Josh Cottington

risk and the silver screen

We’re told we’re living in the golden age of television. The likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney are filling our screens with top quality entertainment. Cinemas and screening apps are also full of superheroes and stylish thrillers – and Josh is one of the people who gets them there.

An insurance broker specialising in the production of films and television programmes, Josh helps predominantly UK-based independent film-makers protect themselves against the risks they face.

“A big element is the production itself,” Josh explains. “For example, we help to protect against accidents that might damage equipment, injure cast members, or affect the crew or members of the public. We’ll also protect against expensive unexpected delays and provide things like travel insurance and motor insurance.”

Following a first job in a guitar shop, Josh started in the insurance industry aged 25 working for insurer Chubb in Brentwood, Essex reviewing old policy documents. From this role which Josh describes as “a bit dry”, his manager offered him a new role as an underwriting assistant in London. Josh took it, then was asked to fill in on the insurer’s events and entertainment team which was an eye-opener for him. “This seemed more interesting,” Josh recalls. “As I had a music and arts background, I felt a lot more connected.”

When a former colleague mentioned there was a vacancy in broker Tysers’ film and television team, Josh jumped at the chance and has never looked back. “There’s a lot of last-minute stuff to deal with,” he says. “Unlike big companies, we don’t expect creative people to have in-depth knowledge of insurance. It’s not their job.”

Most days, Josh begins by checking his clients’ call sheets – their daily schedules – to see if any stunts are being performed and a risk assessment is needed. After checking his emails, he seeks insurance for clients who need it and checks if any cast members need to complete medical forms. Finally, he’ll review the next day’s schedules.

“Sometimes you might get to visit a set or go to an industry event. Some of my colleagues have been to screenings and you might get to see your name in a film’s credits – albeit a long way down the list.”