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UK producers bid to extend Covid2019 insurance scheme

Pact is currently gathering information to support the extension.

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MUMBAI: UK producers are in discussions with the government to extend the landmark £500 million ($664.6 million) Covid2019 insurance scheme for film & TV production.

Media reports said that producers have sought permission to extend the deadline for the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme to June 2021. If approved, it will ensure coverage for the spring production rush when filmmakers take advantage of longer daylight hours. UK producers’ body Pact is currently gathering information to support the extension, which will be presented to the country’s department for digital, culture, media & sport (DCMS), the government body in charge.

When the proposal was first announced, the deadline was originally 31 December and has since been extended to 28 February. The extension is intended to “help even more productions access the scheme, reflecting ongoing uncertainty and the continued inability of productions to secure private insurance for coronavirus-related risks,” said a statement from the DCMS at the time.

Under the scheme, productions can receive compensation for future coronavirus-related losses including filming delays from illness among cast and crew. There is a total cap on insurance claims per production of £5 million ($6.65 million), and production houses need to pay an “appropriate excess” when seeking to claim under the scheme, as well as an “appropriate fee” when joining the scheme. Productions also need to purchase other, more standard insurance to cover non-Covid2019 risks to ensure their production is adequately insured.

Insurance claims are expected to significantly reduce as the Covid2019 vaccine, which began rolling out across the country last week, expands and reaches maximum people.

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