Why is it important to consider the Covid 19 shoot cancellation risk?
There is a vast array of different costs that can be incurred or lost as a result of a shoot cancellation. There are considerations for both your own costs as a photographer or producer, and third party costs that are by no means limited to:
– Talent fees
– Hired equipment fees
– Travel expenses
– Prop hire
– Hire and make up, and the list goes on.
You should consider who is liable for both your own costs and third party costs in the event a shoot is cancelled as a result of Covid 19.
What insurance cover is available for shoot cancellation linked to Covid 19?
Some historical policies may still have an element of cover for Covid 19. This may depend on the timing of your renewal date. At renewal of your insurance there will be no cover provided for cancellation linked to Covid19 on any new policies and new shoots going forward.
Covid 19 is now considered a known event by insurance providers.
It is therefore imperative that photographers, agents and producers, take adequate steps to:
a) Put in place contingencies to prevent cancellation occurring
b) Ensure steps are taken to protect their financial position, by making the client or agency aware of the risk of cancellation and any costs that may incurred as a result
What can be done to help mitigate the cancellation risk?
Talent and Crew
• Where possible push payment of talent and, therefore, responsibility for non-appearance back to clients and/or advertising agencies. These are incredibly uncertain times, and where possible, as a producer or photographer it is in your best interest to avoid responsibility for non-appearance of talent.
• When selecting talent and crew, you should be aware of the risks of non-appearance linked to Covid 19. This can be difficult, for two reasons:
1. When selecting talent and crew, you must continue to do so in a fair and non-
2. You must be aware that when collecting identifiable personal data relating to health, you are processing sensitive personal data under the GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018.
Bearing in mind the considerations above, you should still have awareness that any production during these uncertain times will have an increased risk of cancellation.
Factors that you may wish to consider when selecting talent and crew as follows:
o Are they in the vulnerable category?
o Do they live with anyone in the vulnerable category?
o Do they have any symptoms?
o Do they live with anyone with symptoms?
o Have they previously had Covid 19?
• If possible, you should get Talent & Crew to agree to waive their fees if a shoot is cancelled due to force majeure, Covid 19 and communicable diseases, which are uninsurable.
• You may wish to organise back up talent and crew to be available at short notice, this is likely to involve additional costs, that should be agreed with the client in advance. This may not be possible in all circumstances.
Terms and conditions
• Consider changing your terms and conditions or let clients know that Covid 19 (Communicable Diseases) are uninsurable and the photographer or producer cannot be held responsible for cancellation as a result of Covid 19.
Risk Assessments and Health and Safety –
• You should read and consider the AOP Guidelines, published on 15th of May 2020.
• You should carry out Risk Assessments for all shoots with additional attention being given to COVID-19 risks.
• You should not knowingly put any vulnerable people at risk or take crew to countries, areas or location where they may be vulnerable.
• You should not put pressure on any crew member or member of staff to work if they do not feel comfortable doing so.
• You should follow all Government Guidelines.
• You may wish to get some advice from the Health & Safety Executive or Independent Risk Managers in relation to Covid 19.
Please note the above guidance is for general information purposes and do not claim to be or constitute legal or other professional advice and shall not be relied upon as such. You should contact your insurance broker or company for further information and clarification on the cover present under any policy you have in place.
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