There is a Film & TV Production Restart Scheme that is designed to cover some of the Covid-related risks to productions including crew-related costs and other costs resulting from actions of the civil authorities (i.e. lockdowns etc).
This Scheme has been established to facilitate the commencement of new, and the restart of existing, film and TV productions in the UK, which have been unable to proceed in light of the lack of insurance cover for certain COVID-19 related risks on commercially viable terms.
Insurance products are considered commercially unviable where the value of the premium quoted is so high, and/or the nature of the cover offered is so limited, that it would not be commercially reasonable for the production to rely on such insurance.
The Scheme is not intended to cover all risks arising in respect of film and TV productions, nor is it intended to respond to every type of COVID-19 risk. Compensation will only be available under the Scheme in respect of two categories of risk, namely:
- Cast Losses
- Civil Authority Losses
… further detail on which is provided in paragraph 11 (Eligible Losses).
Producers will, therefore, still need to arrange for appropriate insurance cover in respect of other risks of the relevant production not covered by the Scheme.
In order for the Cast Losses or Civil Authority Losses to be deemed Eligible Losses (i.e. losses which can be claimed against under the Scheme), the losses must have been incurred on or after 28 July 2020, but before the date on which the Scheme closes.
As from 1 April 2021, future claims made under the Scheme cannot be backdated to 28 July 2020.
The registration deadline for this scheme is 23:59 GMT on 31 October 2021, and claims will be able to be submitted up to 23:59 GMT on 31 March 2022 for losses incurred up until 23:59 GMT on 31 December 2021.
DCMS will be periodically reviewing the scheme to make sure it achieves its objectives to support film and television productions to restart following the impacts of Covid-19.
Note: It would be interesting to know how far this covers for crew costs in the event of covid disruptions. An initial reading says they would be covered though it would be interesting to see if ‘replacements’ where it isn’t a key member of the cast mean that cover is limited. And is there any pressure on productions to get contracts full of unpaid hiatuses signed?