According to the National Association of Theater Owners, 39,000 indoor movie theaters exist in the United States
Hundreds and possibly thousands of people visit theaters every day. If you run any of these, you want to ensure you have a countermeasure against emergencies. That’s where theater insurance comes in.
Theater insurance ensures that you are protected against financial losses when something unexpected happens, including fires, stampedes, and loss of business property.
Additionally, as a movie theater owner or company, you can obtain business insurance for theatre production which enables your business to obtain financing for the different productions and avoid bankruptcy in the likelihood of an accident.
Having highlighted some of the benefits of theater insurance, it would be prudent to point out what's found within a basic movie theater insurance cover. This is a query you must bring up when conversing with the different theatre insurance brokers. This way, you are able to compare the various offerings.
A basic theater insurance coverage includes compensation for damages to the physical premises or furnishings of the building. Additionally, the cover adequately takes care of your responsibility in the event that any visitor to your facility is injured.
Depending on the unique risks that your movie theater is exposed to, you might decide on negotiating for custom coverage within your theatrical insurance.
Now, suppose your establishment is within a flood-prone area. Negotiate with your insurer to have cover for your storage room against floods. You can also insure equipment and protect your business against loss of income on days when the theater’s operations are temporarily suspended.
Some providers will go a step further and offer community theatre insurance which encompasses all that would otherwise be offered to private theater owners.
As you operate the movie theater, you will likely be dealing with throngs of people. In today's litigious landscape, the chances of you being caught up in lawsuits are quite high.
With public liability insurance for theatre companies, you will be sufficiently covered in such a scenario. Here are some examples to give you an idea about how costly lawsuits can get:
A Kansas movie theater faced a $50,000 lawsuit filed by a customer who got injured after his seat collapsed
A viewer filed a $383,000 lawsuit against a popular theater chain after a slip and fall accident caused by a wet floor
Suppose one of your patrons trips on a prop or seat and sustains an injury or property damage. Public liability insurance would be responsible for covering the costs, specifically:
The medical treatment of the claimant
Reimbursements for the claimant’s losses after his or her property got damaged due to your theater’s fault
Pay for attorney fees, administrative costs, and legal expenses
Public liability insurance provides $1 million-$2 million coverage for each personal injury or property damage claim. Note that this only covers claims filed by visitors, viewers, vendors, and other individuals who are not part of your theater’s operations.
So what particular situations will public liability insurance be useful? The following are incidents in which the policy can cover costs:
Theater equipment falling over a guest
Slip and fall accidents due to spilled drinks
Tripp and fall accidents due to narrow spaces and poorly lit pathways
Note that public liability insurance only covers claims for bodily injury or property damage. If you want a policy that covers other liabilities, consider getting general liability insurance.
The primary function of general liability insurance is similar to public liability insurance. It will also:
Cover medical treatments of third injured by your theater
Refund the value of damaged properties third parties own
Pay for legal defense costs
But note that, unlike public liability insurance, additional coverages can be added to the terms of general liability insurance. These are:
Advertising injury coverage-With advertising injury coverage added, general liability insurance will pay for settlements, attorney fees, administrative costs, and other related expenses if a third party sues your theater for slander, libel, and copyright infringement
Rented premises liability coverage-You can add rented premises liability coverage if your theater is renting a building. Rented premises liability coverage will reimburse the owner if his property is damaged by fire due to your negligence
General liability insurance for small theatre companies provides a $1 million-$2 million coverage for each claim of bodily injury or property damage. Big theaters can get up to $10 million coverage from general liability insurance.
Remember that general liability insurance only covers claims filed by viewers, visitors, vendors, and other individuals not part of your theater’s management.
Insurance companies will ask you to include a product liability policy in theater insurance if your theater is selling burgers, wings, popcorn, and pizza to viewers.
Product liability insurance will cover settlements and defense costs if patrons sustain a foodborne illness after eating the food sold in your theater. Not only this, but the policy will also help if your theater is accused or guilty of mishandling or preparing food poorly.
Your theater can also leverage product liability insurance if it sells merchandise that harm or damage the properties of others by having:
Product liability insurance has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence limit. You can avail this as an additional coverage to general liability insurance.
General liability or public liability insurance is adequate, but you must consider getting an umbrella or excess liability policy. Think of this as an expansion of your public liability or general liability policy’s limits.
You must understand that umbrella liability insurance doesn’t cover any kind of claims. It merely supplements the funds of your general liability or public liability insurance policy.
Umbrella liability insurance kicks in if your general liability or public liability insurance can’t fully cover a claim. You can also use this when you have exhausted their limits. Here’s an example for you to understand:
Someone sued your theater for injuries and is demanding $1 million. Your general liability insurance has zero funds because you’ve already used it to cover a previous lawsuit. In this case, umbrella liability insurance will provide an additional $1 million so that your general liability insurance can cover the claim
Your theater damaged someone’s property. Now, the person is demanding you reimburse his loss which costs $2 million. Your general liability insurance has $1 million. In this case, umbrella liability insurance will cover the excess.
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Your theater can’t run without employees. Someone must maintain equipment and lighting, attend to the sound system, keep the premises clean, man the counter, etc.
Since your theater will employ three or more people, getting workers compensation insurance is a smart thing to do. Let's look at the situations in which either your concession stand workers, ticket takers, or other employees within the facility get hurt while dispensing their duties:
The technician can fall from a height while maintaining or installing lights
The utility personnel of your theater can slip, trip, and fall while cleaning
Get cut or burned while preparing food
Muscle injuries due to repetitive tasks
You can use workers compensation insurance to cover the following costs when an employee gets hurt due to a work-related accident:
Ambulance and emergency treatment-If an accident happens at your theater, and an employee needs to be rushed to the hospital, workers compensation insurance will cover ambulance and emergency treatment expenses
Hospitalization-The workers' compensation insurance of your theater can cover bills if an employee is admitted to the hospital after sustaining an injury caused by a work-related accident
Medication-Workers compensation insurance gives money your employee can use to buy prescription medicines for a work-related injury to heal
Rehabilitation-In case of impairment, workers compensation insurance covers retraining costs, therapist fees, and other rehabilitation expenses
Lost wages-Your theater must cover the lost wages of an employee who can’t work due to a work-related injury. Workers' compensation insurance allows you to satisfy this responsibility without incurring losses. Through workers comp, your theater’s employee will receive a weekly allowance equal to two-thirds or 67% of the average weekly pay
Death benefits-If a work-related accident resulted in the death of an employee, your theater can use workers' compensation insurance to cover funeral expenses and give an allowance to dependents
Your theater must have workers' compensation insurance because it will employ one or more people. And depending on which state your theater is operating, there’s no exception even if those working for you are family members.
Most theaters use workers' compensation insurance to cover the injuries of employees that result from work-related accidents. Nonetheless, you need to know that the policy can also be used to cover a disease of an employee proven to be work-related.
So how long does workers' compensation insurance cover your employee? Usually, your employee will receive money from workers comp for 3 to 7 years or if he or she is fit enough to work.
Last but not least, remember that workers' compensation insurance doesn’t cover volunteers, unpaid interns, and other workers who are not part of your business’s payroll.
Workers' compensation insurance is an expensive policy. You will spend thousands on premiums. Nonetheless, paying the hefty cost of workers comp is better than facing the underlying problems of not having it.
Your theater will face penalties if authorities find out that it doesn’t have workers' compensation insurance. Penalties differ from state to state.
That said, let’s take a look at the penalty for not having workers' compensation insurance in the most recommended states for theater companies:
California-Theaters with no workers compensation insurance face a misdemeanor charge punishable by a $10,000 fine or a one-year imprisonment in the county jail
New York-New York authorities impose a $2,000 fine for every ten days a theater operated without workers' compensation insurance
Illinois-Deliberately refusing to get workers' compensation insurance is punishable by a $10,000 minimum fine. Officers or owners of the theater can also be responsible for indemnification
Georgia-Theaters without workers' compensation insurance in Georgia pay $500-$5,000 for each violation. Owners and executives can also face a misdemeanor charge punishable by a one-year imprisonment
Maryland-In Maryland, theaters that operate without workers' compensation insurance face a $10,000 fine. If such theaters are registered as corporations, executives will bear the responsibility of paying the penalty
For your theater to be popular among viewers, you've got to go an extra mile to ensure their comfort, enjoyment, and safety by keeping the building and equipment in good shape. You also need to mitigate losses in case your theater experiences business property damage or loss because of the following perils:
The primary function of commercial property insurance is to protect your theater’s building. It will:
Reimburse financial losses if your theater’s building sustains damage due to the perils mentioned above
Reimburse financial losses when your theater’s building experiences complete destruction because of the above-mentioned causes
This type of theatre company insurance comes with contents coverage. Contents coverage will recoup losses if seats, decor, furniture, and valuable items inside your theater become damaged or destroyed.
You can decide to add equipment breakdown coverage to commercial property insurance. Equipment breakdown coverage will cater to replacement or repair expenses if your theater’s lighting, sound system, computers, and other equipment is physically damaged due to:
Mechanical or electrical defects
So how much money can you get from commercial property insurance? The policy provides a $10,000-$25,000 minimum coverage for your theater’s building and contents. Equipment breakdown coverage, on the other hand, provides $2,500-$5,000 for repair or replacement expenses.
Always go over the fine print of your commercial property insurance. Some business properties or perils won’t be covered by the policy and they will be named as exclusions. In such a case, you need to add riders or endorsements to commercial property insurance, so that it covers exclusions.
For instance, commercial property insurance always excludes floods, earthquakes, and mudslides. And to cover these perils, you need to purchase flood damage, earthquake, and mudslide endorsements.
Suppose you have scheduled streaming at your movie theater, and you can no longer host the event due to unavoidable situations. In that case, you want to invest in a theatre cancellation insurance. This policy protects you from irrecoverable costs and expenses you might incur as a result of the cancellation. Some providers might be able to reimburse you for the ticket fees.
Commercial auto insurance is available if your theater owns a vehicle for hauling equipment and transporting employees to or from work. These are the coverages your theater can get from this type of movie theater insurance policy:
Auto liability coverage-Auto liability coverage will cover medical treatments and reimburse losses if your theater’s vehicle caused an accident that resulted to injuries or property damage of third parties
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage-Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in if your theater’s vehicle gets involved in an accident caused by a driver who isn’t insured or doesn’t have enough insurance. It will pay the medical treatments and refunds for property damage the driver at fault would’ve paid you
Medical payments coverage-Medical payments coverage will pay the medical expenses, hospitalization, and funeral costs of the driver and passengers in the event of a vehicular accident. Coverage applies regardless if the accident was the fault of your theater’s vehicle or not
Personal injury protection-Personal injury protection also kicks in if your theater’s commercial vehicle got involved in an accident or caused one resulting in the injuries of the driver and passengers. But unlike medical payments coverage, it doesn’t only cover funeral costs, medical expenses, and hospitalization but also lost wages, medication, and rehabilitation
Physical damage coverage-Physical damage coverage will take care of costs if the parts of your theater’s vehicle needs to be repaired or replaced after sustaining damage due to a collision, fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils
The auto liability coverage of commercial auto insurance will not help if your theater’s vehicle is involved in a criminal activity and caused an accident.
Commercial auto insurance offers personal injury protection coverage if your theater is in a “no fault” state. On the other hand, medical payments coverage is what’s available in a “fault state”.
It is prudent to mention that there is no fixed cost for theater insurance. Each insurance carrier will tend to provide its own set of criteria when it comes to determining theater insurance cost.
On average, general liability insurance for theaters cost $32 per month or $387 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance policy. Commercial property insurance attracts a cost of $700 per year, while worker's compensation will cost you $1,200 in annual premiums.
In addition, take a look at this table that shows the rates of the best theater insurance companies:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|Thimble||$21.88||$262.56||Commercial property insurance for movie theaters|
|NEXT||$25||$300||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance|
|CoverWallet||$29||$348||Theater insurance quotes comparison online|
|Tivly||$33||$396||Comparing theater insurance quotes over the phone|
|Hiscox||$45.65||$547.80||BOP for theaters with worldwide coverage|
|Chubb||Chubb doesn’t state the average cost of its theater insurance||Chubb doesn’t state the average cost of its theater insurance||Ease of use|
Compare quotes to find the best protection at the most reasonable rate. Click the “Get Quotes” button on this page to start.
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Here are some reviews of the best theater insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and cost for a $1 million general liability insurance.
Cheap general liability insurance
Issues a certificate of insurance online you can send in different ways
Excellent customer service and reputation
Great value for money
10% discount if you buy two or more policies
Doesn’t cover theaters with highly perilous activities
NEXT doesn’t underwrite a specialized theater insurance program. However, it offers one that’s underwritten by Tivly.
But in case you really want insurance from NEXT, then this company can cover you through its entertainment insurance, which offers general liability and errors and omissions insurance.
NEXT’s general liability and E&O insurance has a $2 million per occurrence limit with a $4 million aggregate. The company doesn’t require you to pay any deductible.
Workers compensation and commercial property insurance can be added if you upgrade your performing arts insurance for theaters into a business owner’s policy.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance
Average cost: $25 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Provisions for online purchase of coverage
Fast and easy insurance application
Users get quotes instantly from multiple providers
You get licensed insurance agents who work with you to understand your policy
You get to manage all your insurance policies in one place, which makes it easier to review your coverage, pay bills and file claims
You can compare the different quotes from different companies using CoverWallet's online quotes comparison platform
CoverWallet is just a broker and doesn't provide insurance itself. It's dependent on partners to offer the coverage customers need
CoverWallet is a web-based insurance managed platform that offers simplified management of business insurance policies. They have an impressive catalog of offerings, including theater insurance for movie theaters.
CoverWallet offers tiered coverage options for movie theater owners and companies. You have the basic coverage, which offers a general liability policy. With this plan, you get coverage against claims from bodily injury, property damage and personal injury.
Additionally, you get coverage for claims against delivered products and services or what's often referred to as products and completed operations coverage.
The next tier is dubbed the standard plan. Here, you get all that’s offered within the basic tier. Additionally, you get general liability and property insurance. The specifics that are covered include:
Damage to third-party property
Business personal property
Lost business income
The pro option provides the most comprehensive coverage, and in addition to what you get with the other prior tiers, you secure business owner’s policy (BOP) and worker's compensation. You get coverage for all work-related accidents and diseases. This will include the cost of any ongoing treatment and compensation for all the missed earnings during recovery.
In the event that you wish to secure any additional cover, you can negotiate for a custom plan that will include professional liability and cyber liability insurance
Other than offering you custom options, CoverWallet does go a step further to help you figure out which insurance product and tier best meets your needs.
Best for: Theater insurance quotes comparison online
Average cost: $29 per month
Build your insurance program from the ground-up
Compare quotes over the phone
Responsive customer service
You need to call to get a quote and purchase insurance
You need to call a representative of Tivly (formerly CommercialInsurance.NET) to know if it covers theater companies. If the company approves your request to get insured, then you’ll enjoy its general liability policy having $1 million per occurrence limit with an aggregate set at $2 million.
Aside from general liability insurance, other business insurance you can avail from Tivly are workers compensation, commercial property, commercial auto, excess liability, and stand-alone product liability insurance.
Call Tivly now and compare quotes over the phone.
Best for: Comparing theater insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $33 per month
Our rating: 9/10
You can upgrade your BOP into a platinum, gold, or silver insurance plan
You can add $500,000 equipment breakdown coverage to commercial property insurance
General liability and commercial property insurance has a deductible
You can get covered by Thimble through its movie and film production insurance. Policies available are general liability and commercial property insurance, which you can bundle in a BOP.
Note that your general liability insurance from Thimble will offer a $1 million per occurrence limit with a $250 deductible.
On the other hand, Thimble’s commercial property insurance provides $500,000 building coverage with a $500 deductible. Contents also get a $100,000 coverage with the same deductible.
Best for: Commercial property insurance for movie theaters
Average cost: $21.88 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Expensive policy downpayment
Straightforward BOP for theaters
Doesn’t underwrite a specialized theater insurance program and insures you through its artist insurance
Hiscox doesn’t sell a specialized theater insurance program. Nonetheless, you can be covered through its insurance program for artists, which is a business owner’s policy having general liability and commercial property policies.
Your general liability insurance from this company has a $1 million per occurrence limit and $2 million aggregate limit. Also, there’s no deductible.
On the other hand, Hiscox’s commercial property insurance primarily offers a $25,000 coverage for equipment and building damage or loss. However, you can decide to get lower limits.
Best for: BOP for theaters with worldwide coverage
Average cost: $45.65 per month
Our rating: 8/10
24/7 claims reporting
Exceptional customer service
Outstanding financial stability
Chubb is not a BBB-accredited company
Online reviews point to relatively expensive coverage
You need to call to get a quote
For more than 25 years, Chubb has been offering insurance products to meet the needs of its customer base. Today, Chubb offers specialized products and services that meet the unique needs of movie theater owners.
Chubb has unique offerings both for small-scale theater owners as well as large-stage and touring theatrical productions. Chubb's theatrical package includes protection for:
Money and Securities
Note the performance disruption coverage that's part of Chubb's theatre insurance policy covers the owner from any losses due to cancellation, interruption or postponement of the performance. The policy goes further than the typical industry business income policies to insure losses due to the company's inability to open a new production schedule.
With the theatrical property policy, all the property used in production, including props, sets, wardrobe, sound and lighting equipment, mechanical and computer equipment and backstage property, are covered.
The policy pays out to you the replacement cost of these, ensuring that the theater continues to function without much downtime. Further, this theatrical package protects the personal effects of all the employees as well as property under the care of the theater company.
When it comes to prices, Chubb is not forthcoming with the premiums. You are encouraged to contact agents to determine how much premiums will cost.
Best for: Ease of use
Average cost: Chubb doesn’t state the average cost of its theater insurance
Our rating: 8/10
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!
It really can't get any better than this... wow