A shoot gone wrong, an unhappy client, an email from your client’s lawyer. Things don’t always go to plan. So, do production companies need professional indemnity?


Professional indemnity is an insurance product designed to protect you and your production business. But what is professional indemnity insurance, and what does it really cover?


What is professional indemnity?

In very simple terms, professional indemnity covers you for mistakes or an allegation you’ve made a mistake.

Professional indemnity provides:

  • Compensation to your client (or a third-party) in circumstances where you are liable due to professional negligence
  • Defence costs, to defend you against un-justified allegations of negligence

A basic professional indemnity product will only protect you against allegations of negligence. There are, however, professional indemnity policies that cover a lot more, such as the policies we provide for our production companies. Matters such as breach of intellectual property including copyright infringement, breach of confidentiality and breach of confidence are often covered under more comprehensive professional indemnity policies.


Can only clients make a valid claim under professional indemnity insurance?

Whilst traditionally professional indemnity would only cover claims from clients. Production Companies can be at risk from claims from third-parties that are not engaged as clients. For example, a competitor production company could bring a claim against you for breach of copyright, or even a model can allege you hadn’t obtained written clearance. A comprehensive professional indemnity policy will cover claims from any third-party, not just unhappy clients.


I’ve never had a claim before, do I really need professional indemnity as a production company?

As a specialist production insurance broker, we handle claims relating to damaged or stolen equipment each and every week. Professional indemnity claims are certainly less frequent, but extremely stressful for production company directors, and they can be extremely expensive. It’s easy to quantify the value of the claim for a damaged camera. Quantifying the loss for a breach of copyright, for example, can be far more difficult.

In the unlikely event something does go wrong, there’s nothing worse than attempting to handle this matter yourself. If you are insured with a specialist media insurer, their claims handlers and solicitors are experts in these situations, and may be able make the problem disappear without too much fuss. More time for you to do what you love … producing great productions.


So, what can go wrong?

A common question, and one that’s difficult to answer. We handle a number of professional indemnity claims throughout the year, some can be settled quickly, others can involve months of negotiation and mediation. As the title of the product suggests, it protects the production companies professional reputation. As such, it is very difficult to share the specific details of the claims we have handled.


What cover is provided to Production Companies by Williamson Carson?

The production professional indemnity insurance we provide, offers cover over and above a standard professional indemnity policy. The insurance automatically covers matters specific to production companies, such as intellectual property including copyright infringement, breach of licence, breach of confidentiality and breach of confidence as well as an unintentional breach of a written contract (note: all the more reason to get things in writing).

For any questions relating to the insurance or for the full terms and conditions, please contact us on 0208 658 5038. Williamson Carson can also provide Public Liability and Equipment insurance on its specialist production insurance scheme.


Please note: This blog and the examples therein are for general information purposes only, and does not claim to be professional advice and shall not be relied upon as such. 

Williamson Carson are experts in insurance and passionate about supporting the creative industries. Discover how we can help protect you from risk, with bespoke cover for your industry. Contact us now. Read more insights and interviews by Williamson Carson.