Daily Call Sheets are a useful way to alert cast and crew to potential hazards for that day’s shooting schedule, and to inform them about which safety precautions they might need to take. Film Insurance underwriters appreciate the risk management component of a call sheet and take this protocol into consideration when assessing the film insurance risk of a film production.
The following should be included on Call Sheets:
- Scheduled stunts
- Any special effects that will be used
- Scheduled use of firearms
- Potential hazards specific to the location
- Any required personal protective clothing and equipment and how workers can get it
- The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
- The location of the first aid kit or facility
- The location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility
- Any other health and safety concerns that the cast and crew need to be aware of
Safety guidelines should be attached to call sheets ie. If any special effects are to be used on the set, then a safety guideline should be attached specific to the type of special effects that will used. For example, if you are shooting near a thoroughfare with lots of traffic, it may be useful to add notes about this on the call sheet. What are the weather conditions like? Will the crew require special footwear or clothing for extreme temperature? What about sunscreen or hydration requirements?
Along this line of thought, it is important to include information such as the nearest hospital, along with any other emergency numbers that are specific to your location.
Have you thought about:
Putting up safety posters in common areas around the set location as a reminder to pay attention to certain hazards around the workplace and certain locations ie. Aerial filming etc.
A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.
Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.
The above information is based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)
The World's largest Film Insurance Company opens in Canada creating more Competition to Benifit Producers. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has opened an office in Toronto. As Canada’s largest Film Insurance Broker, we have been selected as an approved broker that can obtain quotes and production coverage from Fireman’s Fund.
Front Row is an independent broker that represents Film Producers – not the insurance companies. We can offer you quotes for your project from all four of the Film Insurance companies in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers.
If you are not receiving four quotes from the broker that you are using, please contact us and we would be happy to provide the missing quotes so that you ensure you are receiving the best premium and coverage available in the marketplace.
We can make the process simple for you. If you are able to provide us with the following information, we will have an indication of costs and/or a quote for you within 24 hours or less:
1. Dates of Filming
2. Copy of Budget Top Sheet
3. Synopsis and Script
There is no cost or obligation – you have nothing to lose and you may benefit with a lower premium.
Our staff have a combined 205 years of experience insuring film productions in Canada. In the event of a claim, we will ensure that you are paid the money you are owed as quickly as possible. We have offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with a staff in excess of 16.
Articles about our firm are available on our website.
Once the risks are identified, the risk can be transferred to an insurance company for a fee or premium. The film insurance broker negotiates the lowest possible premium and the broadest coverage available in the market place. In Canada, there are four film insurance companies: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers. Front Row is able to provide you with a quote from each of these companies in an easy to understand comparison format.
Unlike insurance agents - who work for the insurance company - Insurance Brokers work for the client. Insurance brokers are recognized by law as experts in insurance. Insurance Brokers in Canada must pass a series of exams in order to be licensed and there is annual continuing education to maintain a license. Make sure your broker is licensed in the province that you are shooting your production or the production could be fined or subject to a surtax.
Insurance Brokers owe a higher duty of care to their clients than an Insurance Agent. Brokers represent the interests of their clients, not the insurance companies. They offer professional advice in arranging insurance on behalf of their clients.
Since insurance brokers are considered under the law as professionals, they are responsible for their actions and can be sued for professional negligence if their advice is deemed to be faulty. All licensed brokers therefore need to carry professional Errors and Omissions coverage. You should ask your broker the limit of E&O insurance that they cover: $1,000,000 may not be enough once defense costs are deducted from the limit.
The many roles of a broker include:
- Negotiate with the insurance companies on behalf of clients. There are four insurance companies in Canada: an Insurance broker must be familiar with what these companies offer so that the best price and coverage is procured for the producer.
- Brokers facilitate claims - Because the broker works on behalf of the client, it is their duty to ensure that insurance companies pay the full amount of the claim that the client is entitled to.
- The broker acts as a conduit for communication between the insurance company and the client. This includes providing certificates for banks, bonding companies and locations to evidence coverage allowing banks to release funds to the client, locations to be locked by the location manager and equipment to be rented.
- Advise clients on ways to limit potential liabilities during production.
- Review scope of the client's existing insurance policies to reveal gaps or deficiencies in the coverage.
- Comprehensive examination of the clients production to assess the amount and type of insurance required. A broker will also help the client understand what coverage they have and do not have and they can explain any limits to the coverage.
It is important to deal with a broker that understands the specific language shown on Film Production Policies. For this reason, it is strongly suggested that you seek out a specialized Film Insurance Broker when you need insurance for your production.
Bears are frequently used in film productions shotin the Pacific Northwest. The risks associated with filming a bear can be transferred to an insurance company once the underwriter understands how the public, cast, crew, equipment and the bear will be protected. The underwriter will need answers to the following questions to underwrite and cover the risk:
1. Current Bear Vet exam certificates. What is the value of the bear to the owner if the bear were to die? Usually the figure is based on three years revenue that the bear has earned.
2. How will the bear get from their pen/corral to their position on set in the electrified fenced area? How will the cast and crew be protected during this transit?
3. Where will the bear be on set when not filming? During this time, how will cast/crew/public be protected?
4. When bear is on set and filming, what do they do to protect public/cast/crew from bear?
5. Please confirm cast not in direct contact with the bear. Will the cast always be on one side of the electrified fence and the bear on the other?
6. Please provide shooting schedule with the bear
7. Please forward storyboards of bear scenes when available.
8. Given the time of year, are there any issues resulting from the bear normally hibernating during this time of year?
9. Details of housing and transit of the bears from the permanent home.
10. The main corral structure to house the bear – is this a permanent structure? What will it be constructed of? How high will the fence be?
11. Will the bears be housed over night at the corral?
12. What type of security will be in place?
13. Will there be 24 hour attendants for the bear?
14. How will the bears be shipped to the set from out of town?
15. How are the protected during shipping?
As specialized film insurance brokers we can assist with obtaining this coverage.
Mike Groner tapped to bring skill, initiative and innovation to the brokerage house
Vancouver, BC, September 30, 2011 – Front Row Insurance, specialized entertainment insurance brokers, has announced the addition of an experienced entertainment broker to itsVancouver office. Mike Groner, who has been a successful manager at two ofCalifornia’s most venerable and trusted insurance companies, will now provide the special-market brokerage house with compelling marketing and promotion of the innovative programs it has been offering since the company’s founding in 2009.
According to David Hamilton, president of Front Row Insurance, Mike will use his LA experience to service film and new media producers in Vancouver as well as managers of fairs and festivals. “ Due to our size and volume with the insurance companies, we have rates and coverages that help us stand apart, and Mike knows how to effectively communicate those benefits to professionals in the industry who will gain from Mike’s expertise,” he says. “With Mike’s help, our clients will have more time to make films and promote festivals instead of wasting time trying to find out how to best protect their assets."
Groner began his career in e-marketing as vice president with an online skateboard retailer, before moving into entertainment insurance with such firms as CMM Entertainment as an account manager, and Truman Van Dyke as director of sales and marketing. Both are respected brokerages inCalifornia, with decades of experience. At CMM, he handled proposals and summaries for many top clients involved with production, touring, and special events. At Truman Van Dyke, he was responsible for the development of two new insurance programs for the entertainment industry that were very successful for the company and its clients.
Mike Groner is looking forward to his new role at Front Row Insurance, where his skills and initiatives will be put to good use.
For more information contact David Hamilton at 604-684-3456 or email@example.com.
It’s the case that many production companies now incorporate scenes in their films that were once captured live but are now being created, edited and manipulated digitally in post production. What this means is that the need for negative/faulty insurance is becoming gradually reduced and will soon be replaced by digital image capture, processing and storage.
- In 2009 Slumdog Millionaire became the first movie shot mainly in digital to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography
- The highest grossing movie in the history of cinema, Avator, was shot on digital cameras as well.
As digital cinematography shifts towards “tapeless” or “file based” workflows, insurers needs to ensure that they are covering similar incidences of risk, tailored towards loss and/or damage to digital media.
What this means for insurer’s
Digital data should be covered as software under the negative coverage policy definition, and though some policy wordings incorporate coverage for digital data, the wordings might still need to be formatted and reworded for digital media. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data, therefore wordings need to reflect the new technology and storage devices which presently, many don’t.
If the film industry moves solely towards digital film, then the risk rating and pricing related to production packages will need to be reviewed given that the risk factor between the periods of principal photography and post production will be significantly reduced and the risk of loss will be shifted towards another area such as post production.
Typically insurers will require information relating to the lab and type of film used, whereas with digital cinematography the shift will be towards the type of camera being used and the experience of the operator in using an HD or Red Camera. Back up procedures will have more impact on the rating of a production.
Various technical considerations arise when contrasting film vs. digital cinematography ie. when shooting on film, response to light is determined by what film stock is used, whereas with digital photography, response to light is determined by the CMOS or CCD sensor(s) in the camera, so the cinematographer needs familiarity with the specific camera model. Typical production packages are rated based on all costs incurred during principal photography and exclude many post production costs. Production company requirements are now shifting towards a significant portion of the risk stemming from post production activities.
Technology innovation has meant that new vendors have emerged on the market such as RED and Silicon Imaging that are primarily focused on digital technology.
Impact on Claims/Losses
What this means for insurance losses is that innovative risk control and risk transfer methods need to be addressed that specifically relate to new exposures from digital media products. The types of losses that can result stem from transferring digital date to/from 2D to 3D conversion, losses resulting from migration of data from old forms of storage to new forms. Also, Care, Custody and Control issues relating to the migration and archiving of data.
As insurers revisit their policy wordings, they must ensure that their coverage and exclusions match with the industry requirements, as the advances in digital technology won’t slow down to wait out the process. While wordings might not currently exclude losses resulting from digital cinematography, insurers must ensure that new risk rating methods and coverage address the new risks that will arise during post production and storage of data.
Usually the cost of film production insurance is determined by charging a pre-determined rate against the net insurable budget of the production. The net insurable budget is calculated by removing those items out of the gross budget that the client does not want to insure (i.e. Unit Publicity, Insurance, and General Expense). The rate will vary from production to production and depend on things such as:
- Type of production (i.e. Feature vs. TV series)
- Inclusion of any stunts or special effects
- Any work in or around water
- Aerial work
- Locations outside Canada/US
Most of these things will cause the rate to be increase. The rate that the Insurance Company determines and the net insurable budget determine the final premium. The number of episodes and length of production rarely have an impact on price. The only time this would have an impact is if it was a very short shoot and we could offer a short term policy. This type of policy would offer very limited coverages and would usually only offer coverage for 7 days or less.
In addition to the rate and net insurable, the Insurance Companies have a minimum premium that they have to charge for a policy to ensure they can cover all of the administration costs of issuing and servicing the policies. Their minimum premium threshold might cause two difference projects which have different budgets, to still have the same premium. This is usually the case in lower budget projects. The Insurance Company is stuck charging a minimum premium as they have to endure the same administrate costs no matter what the budget of the production.
Film Production Insurance claims can be settled quickly with a minimum of stress if the right steps are followed.
Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. provides claims reporting, monitoring, and advocacy services for clients, including preparing and reviewing loss runs and developing claims procedures. We are a liaison between you and your insurance company or a third party adjuster. The primary goal is to provide you with knowledgeable, empathetic, fast service. In the event of a claim, please contact your account executive.
Our services include designing and implementing claims reporting and handling procedures, monitoring losses to initiate necessary action on a client’s behalf, ensuring timely and equitable settlement of claims, and providing status reports on all monitored claims.
Your account executive will need to know:
- Date of Loss,
- Description of Loss,
- Location and time of loss
- Approximate amount of loss
- Names and phone numbers of persons to be contacted.
All incidences should be reported promptly. If you are not sure there is coverage, we can advise you. • Most coverage’s have deductibles which are applied to each claim. Each loss is determined to be a claim and subject to a separate deductible.
No loss is easy to endure, but there are steps you can take to speed the process of putting your operations back in order.
Whom Should I call first if I have a loss? Depending on the nature of the incident, or accident, call the authorities needed to assist you in an emergency: the police, the fire department or hazardous materials team.
Is it possible to take immediate action to make repairs if further damage to the property is likely? As long as the claim is covered, the reasonable cost of temporary repairs made to prevent further damage is money well-spent and, therefore, reimbursable, subject to all policy terms and conditions.
Documentation in the form of bills, receipts and photographs should be retained in order to verify damages and repair costs.
What about Emergency Repairs? You may hire a contractor of your choice for emergency repairs. For a covered loss, we will discuss costs directly with your contractor and come to an agreement about costs when necessary. Again, all repairs will be made subject to all policy terms and conditions.
Once Emergency Repairs are made, what should I do next? Determine if any of your property is salvageable, and if you can continue your operations at this location. Who is responsible for the settlement of my claim? My agent or broker, the contractor, the insurance adjuster? What is the relationship among all of them? • Our insurance adjuster is the person with whom you should deal with settling any claim. • The adjuster will evaluate the loss and, along with your agent or broker, explain coverage to you. • The adjuster will work with your contractor to agree on what repairs need to be done and proper costs of these repairs. • The agent or broker may assist both you and the insurance company in the processing and adjustment of the claim.
After any type of loss: • Take immediate steps to protect your property from further damage • Photograph the damage, if possible • Call your insurance agent or broker • Obtain copies of any reports that were filed, such as police reports, fire department reports.
Retain any documentation to substantiate you claim. • Communicate frequently with the insurance company’s claim adjuster. Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. provides claims reporting, monitoring and advocacy service to clients. A claims coordinator is assigned and acts as a liaison between our clients and their insurance company or third party. Our goals are: • Clients feel that their best interests are being served and that their claims are being actively managed. • Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. performance is technically sound and conducted in such a manner as to fulfill a professional role. •
For every first party claim the best settlement is obtained in the shortest possible time. • System and individual file records are maintained at a consistently high standard to ensure that they accurately reflect the current status of individual claims.
The film production company should always advise their Film Insurance broker well in advance of the anticipated use of any railway cars or equipment. You should never sign a contract with respect to use of trains without first having your entertainment insurance broker review the document.
If the train is being used as a prop/set and is not in motion, then damage to the train itself would be provided under Props/Sets/Wardrobe coverage. If the train is in motion a sublimit would be in effect for physical damage to the train.
Liability coverage is provided under Commercial general Liability policy. If you are required to indemnify the train owner, then specific coverage arrangements must be made prior to the use of the train.
In order to provide a quote/coverage for Railway Cars and Equipment, please forward answers to the following:
- A copy of the railroads contractual agreement
- Description of scenes involving railroad equipment
- Dates equipment used
- Locations of equipment:
- Where is equipment stored?
- Where is equipment moved to? Exact street address.
- Where is equipment returned after use is over?
- Type of equipment used? Please list.
- Activities the production company has with the equipment.
- How many people will be "on board"?
- Distances and speed of equipment
- Any stunts? Please list. Please complete a stunt questionnaire.
- Will main line tracks be used during filming days?
- Please advise how the cast, crew, equipment and public will be protected during filming.
The same advice will apply no matter if you are shooting a feature film, TV series, documentary or a short film.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
The Film Production insurance policy contains an exclusion under the Cast Insurance coverage for a person injured when taking part in a hazardous stunt or any special effect in the declared production, without the prior consent of the insurance company.
Although these types of activities are usually reserved for stunt performers, the producer and the director should be aware of this exclusion. If actors are involved in hazardous stunts or special effects, please advise your broker well in advance so that they can make the appropriate arrangements with the insurance company.
In order to properly evaluate the hazards involving stunts used in filming, please provide answers to the following:
1. Synopsis of scenes being filmed.
2. List stunts by tape, location and date.
3. Protective measures used to protect participants and public, equipment and property.
4. What is the experience of the Stunt Coordinator - please attach a resume.
5. How many people are involved in each stunt scene?
Additional information may be requested. The underwriters may cover the scene based on the strength of the information - the stunt coordinator resume is particularly important; otherwise, the underwriter may charge an additional premium, or apply a higher deductible or impose a sub-limit on the limit of coverage, or, they may use a combination of all three to address the risk.
If you are comfortable with a high deductible and sub limit you can often save the cost of an additional premium being charged.
Be sure to talk to your Entertainment Insurance broker before you film any stunts or SPFX scenes that were not origionally in the script that your broker provided the insurance company.