British TV and film producers are fighting to secure insurance payouts running to “many many millions” of pounds after the coronavirus pandemic shut down shoots.
Pact CEO John McVay revealed that he is working to help producers with more than 500 claims lodged when the lockdown was introduced in March, and has been in regular discussions with insurers and brokers in recent weeks over payouts.
“I wasn’t much of an expert on production insurance a few weeks ago, but I’ve become very familiar now. Some of the brokers and [insurance] companies are now my best friends,” McVay joked during a virtual industry production panel organized by the Royal Television Society.
The work is in addition to proposals he has submitted to the UK government to create a multi-million-pound emergency insurance fund, which would underwrite the cost of productions closing in the event of a second lockdown.
McVay described the idea as a “temporary fix” while the government puts in place cross-industry plans to underwrite pandemic-related insurance claims. “Watch this space,” he added. “We’re trying to get something that we can get to market relatively soon so people can start planning.”
And it’s not just producers that are vulnerable to the insurance issues. McVay said the UK broadcasters’ insurance policies come to an end “very shortly,” meaning they won’t be covered for COVID-19 either.
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