Montana State University
Safety and Risk Management > Media & Theatre Arts Risk Plan

School of Film and Photography

What is Covered
The state of Montana purchases Student Professional Liability insurance coverage for student projects undertaken while registered for academic credit. Coverage is “occurrence” coverage with the following limits of liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence and annual aggregate, $1,000 deductible. This commercial coverage includes Broadcasters Errors and Omissions coverage, subject to the policy terms and conditions, with a $1.5 million per occurrence limit with a $1,000 per occurrence deductible. 
Rented, leased, loaned or borrowed equipment not owned by MSU or another State of Montana entity is afforded property insurance coverage to the actual cash value of the covered property for all covered losses, excluding mysterious disappearance. All claims are subject to a $1,000 deductible and the student MAY be responsible for the first $500. SFP is responsible for the remainder of the deductible.
MSU-owned property checked out to students for use in academic or research activities is afforded property insurance coverage to the replacement value of the covered property for all covered losses, excluding mysterious disappearance. All claims are subject to a $1,000 deductible and the student is responsible for the first $500. SFP is responsible for the remainder of the deductible.

What is Not Covered
  • State property insurance coverage is not extended to student-owned property when the student uses it for projects that are part of their academic program. Students loaning their personal property to other students also falls into this "no coverage" category.
  • MSU will not afford primary auto insurance coverage to students utilizing their own vehicles for academic or research activities. The student’s personal auto insurance coverage is primary.
Student Project Risk Management Plan Instructions
A Risk Management Plan is required for all senior film class projects in conjunction with MTA 472 or other similar academic projects. The Risk Management Plan is a pre-identification of all the potential risks that might be encountered during the course of the projects. It also allows the principals a means to document various controls that will be used to minimize the negative impact the risks present to the students, faculty, MSU and the State of Montana.

Complete the Risk Management Plan according to the format on the Plan Form. See the detailed instructions below to assist you in completing the form.
MSU considers student film activities an integral part of the academic experience, and as such, assumes the responsibility to assist the students with their projects. The university will not assume responsibility for the intentional or wrongful acts of students, actors, agents, contractors, sub-contractors, volunteers, or others either directly or indirectly involved in the student film projects. MSU considers student film projects an activity of the university and extends, if approved by the student’s course/project instructor and SFP Director, general liability insurance and property insurance coverage for these activities.
Liability insurance coverage for rented or loaned equipment, and property insurance coverage for use of private or public premises will be extended to the film project upon approval of the Risk Management Plan by the student's course advisor/instructor and the SFP Director. The Risk Management Plan must be submitted and approved prior to requesting the Certificate(s) of Insurance. Written use agreements may be required, as described in section F., below.
After the Risk Management Plan has been reviewed and approved by a student's course/project instructor and the SFP Director, designated/authorized SFP administrative personnel will request Certificates of Insurance by submitting the SFP Certificate of Insurance Request Form to MSU Safety & Risk Management. See detailed instructions, below, for more information.
Be sure to allow at least ten working days for receipt of the Certificate(s) of Insurance.

The Risk Management Plan
The Risk Management Plan should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following information. Use the  Plan Form to provide a response to each of the following lettered items and questions.

  1. Indicate the title of the project along with the course name and number as well as the course/project instructor’s name.
  1. List the name, address and telephone numbers of the principals to the project; director, producer, etc.
  1. Provide a general overview of the project. Are there any risks to persons or property which are inherent in this type of production? What are they? What should you do to control these risks?
  1. The beginning and ending dates of when the out-of-classroom and on-location activities will take place.
  1. Provide a list of all the locations off the MSU campus that will be used. For each location, indicate if a written agreement or permit for use of the location is required. A Certificate of Insurance does not need to be generated for each location, but is available when requested by the owner of the property or entity controlling access.

What are the risks to persons or property at the locations listed above? Will filming take place in a high crime area? If so, what measures will you need to take to protect your crew? What measures will you take to make sure your production equipment is not stolen or damaged?
Do any of these locations contain dangerous roadways, hazardous materials, equipment, machinery, etc.? If so, what measures will you take to make sure no one is injured? Will you be working on level ground? Working from a height, off a platform, etc.? If so, what safety equipment or precautions might be needed? Do you know what safety equipment is required?

  1. Please list all the non-MSU equipment or property (other than motor vehicle) to be used in the production process. Indicate whether the equipment is leased or rented, and if a written use agreement will be needed for the project’s use of the equipment. Use agreements are strongly encouraged and may be required by the State Risk Management and Tort Defense Division for consideration of property insurance coverage. This agreement must be approved by the course/project instructor and the SFP Director in addition to inclusion in the Risk Management Plan. If renting the equipment from a business and if property insurance coverage is available from the renting entity, this should always be purchased and will be considered the primary coverage.

If the property is considered a loan from a business or other entity, a written use agreement which outlines responsibilities, terms and conditions must be used. The equipment must be considered on loan to the SFP, but can be for the exclusive use by a specific student(s) or project(s). This agreement must be approved by the course/project instructor and the SFP Director in addition to inclusion in the Risk Management Plan.
Are there any risks inherent in the type of equipment you will be using in the production? What electrical voltages are required? What safety precautions do you have to take working with and around the equipment? Is any of the equipment subject to damage due to inclement weather? How will you protect it?

  1. List all means of transportation to be used throughout the production process. Include commercial airline travel (destinations and dates of travel), personally owned vehicles that will be used, and any vehicle rental that will be necessary. If a personally owned vehicle will be used in the project, the vehicle’s insurance coverage is considered the primary insurance coverage. This applies to vehicles owned by SFP students as well as vehicles that may be loaned to the project by other individuals. If you are using a vehicle owned by another individual it is preferable that they are listed as the operator of the vehicle.

If you use your personal vehicle for transportation, do you have vehicle insurance coverage? Does every assigned driver possess a valid driver's license? Beyond that, do you consider each driver a responsible and competent person?
In what driving environments will you be operating? Will it be mostly rural or suburban driving? Will driving take place in a major metropolitan area? Do you or the other drivers have experience operating a vehicle in these environments? If you rent vehicles are they consistent with the type of vehicle you have driven in the past? If not what differences will there be?

  1. List all the Certificates of Insurance that have been requested for either use of the equipment identified above or use of a location. Provide the following information for each Certificate being requested. By providing this information in the Risk Management Plan, subsequent, individual requests are not required.

Certificates of Insurance will only be provided when specifically requested in a rental, use, permit, or other written agreement between the student and the requesting individual or entity. If not specifically required you do not need to obtain a Certificate of Insurance.

    • Name and address of the certificate holder, including a contact name. Example: City of Bozeman, 411 E. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715, c/o Mr. John Doe.
    • Describe the purpose/activity for which the Certificate of Insurance is being requested:

Location example: MSU Bozeman, MTA 472 Senior Film Project, (insert Title of Project) filming on West Babcock Street March 21 - 24, 20xx.
Equipment example: MSU Bozeman, MTA 472 Senior Film Project (insert Title of Project) use of XYZ brand, model 2000, 16 mm camera from March 21 - 24, 20xx, value: $10,000.

  • All students identified in section B. of the Risk Management Plan must sign off on the plan. They must acknowledge that they have read, understand, and agree to adhere to the risk control measures they have identified in the plan.

Submit the Risk Management Plan, along with copies of all permits and/or rental or other use agreements requesting proof of insurance to your course/project instructor and the SFP Director for approval and signature. The course/project instructor will then forward the materials to Vicki Miller in SFP administration, who will request the Certificate(s) of Insurance by submitting the Certificate of Insurance Request Form to MSU Safety and Risk Management. SRM will not process requests for certificates of insurance that come directly from students. Vicki can be reached at (406) 994-2484 or vmiller@montana.edu.