on your own. 

Here’s a shortlist of the types of insurance for commercial properties:

  • Outland marine: property insurance that covers products and goods used to travel overseas;
  • Inland marine: deals with insuring products and goods used by the business outside the business premises;
  • Aerial equipment: this commercial property policy includes covering planes, helicopters, drones, and anything flying in the air; 
  • Building insurance: if you own a building, this type of commercial property insurance will cover any damages caused to the building structure like walls, plumbing, electricity, etc.;
  • Tenant improvements and betterments: insurance policy for maintaining and permanent improvements of your building;
  • Equipment breakdown: commercial property insurance for any mechanical or electrical breakdown of the business equipment;
  • Electronic data processing: covering any damage caused to the IT equipment;
  • Business income or interruption: if income and revenue are affected by property damage, this commercial property insurance will take care of the costs.

Workers Compensation

A must-have insurance policy for any business with any worker you employ. The commercial production industry has to see some rather unfortunate events both on and off set. Workers get injured all the time, and one of these injuries might be falling down a flight of stairs.

Other injuries that are covered by this type of insurance include slipping on wet floors, back injuries, concussions, head injuries, fractures, breaks, sprains, heat burns, harmful infections, wounds, cuts, lacerations, soreness, and swelling. 

The Workers' Compensation insurance benefits both employees and businesses because it usually cover medical expenses, ongoing care, settlements, lawsuits, lost wages, and death benefits. 

ADVISOR TIP: after your production is complete, you'll need to implement an Errors & Omissions Insurance policy. This policy protects the business against professional services lawsuits such as unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, titles, plots, ideas, and characters - basically any type of plagiarism.

Speak to a Fullsteam Production Insurance Advisor today and learn more about the key coverages.

Who needs it?

An annual DICE insurance is a more affordable option if you are a production company that works on many projects throughout the year. The Commercial Production Insurance is a cost-efficient policy that favors production companies. 

Film production insurance is an excellent option for those who own a production company and use rented equipment, as well as for freelance producers with more productions per year, or filmmaker producers of independent films.

On the other hand, movie insurance is used by those producers who wish to insure the movie against natural occurrences that may delay the shooting schedule, or in the case an actor falls ill, and similar events.

How much does it cost?

Considering the nature of the production industry, commercial production insurance will depend on the different types of insurance policies you’ll need, what segments of production you wish to have covered in the case of a setback, and the number of employees and projects in question.

There is also the decision to get short-term film production insurance or annual production insurance.  In preparing the production budget, producers should set aside a percentage for the DICE and movie insurance.

Film production insurance is expected to cost somewhere between $400 and $35,000, but this depends on many factors. A production company doing $250,000 of Gross Production Costs (GPC) per year with around $100,000 in payroll should expect to pay $5,000 for their annual DICE insurance. On the other hand, a production company doing $2,000,000 in GPC with $1,000,000 in payroll should expect to pay closer to $75,000 on insurance.

Insurance companies need to take into consideration the production company size, the type of insurance needed, the filmmaker’s budget, production risks like stunts, and more.

How do you get it?

Insurance is a comprehensive matter and covers many industries. To make sure that you’ll be getting what you need for all projects your production company has planned for the year, find a broker specializing in entertainment insurance. 

Insurance companies sell movie insurance to entertainment brokers, preparing customizable packages to sell to their clients. Find a trustworthy, experienced, and licensed broker to provide you with the best possible insurance policy coverage.

Have an online or in-person meeting to discuss the available insurance options that will suit your production company. Be free to ask questions about anything that you are unclear about. Also, don’t shy away from any details - provide the broker with as much detailed information as possible to ensure you’ll have the best short-term or annual production insurance coverage.

The broker will prepare quotes, and once you accept the one that fits your needs and budget, you can finalize the documentation and be on the safe side, knowing your production projects are safe and protected.

Final Thoughts

If you and your crew are off to the Amazon shooting a documentary on dangerous species we have never heard of, or you’re doing a commercial for the next swimsuit collection, or maybe walking on the edge of a building, this is the insurance you want. 

DICE covers all those blustering projects so that you can have a blast on set. 

One important thing to remember: insurance companies don’t like losing money unless necessary. Check if the company you are going with has a clause that says they will do whatever it takes to see the shoot through. 

If you’re in the industry of commercial production, then you should not think twice about opting for Commercial Production insurance. In a nutshell, this type of insurance will take some of the burdens off your shoulders when it comes to considering everything that can go wrong on set, and off it.


Why Fullsteam?

We’re humans, not robots.

We could have our algorithm give you a quote in 10 minutes. But your business deserves better than that. You deserve a dedicated insurance advisor and service team who knows how to manage complex risk.

We serve you, not the bank.

Your personal insurance advisor will negotiate the best coverage, at the best rate, from the best insurance carriers. Because anything less wouldn’t be acceptable.

Excellence is our middle name.

Think of us like your personal risk management concierge. The godparents to your business. Call, email, text, DM... we’re here whenever you need us.

We e-everything.

Paperwork is annoying. So we do business digitally. Life is just easier that way. Plus killing trees is mean.

Got questions? Give us a call.