U.K. producers are in discussions with the government to extend the £500 million ($664.6 million) COVID-19 insurance scheme for Film & TV production.
As first reported by Broadcast, producers are seeking to extend the deadline by six months, to June 2021. U.K. 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.
“It has not yet been agreed by government, we are working with them on making the case,” Pact chief John McVay told Variety.
When the scheme was first announced, the deadline was originally Dec. 31 and has since been extended to Feb. 28. 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, there is a total cap on claims per production of £5 million ($6.65 million), and productions will need to pay an “appropriate excess” when seeking to claim under the scheme, as well as an “appropriate fee” when joining the scheme. Productions will also need to purchase other, more standard insurance to cover non-coronavirus risks to ensure their production is adequately insured.
The six-month extension would allow for another production cycle to take place over the summer, McVay said.
The process will also become that much easier as the U.K. would have left the European Union, and their attendant rules, by the end of this year.
Insurance claims are expected to significantly reduce as the coronavirus vaccine, which began rolling out across the country last week, expands and reaches a large amount of the population.