Insurance cover for movie productions has gained traction, not only in Bollywood, but also among small-budget producers and makers of regional cinema.
The movie industry in India is increasingly opting for insurance cover, the cost of which is rising, with sporadic incidents of violence being witnessed on the sets of high-profile movies and growing risks attached to the realistic action sequences, reported Hindu Business Line.
New generation film maker Abhishek Jain of Cineman Productions, which makes Gujarati films, says that regional cinema faces greater risk of financial loss because unlike Hindi movies, which are supported by bank finance, regional cinema is mostly self-financed.
“People put in their own money. Also, the nature of Gujarati films is such that they do not require sets. They are mostly shot on real locations. So, insurance is not always viable for such movies,” said Mr Jain.
Noted director-producer Mahesh Bhatt highlighted the need for insurance as well as state monitoring and control to make it conducive for film-makers to produce films. “Earlier, we used to have insurance against natural disasters. But the environment today has become very hostile. Attacks on sets and vandalism are man-made losses. Life-long investments and hard work of people are put in jeopardy.”
“An insurance policy covers all the risks associated with the movie in its production stage,” said Sasikumar Adidamu, Chief Technical Officer, Non-Motor, Bajaj Allianz GIC.
Bajaj Allianz has so far insured over 100 regional and Hindi movies. “Over the past year, there has been an uptake in the number of film insurance policies. Bajaj Allianz GIC saw 10-12% growth in 2016-17 over last year in the number of policies,” said Mr Adidamu.
Film insurance policies are usually packaged policies offering a range of covers — for cast, equipment, props, sets, wardrobes, film tapes and negatives, against incidents such as fire, natural disasters, accidents, riots and strikes, among others.
The size of the Indian film industry, including Bollywood and regional productions, is estimated at around INR142 billion (US$2.2 billion), with an annual production of about 1,500-2,000 movies.