A filmmaker friend asked me whether she should buy insurance for herself as she starts work on a middle budget film that has some overseas shooting. My stand is this: ALL filmmakers (not just directors, but crew members, even interns) MUST buy personal accident insurance for yourselves because of the higher risk of injury that being in this industry entails. I have been in many shoots in Singapore where safety is compromised because of the need to finish fast or where there is not enough personnel to ensure that a job is properly done. Double these risks if you are overseas and in unfamiliar terrain
Don’t depend on the coverage from your company because their insurance is likely to cover their equipment more than it covers you. If you are a freelance crew member, it may not cover you at all.
The genre of insurance to buy is called “personal accident” insurance. You can insure yourself for the scenario where you lose a limb or life caused by accidents. (eg one leg, $50,000, one toe $5,000). The bigger the cover amount, the higher the premium. Some insurance plans cover you for loss of income while you are hospitalised or immobile. Others pay for you to be airlifted back for treatment if you are injured overseas. All for as little as SGD200/year.
Please note that the personal accident insurance does not cover you for hospital expenses. For hospitalisation make sure that you have medishield coverage (or their private permutations like incomeshild or myshield etc). For wall to wall coverage, you should buy the rider too. Hospital bills, especially prolonged stays can wipe your family out.
This is a no brainer. Buy it!