The evolution of online media sites like YouTube and Hulu as fully developed, mainstream entertainment platforms is spawning an infinite audience for engaging entertainment content that is resulting in a renaissance in content creation, be it a web series, feature-length or short films, tutorials or music videos, according to Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President & Program Director of Take 1 Entertainment Insurance.
“Thanks to this demand for entertainment, the production industry is in the midst of a content creation renaissance in which anyone with a unique idea or perspective and a desire to turn their vision into content can share that vision with the world,” Carroll said today. “Due in large part to the decreasing cost of production equipment, and the increasing number of free or low-cost sharing platforms, the number of production companies creating content will continue to grow in the years to come. All of these new companies need to be aware of the necessity of working with an insurance provider who specializes in production insurance and offers up-to-date policies that meet all of their needs, including protecting their equipment and physical media where they store their content.”
According to Carroll, production companies need to look to insurance providers who recognize that production is no longer limited to big-budget projects, and that smaller-budget endeavors require the same level of insurance protection for equipment, and more importantly, content, as do blockbuster films. Less-experienced production companies cannot afford to underestimate the importance of being covered by an insurance provider that understands the unique nuances and differences between content produced for YouTube and content produced for television or films.
“That said, insurance providers must adapt their coverage programs to accommodate this evolving industry as traditional methods of developing coverage plans like studying a client’s prior insurance experience through loss runs, analyzing their industry resume or checking their IMDB biography may not be viable options in this new community of production companies,” Carroll explained. “It’s essential that content creators look for insurance providers that are as creative as the content they themselves produce, and that their chosen provider is doing everything in their power to provide the most comprehensive, customized coverage plan possible.”
Many insurance companies provide a suite of products that many production companies and content creators need, but they don’t go the distance to make sure that they provide every product. Production companies need to be presented with a wide menu of coverage options that are specific to their content and how it’s distributed, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, do all content creators need coverage for props, sets or wardrobes? If certain coverage lines aren’t an issue, perhaps they should be excluded.
Carroll stressed that insurance providers have to understand exactly what type of coverage their clients need in order to offer the best protection. “Take 1 Insurance, for instance, has offerings that accommodate current trends in technology and production, as evidenced by a recent change to its policies on software, media and data storage devices to include all reusable media that is part of or attached to photographic, video and sound recording equipment.”
The production industry continues to expand, and with this expansion comes new, young and extremely creative companies who may not have experience in considering insurance priorities. Before it is too late, they need to be aware of the necessity of protecting their company’s content, equipment and business assets with policies that best suit their unique needs. The bottom line is that new production companies must make sure that the language and line items in their insurance policies are current with the technologies in play, relevant to what needs to be covered, and supported by insurance providers who understand that nuances of the exposures faced by content creators every day.
About U.S. Risk Insurance Group
U. S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. is a specialty lines underwriting manager and wholesale broker headquartered in Dallas. Operating 12 domestic and international branches, it offers a broad range of products and services through its affiliate companies, which include U.S. Risk Underwriters, U.S. Risk Brokers, Lighthouse Underwriters, LLC, Professional Claims Managers, Omnisure Consulting Group, Oxford Insurance Brokers, Ltd. (London), Goss Reinsurance Brokers, LLC, and NovaPro Risk Solutions, LP. Its entertainment division, Take1, has served as the official endorsed insurance provider for the last 15 years INFOCOMM, the leading association of A/V communications industry professionals.