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And the gong for the riskiest film goes to…

Sydney, 8 March 2010

OscarsŪ - riskiest films insured by Allianz includes “Nine”, starring Australia’s Nicole Kidman

As the world’s leading film insurer, Allianz has insured many of 2009’s top Hollywood movies though its US subsidiary Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, including covering Australia’s own Nicole Kidman in the OscarŪ-nominated film ‘Nine’.

According to Nicholas Scofield, Allianz Australia’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, “while there is always much speculation about which film and actors will win one of Hollywood’s coveted OscarŪ statues, at Allianz, the films that were the riskiest to insure are the ones that get the gongs.”

Allianz’s Fireman’s Fund insured around 45 Hollywood blockbusters in 2009, but the awards for the most riskiest films go to “Nine”, “2012” “Crazy Heart” and “Inglorious Basterds”.

  • The musical movie “Nine”, starring Nicole Kidman, was filmed in the UK and Italy with an all-star cast and is nominated for the OscarŪ for Art Direction, Costume Design and Actress in a Supporting Role (for Penelope Cruz). Musicals have potential risks because the actors must rehearse and perform physical dance numbers. In the past, there have been numerous insurance claims as a result of dancing, so the cast must be underwritten with dance injuries in mind. The movie also featured high wire sequences. In the event that a cast member is injured this can result in filming delays, rescheduling or the production potentially shutting down until the actor recovers or is replaced.
  • “2012” was a big budget film that focused on the end of the Mayan calendar as the world faces natural disasters such as volcanoes, typhoons, earthquakes and glaciers. This action packed film included many stunts, explosions, aircraft scenes, underwater filming and earthquake sequences that were loss controlled by the production company and Allianz’s Fireman’s Fund.
  • “Crazy Heart” included OscarŪ-nominated performances for Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film about a faded country musician that is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life included risky elements such as a hot air balloon crash, car weaving and rollover, and a boat sequence on a lake. These types of scenes are risky and require precision, expert driving and experienced stunt people in order to be carried out safely and successfully.
  • Nominated for Best Picture, “Inglorious Basterds” was filmed in Germany and the UK. It’s a period piece based in World War II that includes many stunts, fight scenes and pyrotechnics. International locations pose a wide variety of challenges for filmmakers, including the set, transportation of film, equipment and costumes, and the potential of dealing with illness in a foreign country.

“A fire that burns down the entire movie set or the severe illness of a main actor can have disastrous consequences for a film and all parties involved. Insurability of a film project is therefore critical to realising a production. This means that the film’s potential risks have to be evaluated beforehand and actively managed all the way through its production,” Mr Scofield said.

Fireman’s Fund, the Allianz SE Group’s US property and casualty insurance business, has been one of the world’s leading film insurers for 85 years and even maintains an office in Universal City/Hollywood where some 50 film insurance experts are employed. This allows for a close cooperation between Fireman’s Fund’s risk managers, underwriters, claim adjusters and the customers – producers, investors and studios alike.

Concluding, Mr Scofield said “while people enjoy watching these movies, most aren’t aware of the risk challenges involved when filming complex sequences that include air and watercraft stunts, strenuous dance sequences, air balloon explosions, and simulated natural disasters. These types of scenes contribute appreciably to a film’s overall risk and Allianz’s Fireman’s Fund helps by creating tailored solutions to cover whatever exposure the imagination of Hollywood directors can conceive.”

Allianz Australia

General Insurance Company of the Year 2009*

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It includes one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and a life insurer.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. It is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
Greenhouse Challenge Plus
The Allianz Group’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised the Allianz Group as the most sustainable primary insurance company in the world since 2006. In Australia, Allianz Australia participated in the Greenhouse Challenge Plus (GHC+) program - a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and continues to adopt the GHC+ principles.

*Australian and New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards