Completion Bond for Film and TV Productions

What is a Completion Bond?

A Completion Bond (also "Completion Guarantee" or simply "Bond") is an Insurance Product. In the Entertainment Industry it protects a Film for the benefit of the Investors.

What is the purpose of a Completion Bond?

A Completion Bond insures that a Production will be delivered on Budget and on Schedule.

How does a Completion Bond work?

There are 5 major steps to a Completion Bond:

  1. Initial Approach through the Broker
  2. Due Diligence of Production Documents
  3. Underwriting the Insurance
  4. Monitoring the Production
  5. Delivery of the Production

Why should a Production have a Completion Bond?

An independent film production takes time to mature and is never a spontaneous event. It takes strategy, planning and funding to make a Film Production into a reality. In todays Entertainment Industry it also takes modern technology and modern marketing to assure awareness for a film's distribution.

Finally it needs Investors who want to benefit financially from being involved in the Film.

The Insurance Company provides both security for the Investors and a line of defense against many problems that can arise in a Production.

In summary, the Completion Bond will provide the solutions to many problems that are presented.

Benefits to the Investor / Bank

  • Delivery on Time
  • Delivery on Budget
  • „Money-Back“ Insurance
  • Quick payment on „Non-Payment“ Issues
  • Less Defaults on Loans/GAP/Cashflow
  • Transparency
  • Investing in vetted projects

When the Insurer agrees to issue a Bond to a particular Production this is a recommendation to the Investors that the particular film project in question is deemed sound. Conversely, the non-issuance of a Bond can be a warning to Investors that the project is not a sound one.

Benefits to the Producer

  • Building Trust with Investors
  • Easier collection of Investor Funds
  • Ease of Transaction / Quicker Cashflow
  • Extra level of helpful Audit
  • Co-Creation of Solutions
  • Detect Risk earlier
  • Quick Issue Resolution

How is a Completion Guarantee monitored?

A Film Completion Bond oversees the full financial make-up of the Production. It is an audit of the full Production, including Pre-Production, Post-Production and Delivery. They are all being monitored live, while the process of Production and Delivery is happening.

The Insurers require the Risk Management Team to oversee the Production and Delivery constantly during the Period of Cover. Guaranteed Completions will act as this Supervising Entity.


Pre-Production

  • Constant Updates

Principal Photography

  • Daily Call Sheets
  • Daily Shooting Reports
  • Scenes for review, to check progress
  • Weekly Cost Reports and Cashflow Statements
  • Visiting the Set 1-2 times (by the Risk Management Team)

Post-Production

  • Monthly Progress Reports
  • Scenes for review, to check progress
  • Monthly Cost Reports and Cashflow Statements
  • Visiting Post-Production (if Visual Effects heavy or Animation)

What does a Completion Bond do when a Project is about to go over Time?

The Insurance Company has the legal power to finish and deliver the Film in the manner the Investors agreed to invest in the first place.

What does a Completion Bond do when a Project is about to go over Budget?

The Insurance Company can choose to provide additional funds to Complete and Deliver the Production or can abandon the Production and repay the spent funds to such parties to the extent covered by the Completion Bond.

Completion Bond FAQs

Does a Completion Bond cover Covid-19 / Corona Virus?

Corona is not part of what a Completion Bond covers. Right now there is no insurance product worldwide known to us, which insures against Covid-19.

Can I get a Completion Bond while Covid-19 / Corona is ongoing?

As long as the Production adheres to local Government guidelines, protects its crew, plans for enough time and budgets for Corona-related costs, there is in general nothing preventing it from receiving a Completion Bond cover.

How much does a Completion Bond cost?

The cost of a Completion Bond is bound to several factors:

  • Calculated based on the Strike Price. The Strike Price is the full budget minus a few items.
  • Dependent on Risk Factors of the Production incl. experience of the team, complexity of the story, complexity of the production structure etc.

On top of the Insurance Premium, the Broker has to charge local Insurance Tax. Insurance Tax is non-deductible. It should be part of your planned budget from the beginning.

Get a quote for your Production

How long does it take to get a Completion Bond?

Producers requiring Completion Bonds are normally in touch with the Risk Management 6-9 month before start of principal photography. Due Diligence on an independent film production takes 1-3 month. Rarely Completion Bonds can be acquired in a matter of 4 weeks.

What is the minimum Budget and Limit of a Completion Bond?

  • Minimum Budget for a Completion Bond is around 2 Mio €.
  • The Limit of Guaranteed Completions' offer caters to independent productions up to 25-35 Mio. € - a bit more on TV Series.

If your Budget is higher - no worries - let's talk.

What type of Productions can get a Completion Bond?

All kinds of audio-visual Productions can benefit from a Film Bond:

  • Feature Films
  • TV Films
  • TV Series
  • Mini Series
  • Animation Features
  • Animation Series
  • Documentaries

Excluded are Short Films, Commercials, Music Videos and Video Games.

How can I get a Completion Bond?

To get a Completion Bond the Producer or Line Producer should approach an Entertainment Insurance Broker.

Get in touch with our Broker
Last updated: 2020-07-16

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