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Completion Bond for Film and TV Productions

What is a Completion Bond?

A Completion Bond is a Film Investor Insurance. Some call it "Completion Guarantee" or "Bond". In the Entertainment Industry it protects a Film. The Insurance Product acts as a financial guarantee. This security benefits the providers of a film's finances.

What is the purpose of a Completion Guarantee?

A Film Bond guarantees delivery of a Film on Budget and on Schedule. The Completion and Payment Guarantee makes sure the project will be completed. It covers exceeded Budgets and delayed Delivery. The Guarantor will assume many of these related risks.

Why should a Production have a Completion Bond?

An independent film production takes time to mature. This is never a spontaneous event. A Film Production combines strategy, planning and substantial funding. Investors expect a financial benefit from the Film. The Insurance Company provides security for the Investors.

It is a line of defense against problems arising during production. The Completion Bond provides solutions to many of those issues presented.

What are the parties to a Completion Bond?

A Film Completion Bond is a three-party contract framework.

  1. Film Production (party to the Completion Agreement)
  2. Financier(s) / Movie Investor(s) (party to the Completion Guarantee)
  3. Completion Guarantor (the Insurance Company)

The protected film investors might receive claim compensation. In Completion Guarantee terms they are Beneficiaries/Loss Payees.

The term Financier does not only recognize Private Investors, but it expands into Debt Financing, Gap Financing, Film Funds (Tax Incentives, Tax Credits), or even investments made for Product Placement.

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Benefits to the Producer

  • Security - Extra level of helpful Audit
  • Trust - Building Trust with Investors
  • Transparency - Ease of Transaction / Quicker Cashflow / Better Interest Rates
  • Detect Risk earlier
  • Co-Creation of Solutions
  • Quick Issue Resolution
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Benefits to the Financier (Investor / Bank)

  • Security - „Money-Back“ Insurance
  • Trust - Investing in vetted projects
  • Transparency - All partners committed to the same structure
  • Delivery on Time
  • Delivery on Budget

Issuing a Bond signals that a film project in question might be sound. The non-issuance of a Bond can be a warning towards the project.

How does a Completion Bond work?

A Completion Bond protects investments into a movie in 4 different ways:

  1. Delivery of the Production according to specification. This includes script, budget, schedule, key cast and crew.
  2. If required, take over Production to ensure meeting the specification.
  3. Loan excess costs to the Production, if required to Complete And Deliver.
  4. Repay the film's financiers, if there is no Completion or Delivery.

What are the different steps of a Film Completion Bond?

There are 5 major steps to a Bonded Movie:

  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

How to approach a Completion Bond Broker? (Step 1)

For Film Completion Bond Insurance you (the project owner) approach a Broker. You can talk to one of our Completion Guarantee Brokers below. Else contact your trusted Media Broker who typically supplies your FPIs. A search engine will provide an Entertainment Broker in your country.

The Broker starts the conversation on this European offer for Film Bonds.

What happens in Due Diligence of the Production? (Step 2)

The Bond Guarantor tasks the Risk Management with an assessment of the production. Some of the first documents that are looked at are:

  • Script
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Finance Plan
  • Key Cast and Crew

How is a Completion Guarantee for Film underwritten? (Step 3)

Underwriting has 4 phases:

  1. Due Diligence of the production has to generate a positive Risk Assessment.
  2. The decision to insure gets made by the Insurer. This means there is a Guarantor's green light.
  3. The Completion Agreement and Completion Guarantee are signed. This acts as a Certificate of Insurance.
  4. Finally the Film Completion Bond Broker will issue a Premium invoice.

How is a Completion Guarantee monitored? (Step 4)

A Film Completion Bond oversees the financial make-up of a Production. It is an audit of the full Production. This includes monitoring Pre-Production, Post-Production and Delivery. Monitoring Production and Delivery is a continuous process. During the Period of Cover the Insurer requires constant information. Guaranteed Completions' Risk Management Team acts as this Supervising Entity.


  • Constant Updates

Principal Photography

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


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

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

The Completion Guarantor can provide additional funds to Complete and Deliver the bonded film. Otherwise it can abandon the Production. Abandonment might lead to repayment of spent funds. Parties will receive payment to the extent covered by the Completion Bond.

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

Delivery on Time is part of a Completion Guarantee cover. The Completion Guarantor has legal power to control the Delivery. It secures the timeline the Investor agreed to in the first place. Delayed Delivery resulting in non-payment of a Distributor can become a Bond claim.

What does it mean for a Production to be in Delivery? (Step 5)

Delivery to various Distributors follows Post-Production. Delivery includes audio-visual files and supplemental records. The industry calls insured items "Bonded Delivery Items". A Distributor's non-acceptance triggers a Guarantor's liability.

Acceptance in a technical fault-free state is important to Financiers. Distributor's final payment obligations are contingent on it. This returns substantial rates of production loans.

Accepted Delivery concludes a Guarantor's duty.

Completion Bond FAQs

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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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 2-3 month. Rarely Completion Bonds can be acquired in a matter of 4 weeks.

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

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  • Minimum Budget for a Completion Bond is around 3 Mio €.
  • The Limit of Guaranteed Completions' offer caters to independent Feature and Animation productions up to 20-30 Mio. € - on TV Series up to 50 Mio. €.

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

What type of Productions can get a Completion Bond?

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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?

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

Get in touch with our Broker
Last updated: 2022-04-22

Misc. Completion Bond Information

What other insurances does a Completion Bond require?

A Bonding company requires that the production protects itself against the most common risk occurrences by getting production insurance cover for at least the following:

  • Film Production Indemnity (Film Production Insurance)
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Essential Element Insurance (if applicable)
  • Error and Omission Insurance "E&O" (this policy cover is often required, especially if US distributors are involved)
  • Standard Business Insurance, incl. protection from property damage etc.

Other terms used for these by your Broker might be:

  • Short Term Film Production Insurance
  • Video Production Insurance

Also the two above mostly apply to commercials and short films, not to feature film productions or TV series.

Where do I get Film Insurance?

Your Film Insurance Broker will be able to quote you the cost, coverage and application details, as well as give you an in depth understanding of deductibles, exclusions and Covid precautions.

What is not insured by a Film Completion Bond Insurance?

While a Film Bond caters to the financial interest of the Investors and Lenders, what is not guaranteed is the quality of a Production nor its financial success at the Box Office.

For which Countries can I get a Completion Guarantee?

A Film Completion Bond is available globally. Some Countries are difficult because of their Country Risk (either political or financial). Most global co-productions have a partner from Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France), the UK, the United States or Canada.

Where do Completion Bonds originate?

Completion bonds have their origins in one of their primary uses - the construction industry. The insurance protects construction loans by guaranteeing the builders complete construction on time and on budget. They are called construction bonds or performance bonds.

The Bond Issuer is often called Guarantor.

What are other names for a Completion Bond?

In connection to Film and TV most time "Completion Guarantee" is used to describe the coverage given to production companies.

The category of completion bonds is sometimes described with different terms as follows:

  • Completion Guaranty
  • Completion Insurance
  • Bond Guarantee
  • Payment Bond
  • Surety Bond
  • Corporate Bond
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Insurance Partner

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