Source: UK Government
The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) helped to deliver a project which provides £500m to the UK film and TV productions adversely affected by COVID-19. The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, was set up with the help of modelling and actuarial expertise provided by GAD.
TV and film industries had stopped work during lockdown. However, once that was lifted it became apparent there was incomplete insurance cover available and this meant productions found it virtually impossible to continue filming or to acquire finance.
Once we were made aware of the requirements, GAD reacted quickly and helped the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to form a solution. We were part of a multi-disciplinary team which included lawyers, economists and production industry experts.
Our role was to understand the insurance gap created by the pandemic and to design a model that could quantify this. The model had to reflect the uncertainties around the impact of the virus over the period of support. The draft model underwent iterations of refinement following feedback from DCMS and as possible support options, that were acceptable to government and the industry, started to form.
The successful conclusion of this 2-month long project meant that the government can fill the gap left by the lack of suitable insurance. This includes cover for coronavirus-related losses for cast member and crew illnesses, as well as filming delays or disruptions caused by the ongoing battle against the virus.
GAD’s analysis covered the risks around:
sickness – providing cover where a production is delayed by COVID-19
civil authority action – where filming is stopped due a government-imposed local or national lockdown
abandonment – where a production team walks away from a TV or filming project before it is completed due to COVID-19
The help is for a defined period and has been set up to support UK activity, especially small and independent producers. The funding will be available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK and is estimated to cover more than 70% of the film and TV production market to the end of the year.