Lack of TV and film insurance could bring Hollywood to a halt next year

Film insurance - clapperboard

Without the necessary coverage, movie and television series releases could be few and far between.

TV and film insurance coverage availability has plummeted for independent movie and television productions for COVID-19 illness risk.

This shift directly threatens the number of new video entertainment to be produced and released in 2021.

Insurers and industry experts have joined Hollywood producers in stating that there could be a short supply of new productions for 2021. Thousands of television and movie productions came to a sharp stop around the world in March as the pandemic crisis spread explosively worldwide and governments implemented lockdowns.

Filmmakers are now attempting to develop strategies to return to work but are discovering that TV and film insurance that would cover them against the coronavirus is widely unavailable. Insurers have largely added exclusions to their policies for COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Without this coverage, productions are unable to secure the financing they need to move ahead, according to Kirk Pasich, an insurance lawyer cited by Reuters. This coverage is necessary for most producers to obtain the completion bond – the guarantee – banks require for lending to productions.

Without this TV and film insurance, substantially less content will be produced compared to recent years.

Until insurers begin covering costs related to the pandemic and crews can safely return to work, “there will be less content of the caliber that we’re used to,” explained independent film producer Robert Salerno in the Reuters report.

Insurers have already been slammed by a spectrum of different types of pandemic claims. They say they cannot provide the production coverage because of the uncertain nature of the pandemic’s future.

While some parts of the world have managed to control the spread or even eliminate the virus altogether, other countries have experienced resurgences. This is true in the United States, including in many of the areas in which the most productions take place, such as California.

“It is not a risk you can even price,” said a senior insurance executive quoted Film insurance - clapperboardanonymously by Reuters when speaking about COVID-19 coverage in TV and film insurance for new or ongoing productions.

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