The writers’ strike in Hollywood lasted 146 days and ended officially on October 9 when members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) ratified a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television (AMPTP). The actors ended their strike on November 8 after the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP. Most productions, new films, and TV shows and series came to a full stop during the strikes.
With the strikes over, production is back on track with the studios gearing up. That’s good news for everyone, including the insurance industry, which provides a portfolio of coverages for commercials, short films, and feature films.
Behind the Strikes
Although television production has proliferated over the past decade with streaming services, the writers claim their compensation remained stagnant. Writers were also concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) and the potential to make their jobs obsolete or to fail to give credit and compensation for their work on which an AI script is based. The deal with the AMPTP includes increases in royalty payments for streaming content and guarantees that AI will not infringe on writers’ credits and compensation.
Actors also wanted increased residual payments from the streaming services. Streaming series typically have far fewer episodes than television series, impacting the actors’ compensation. Additionally, in the past, if a television series was a hit, actors and writers could count on a long stream of regular residual checks. However, streaming has changed the system in a way that was not advantageous for either group. Actors also were looking for guardrails around the use of AI to preserve jobs.
The actors’ deal with the AMPTP includes pay increases, a “streaming participation bonus,” regulations on AI, higher caps on health and pension funds, and compensation bumps for background performers.
Tapping into the Entertainment Insurance Industry
Now that everyone is getting back to work, you can get to work insuring the industry. Your ability to establish or expand your footprint in the entertainment industry is strengthened with Abacus and our various insurance programs designed for this niche market. We offer short-term film production insurance coverage up to 60 days for eligible productions of commercials, music videos, short films, feature films, webisodes, and others. Coverages include General Liability, Auto, Inland Marine (rented and owned equipment, props, sets, etc.), Workers’ Compensation, Excess Liability, Travel Accident, and Volunteer Accident. Cast Extra Expense insurance is also available.
Additionally, we have programs available for longer-term projects that run up to 12 months with budgets of $30 million and for annual productions and DICE (Documentary/Industry/Commercial/ Educational) risks, designed for companies producing multiple projects every year. The DICE production program allows an insured to cover the entire film slate for the year without having to negotiate individual policies for each shoot. Abacus also has a Foreign Productions program for shoots outside the U.S. and Canada.
Our programs are written on A rated admitted paper and available in all 50 states.
We also make things really simple and easy for our broker partners, with the ability to quote and bind coverage online. So, as everyone gets ready to roll the camera, you can get them risk prepared with Abacus.