Business related question here.
I've recently opened up a relationship with a new division of a media company where I'm providing crew and equipment through my company. Now they want me to provide liability insurance as well. As per our agreement, I sent an invoice for advance payment of 50% of the budget to be able to cover these types of upfront costs (liability in NYC for a shoot like this is currently around US$450/day). With the terms they have me on, it looks like I will not be paid for my "advance" until after the shoot. The producer is telling me it is absolutely standard for vendors to cover upfront expenses like this (in this case totaling over $1000), and if I can't provide, he will go to someone who can.
I'd consider paying the annual insurance fee ($2000) and sell it back to them, but they're the only ones asking me for liability right now, and of course they are making no promises as to the volume of work.
While I have some years of prior experience with another side of this company, and have full confidence they will (eventually) make good on the invoice, can anyone advise if this is indeed standard, or perhaps how you're solving this issue on your end?
This year, I discovered equipment rental houses are also asking for liability, which is new to me, so perhaps I will have to pay at least the insurance in any case. Fronting substantial expenses seems another matter entirely though.
Director of Photography
New York City