With an illustrious history dating back over 100 years to Hollywood’s silent film era, entertainment insurance has a vital role to play in ensuring the show goes on, as Lauren Bailey, the Global Head of Entertainment at AGCS, explains in an interview.
Question: Entertainment insurance is a new global business line for AGCS in 2015 but its origins date back much further….
Answer: We have been insuring films since the silent era in the 1890s (through the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, whose commercial insurance unit is now integrated with AGCS). From the earliest motion pictures featuring The Keystone Cops and Charlie Chaplin, through all 24 James Bond productions, to a host of Best Picture Oscar winners, over the years we have protected thousands of films for the industry’s top studios. However, the entertainment insurance portfolio also covers a broad portfolio of projects in addition to Hollywood blockbusters, such as independent films, documentaries, network television programs and commercials, music tours, festivals and other live events.
Q: What kind of risks does entertainment insurance cover?
A: Entertainment insurance typically covers property and casualty risks to productions and live events. It can include physical risks for cast, crew, wardrobe, sets and equipment. General liability also represents a key entertainment cover, for example at events where an organizer will need cover for injuries to performers and audience members. We also offer coverage for extra expenses associated with a production delay.
Risk prevention is another important feature of what we do. We have dedicated entertainment risk consultants who are able to offer safety guidance, knowledge and insights to help protect cast members, performers, sets and audience members alike.
We also play a significant role in supporting industry groups promoting safety, such as the Event Safety Alliance in North America for example, which is dedicated to improving safety through all phases of event production.
Q: How is the entertainment industry changing?
A: Today, the entertainment business constitutes a huge global marketplace. Markets such as the US, Canada and the UK are still extremely important but movies and television programs are now filmed in many different locations around the world. Similarly, in the ‘live’ sector more and more artists are going on tour to locations around the world.
Technological advances mean people are really pushing the envelope in terms of visual effects, stunts and locations; both in filming and on stage at a live event. For example, many concerts are now huge productions, incorporating elaborate elements previously only seen in the movies. Such changes mean risk consulting, underwriting and claims expertise have become a much more important component of the entertainment business. And with the industry rapidly expanding into new markets, including emerging economies, this creates opportunities for insurers which can operate on a global level.
Q: What is the most satisfying part of your job?
A: The challenge. Every day is different. Every risk is different. We never really know what we are going to be faced with when we come in to work. It is pretty much a 24/7 business because we are supporting a fast-paced global industry. Many of the productions that we work on are quite fluid. Things change and can do so very quickly; it could be the impact of the weather or something to do with an artist or cast member. It is just such an exciting business and we need to expect the unexpected. I’m fortunate to work with the best people in the business and I feel like I learn something new every day.