French Insurers to Include Sexual Harassment Coverage During Shoots

A group of French insurers have set up a clause to protect film productions in case of sexual harassment incidents during filming.

Leading French insurance companies MAIF and AREAS have created the new clause for contracts with the support of the National Film Board (CNC), following negotiations spearheaded by Hugo Rubini, a high-profile insurance broker who specializes in film and commercial productions.

The clause, which will be included in contracts starting July 1, will cover any additional costs due to the delay, postponement or suspension of shoots following “moral or physical prejudice” caused by a person insured and “hurting the integrity of someone participating in the shoot;” or caused by someone working for the person insured and hurting the integrity of someone insured. This extension of insurance comes into effect only if the employer communicates in writing the incident of harassment to the French prosecutor. The amount of the indemnity is capped at 500,000 euros ($596,000) and can’t exceed five days of shoots.

Last October, the CNC launched — in collaboration with the feminist orgs 50/50 Future and the European Association Against Violence Towards Women in the Workplace — a series of workshops aimed at training producers to prevent cases of harassment during shoots. The initiative aims to uncover and prevent sexual misconduct during shoots and post-production. Since Jan. 2021, producers are required to attend the workshop in order to be eligible for CNC subsidies. So far, 1,000 industry professionals have participated in the workshop. The CNC intends to have 9,000 professionals trained by 2023.

Pascal Demurger, managing director of MAIF, and Sylvain Mortera, managing director of AREAS, pointed out that the new clause was part of the insurer’s commitment to help producers, as initially demonstrated through the temporary indemnity fund for postponed shoots during the pandemic, which was launched last May.

“It was a crucial step […] which allowed film shoots to restart. In this spirit, it was important for us to join the battle against sexist and sexual violence on film and TV shoots that the CNC has been spearheading,” said Demurger and Mortera.

“This clause will allow victims to speak out and will ensure that the economic risk of a delayed shoot will not put in question the testimonies of victims,” said the pair.

While the CNC is leading these initiatives, the org’s current president, Dominique Boutonnat, has been placed under formal investigation since February, following a complaint filed by his 22 year-old godson for alleged sexual assault and attempted rape.

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