E&O: What Filmmakers Need to Know

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 9, 2019 4:59:44 PM

 

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As a filmmaker your top priority is likely bringing your next production to life and maintaining creative inspiration, but you also know how important the business side of film production is.

This includes understanding the legal and insurance requirements needed to protect your next film. Insurance is a critical part of the film business, especially E&O (Errors and Omissions). If you understand what E&O is and how it can actually serve your production needs, you’ll set your next film up for even greater success.

Here’s how:

GETTING TO KNOW E&O

Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance covers all of the potential legal liabilities and defense costs against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or privacy, and breach of contract. It also protects against alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. Errors & Omissions is a requirement for distribution deals with studios, television, cable networks, DVD and Internet sites prior to the release of any film production. In fact, if you haven’t released a film yet, you’ll discover that production financing will probably not flow until your E&O coverage is in force.

 

HOW IT WORKS

Consider the risks: You’ve released a film that is a HUGE success, and someone accuses you of stealing their idea, or script. No surprise, this happens a lot. For example, after AVATAR was released in 2009, a man spoke out and claimed that he had actually pitched this multi award winning movie to AVATAR Producer, James Cameron a few years earlier. An E&O policy would provide a lawyer in this instance and would pay the legal fees and judgement costs if the filmmaker lost.

Planning an online production? YouTube is a hot bed for E&O disputes. A while back, a music video director posted a parody of a well known movie that went viral, garnering over 1 million views, but unfortunately he didn’t have E&O and the video was taken down as he could not afford the legal costs. A big loss for him and one he could have avoided if he had obtained E&O coverage.

 

WHAT E&O COSTS

Premiums for E&O vary based on the content of the production. A straight forward documentary typically cost $2,500 to $4,000 while you can expect to pay $3,500 to $8,000 for a feature film for the industry standard 3-5 year policy term. Every project is unique and requires a custom E&O policy. Standard limits are $1,000,000 per claim/$3,000,000 aggregate with a deductible of $10,000. Ideally, speak to an E&O insurance expert who can advise on the risks related to your particular film. We’d love to help with that.

 

YOUR NEXT STEPS

  1. The first thing an insurance provider will ask you is: Do you have “Title and script Clearance”. This is a way to discover if you’ve done your legal due diligence to make sure you aren’t engaging in copyright infringement and that you have the right to use the story and title. As you set out to obtain E&O, as a filmmaker you must begin clearance work prior to principal photography, continue during filming and complete it at final cut. Note: It can take up to 10 working days for a project to be cleared and coverage to be in place so you’ll want to start the E&O process early to ensure that your cash flow is not impacted.
  2. Once obtained, be sure to check your production/distribution/financing agreements regarding the start date for your coverage, as some financiers require Errors & Omissions coverage to be in place for the first day of production before they will provide the first cheque that allows you to start production.
  3. Your E&O policy will provide defense costs if the producer is sued and will pay the judgment costs if the producer is found liable. Until a lawsuit happens, enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ve got the right coverage in place.

 

About the contributor: David Hamilton is President + CEO of Front Row Insurance, one of the world’s largest entertainment insurance brokers. Front Row offers E&O insurance for filmmakers. E&O Policies start at $1,250 and certificates proving insurance coverage are provided immediately at no cost.

Tags: Producers E&O Insurance quote, E&O Insurance Deductable, Producers E&O Insurance, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, HD E&O, E&O insurance for Films, E&O copyright report

Conference & Event Insurance: What You Need To Know

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 9, 2019 4:54:06 PM

 

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We all know that person who had a little too much fun and did something they fully regret the day after an event or worse, treated their weekend conference like a trip to Vegas. If you’re on the event planning side of these meetings, you’ll want to understand the type of event insurance required by your venue to protect yourself and your staff against all possible scenarios. Here is your guide to obtaining the right coverage for your next office event or conference:

  1. What exactly is event insurance? Often called Special Event Insurance, or Short Term event insurance, this insurance is designed to protect your event - whether it’s a conference, business party, festival or something else (for a full list of covered events click here) from ALL of the possible circumstances that might occur during your event that are beyond your control. This includes potential lawsuits caused by damage to the location you are renting or lawsuits that arise if your guests are injured at the event.
  2. What are the venue requirements? If you’re hosting your office event or conference at a third-party venue or on municipal property, event liability insurance is pretty much always required - especially where alcohol is involved. Even if your event is hosted at your boss’s mega-mansion, you’ll want to double check the homeowner’s policy because parties of a certain size are often not covered - again, especially when alcohol is being served.
  3. Make sure your rentals are protected In the case that you’re renting tables, chairs, sound equipment or anything else you might need for your event, consider what might happen if your vendor ends up being a no-show or if any of your rentals are damaged. You’ll want to be covered if that’s the case (hello, unpredictable winter weather). Accidents happen and sometimes you just can’t tell how much crazy fun your co-workers might have…
  4. Protect yourself against staff injuries? It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt! Protect yourself against guest injuries or a guest or relative suing you in the case of a bad injury. Event insurance will cover you if you are sued by a guest by providing a free lawyer to defend you and paying the judgement costs awarded to your injured guest.

 

Regardless of where, when, and how your next office event or conference comes together, obtaining the right level of Event Insurance will give you peace of mind that you’re covered in the event that anything goes sideways, which does happen more than you’d think.

Feel free to give us a call if you’d like an expert to answer any questions or obtain a quote for your next event online in a couple of minutes by clicking here.

About the contributor: David Hamilton is President of Front Row Insurance, one of the world’s largest entertainment insurance brokers. Front Row offers event insurance with no need to talk to a broker. Policies start at $130 and certificates proving insurance coverage for your rented venue are provided immediately at no cost. To get a quote online, in under 5 minutes click here!

 

Tags: short term event insurance, One day special event liability, cheap event insurance, one day event insurance, conference event insurance

Film Production Insurance for Renovation Shows

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 9, 2019 3:09:19 PM

 

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Arranging film production insurance for your renovation show should be done with the help of a specialized entertainment insurance broker. 

The following information is to be used as a general reference only and does not alter the insurance policy wording for your specific production.  In all cases, actual coverage is subject to the policy language, terms and conditions of the long form policies to be issued by the insurance company.  Additionally, the following is not intended to be legal advice but rather are general recommendations intended to reduce your exposure to an insurance claim.  When entering contracts with anyone you should consult a lawyer to draft appropriate language for your specific circumstances and to ensure that you are adequately protected. 

With renovation shows we suggest that you consider the following guidelines: 

  • Hire a general contractor to oversee major changes and the general contractor should be responsible for hiring subcontractors.
  • Insist that the general contractor and subcontractors provide you with proof of liability insurance for their operations in the form of an insurance certificate issued by their insurance  company.
  • The insurance certificate should evidence coverage for Products and Completed Operations, should contain a cross liability and sever ability of interest clause and name the production company as an additional insured.
  • Homeowners should review and sign a release containing a hold harmless and waiver of subrogation clause against the production company.
  • Where possible homeowners should be included in the renovation decision making process for each change made.
  • Your contract with the general contractor should contain a hold harmless provision protecting prod co from any claims arising from work completed by the contractor.  You should also consider an indemnity provision requiring the contractor to pay you back for any expenses, claims or suits brought against you resulting from their negligence or faulty workmanship.
  • Have you made arrangements with the contractors to come back and fix problems with the homes?  Does the contractor provide a warranty on work performed?  The contract should be between the homeowner and general contractor (not the production company).

Ultimately the homeowner could sue the production company and the contractor if they feel work was poorly done but adopting some of the guidelines above, having contractors who are properly insured and including the homeowner in decisions being made would greatly reduce your exposure to loss.

Decorating shows that involve changing room colours and adding new furniture etc. are less risky than more major renovations but when you are working on any third party properties there is a greater risk of something going wrong. Use a specialized film insurance broker to ensure you are properly covered. 

Tags: Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, entertainment production insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production Insurance

Insurance for body parts for Actors, Models and Performers: What!

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 9, 2019 2:51:29 PM
 
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Betty Grable was known as the "Girl with the Million-Dollar Legs" because that's what Fox Studios requested from Lloyd's of London for the Body-Parts insurance policy. Grable was once quoted to have said "There are two reasons why I am successful in show business and I am standing on both of them." Grable knew her legs were something to be admired . Most ordinary people wouldn't need this type of insurance, but those who have careers based on their appearance or performance might need body-part insurance coverage. 


There are rumors that Jennifer Lopez insures her rear-end for a billion-bucks, although she denies it. Anyone with a body part that valuable shouldn't go around advertising it.

There are reports throughout the history of the entertainment business of celebrities insuring a variety of body-parts. 

The earliest reports of body-part insurance from come from the 1920's, when a policy insuring silent movie star Ben Turpin's signature crossed eyes from a risk of going straight was issued. It might seem odd anyone famous for crossed eyes could make it big in the first place but, the fact Turpin took out insurance protecting his asset is rather interesting. 

Insurance is a contract binding an insurer to indemnify someone against a specific loss in return for a premium. There needs to be a value for the asset being insured and most of us generally think insurance would cover losses suffered from some kind of disaster. Well, when you think about it, celebrities need body-part insurance if their asset is their rump what would they have if something happened back there? A disaster! 

Bruce Springsteen was once reported to insure his voice for six million dollars and the truth is that had something gone wrong with the Boss' voice it very well may have cost him the rest of his career and substantial future earning potential. When we consider what a movie star, singer or model has an asset it's not so strange to imagine they may want to insure their future in the event something goes wrong. It's just too bad there isn't "No-Talent" Insurance for some of the celebrities.

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Tags: Actor body insurance, Actors Insurance, Cast Insurance, Cast Insurance for live performances, Film Productions Cast Insurance, Theatre company cast insurance

...But isn't the circus supposed to be dangerous?

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jan 9, 2019 2:04:02 PM

One of the delights of the circus is seeing the most skilled acrobats cultureONE-image-FAQs_2dazzle an audience with risky stunts. At cultureONE our experience with production liability insurance and special event liability insurance has shown that there are always unfortunate exceptions where even the most skilled acrobat doesn’t escape danger as planned.

One such incident occurred recently at a Ringling Bros. Circus in Rhode Island where an aerial accident sent eight performers plummeting to the ground. The stunt, known as “the human chandelier” involved performers hanging from their hair on a suspended apparatus. A clip at the top of the apparatus snapped and three performers are at the hospital in serious condition. Thus far there is no conclusive information as to why the clip failed.

When quoting theatrical insurance where aerial stunts are being performed, one of the questions we always ask is how much experience the aerial rigging technician has. We also ask if he/she is licensed. This protects the risk and encourages producers to employ the best people. Furthermore we offer key person insurance. This is reserved for parties whose inability to perform would result in the event being cancelled. In an event like the circus, the specialized skill on display makes purchasing the above coverages a must, and our years of experience will make sure there are no gaps  that might hinder a major performance.

Even with the correct due diligence, accidents can always happen and they illustrate how important it is to carry good production insurance.

Tags: circus performer insurance, circus insurance

What’s a “MacGuffin?”

Posted by Casey Budden on Dec 10, 2018 12:48:17 PM

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Sometimes derisively referred to as a “plot coupon,” a MacGuffin is a device in scriptwriting, a “thing” which the protagonist pursues, often loosely defined, which serves as their primary motivation and goal in the film. Alfred Hitchcock is often credited with coining the term; in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University in New York, he attempted to define it:

“It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, 'What's that package up there in the baggage rack?' And the other answers, 'Oh, that's a MacGuffin'. The first one asks, 'What's a MacGuffin?' 'Well,' the other man says, 'it's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.' The first man says, 'But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,' and the other one answers, 'Well then, that's no MacGuffin!' So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.”

In the film Ronin, for example, the MacGuffin was a metal briefcase whose contents were never revealed, but which all the characters in the film were desperate to obtain. The audience does not know, and does not need to know, what is inside the briefcase; the MacGuffin is charged with such importance that its significance does not need to be explained to serve its narrative purpose.

Examples of famous “Macguffins”:

  • The Maltese Falcon (The Maltese Falcon, 1941)
  • The Holy Grail (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975)
  • “ROSEBUD” (Citizen Kane, 1941)
  • Marcellus Wallace’s case (Pulp Fiction, 1994)
  • The One Ring (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001-2003)
  • The Necronomicon (Army of Darkness, 1992)
  • The Ark (Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981)

Tags: Film and entertainment insurance

Insurance for filming animals

Posted by Casey Budden on Dec 10, 2018 12:45:48 PM

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Lions & Tigers & Bears. Oh My.

Animals are frequently used in film productions and everyone loves seeing our furry friends on film. However, there are several considerations with respect to using animals in films that could have a significant impact on your project.

First, if the animal is to be a regular cast member (e.g., it has an identifiable role in the film), the loss or unavailability of the animal actor could potentially cause the same financial loss to the production company as the loss of a human actor. One possible solution would be to insure the animal under Cast coverage (the insurer will require a medical to be performed on the animal by a vet to determine eligibility).

Second, while animal mortality is built in to many commercial insurance policies, there is typically no coverage for injury to animals. Animals are usually borrowed from companies that specialize in providing trained animals to film crews. Like any other thing that belongs to someone else, you could be liable if the animal is injured while under your care, custody and control. You may wish to consider purchasing coverage for legal liability to animals to protect yourself against this possibility.

Finally, the contract with the animal wrangler should be examined closely prior to signing. It’s a good idea to have a specialized entertainment insurance broker like Front Row peruse the contract to ensure there are no provisions which could leave you exposed to additional liability.

These are the questions insurers typically ask with respect to animals:

  • Dates of use
  • Location
  • List of animals
  • Values of animals
  • Current vet certificates
  • Description of use
  • Name and telephone number of trainer

Animals require very special handling and have special insurance requirements. If your production will feature animals, contact us: we can provide advice.

Tags: filming animals, animal insurance

Online Cyber Insurance for Canadian Small Businesses

Posted by Mike Groner on Nov 28, 2018 11:06:56 AM

WHAT IS CYBER LIABILITY?

Cyber liability insurance goes by many names these days: CyberInsurance; Cyber Security, Cyber Risk, Hack Insurance and others. However, the intent of all of these polices remains the same. A Cyber-insurance policy is an insurance product used to protect your business for data breaches on your computers that exposes your client’s information.

Get a no obligation online quote here now  ➭

WHAT DOES A CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY COVER? 

  • Comprehensive Cyber Liability: Combines third-party (your customers/clients) cyber liability and first-party (you and your business) cyber crime expense coverage in one form.
  • Theft and Fraud: Covers destruction or loss of digital data resulting from a criminal  cyber event.
  • Business Interruption: Covers lost income and related costs when unable to operate due to a cyber event or data loss
  • Extortion & Ransomware: Provides coverage for costs associated with investigating threats to commit cyber attacks and payments to those who threaten to obtain and disclose sensitive information
  • Forensic Investigation: Covers the legal, technical and forensic services necessary to assess whether a cyber-attack has occurred, to assess the impact of the attack and to stop the attack
  • Extortion: Provides coverage for the costs associated with the investigation of threats to commit cyber attacks against the policyholder’s systems and for payments to extortionists who threaten to obtain and disclose sensitive information.

CAN MY BUSINESS AFFORD CYBER INSURANCE?

While the most prominent cases report have been attacks against large companies such as Target, Sony and Home Depot; in fact, 43% of attacks are occurring against small businesses. Of the small businesses attacked, 60% never recover after a hack and go out of business within 6 months because of a lack of cyber security.  Starting from just $300. Annually,  with limit options up to $1,000,000.Cyber Liability for Small Business

Front Row Insurance’s Hackinsure provides protection against a range of online hazards – peace of mind is available online in five minutes with no need to talk to a broker.

TYPES OF CYBER CRIME:

  • Phishing – obtaining valuable information such as a credit card details or passwords by posing as a trustworthy company (e.g., a supplier) via email.
  • Ransomware – When a company’s computer system is infiltrated by a malicious program that encrypts its files and demands a ransom (typically in bitcoin) to return the data.
  • Social Engineering – Criminals impersonate an executive of a company in an email in order to obtain a money transfer or sensitive data from an unsuspecting employee. These emails are often targeted to junior employees, who may be more susceptible due to lack of training or fear of not responding to the senior executive who was impersonated.

cyber liability small business

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST A CYBER ATTACK?

Now more than ever, it’s important you protect yourself in every possible way. Here are a few additional tips we share with all of our clients, to help guard against the risk of a cyber attack:

  • Developing a password strategy: Using the same password across multiple devices and accounts is the easiest way to compromise security. Once a hacker gets their hands on a password, they can easily use it to compromise employee information as well as customer data, turning a single password breach into millions of dollars in damage.
  • Avoiding collecting or storing payment information: Outsource payment processing and avoid collecting customer payment information such as credit card info on your own. Dedicated security staff have the resources and tools to protect data better than you can.
  • Educating your employees: It might seem like common sense, but it’s not always. Develop a written policy about security and privacy and make sure employees are on board and understand their responsibility to protect any confidential data. No business is “too small” for a hacker - the better prepared you are, the less at risk you are.
  • And, of course, purchasing Cyber Liability Insurance: 90% of small businesses do not currently have cyber insurance. You need to know that your business will be protected against any security breaches. Our new product provides this protection. You can get insured online in a couple of minutes by clicking here.

Get a quote in 2 minutes  ⇨

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides cyber and office insurance for the lowest possible cost in addition to arranging custom policies for the entertainment industry. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that their clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal,  Halifax, Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and Colorado

Tags: online cyber coverage, cyber liability, hack insurance

ART SCHOOL INSURANCE THAT PROTECTS STUDENTS FROM ABUSE? INTRODUCING PROTÉGÉ

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 27, 2018 11:56:13 AM

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If you’re running an art school, then we don’t need to tell you the amount of passion, drive, and dedication required to run a school and coach students to success. We probably don’t need to tell you this also brings a huge amount of responsibility for the well-being of your students, who are often young and in close relationships with their teachers.

As you consider how to run your school in a way that BEST protects your students from physical and sexual abuse, consider our Protégé program.

Protégé is the only insurance program of its kind that goes the extra mile to protect art schools AND their students from situations related to sexual and physical abuse. Along with all of the other insurance requirements your school needs, Protégé provides the highest level of support and protection for your students. This is our passion.

We’ve become known for our expertise in guiding many arts organizations through difficult claims involving abuse, and helping schools implement measures that prevent situations of abuse in the first place. Here’s how our Protégé program goes the extra mile for schools and students:

  1. In situations where there are allegations of abuse, Protégé can pay for no-fault rehab and counselling costs. 
  2. In situations resulting in damage to studio/school property, Protégé covers the costs for owned and rented property damages.
  3. In liability situations, Protégé covers bodily injuries to people that have been invited to the studio.
  4. To support business continuity, Protégé pays the salaries of your staff if the studio is destroyed while you are searching for a new space.
  5. Re: errors and omissions, Protégé covers costs if students aren’t satisfied with the curriculum.

When you sign up for the Protégé program, you’ll receive our deep experience in putting preventative safeguards in place that will help prevent situations of abuse from happening in the first place. We’ll walk you through all the areas of your business protocols to help you put systems in place that better protect students.

Pricing begins at $600 for a small school. To learn more, click here.

 

About Front Row Insurance Brokers
Front Row Insurance is an independent, Canadian-owned brokerage, specializing in film, television and performing arts insurance. The brokerage has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, LA and Nashville. Their technical expertise, market leverage and commitment to fair and timely claims settlements has always set them apart from their competitors. http://www.frontrowinsurance.com

Tags: painting school insurance, art school insurance, fine art school insurance, music school insurance, dance school insurance, film school insurance, E&O Insurance, Abuse liability insurance, abuse insurance

BC Business magazine features front row insurance on holiday party event liability

Posted by David McLeish on Nov 27, 2018 9:50:27 AM

 

Front Row's President & CEO David Hamilton recently contributed the following guest article to BC Business Magazine, and we wanted to share this here with our community. As many of you are gearing up to plan holiday events and parties, these tips will make sure you're prepared - even if the party gets a little crazy!

 

Planning this year's holiday office party? Prepare for the unexpected

We’ve all had (or been) that coworker who has a little too much fun and does something they completely regret the day after the annual holiday office party. If you’re on the event planning team for this year’s holiday party, it’s in your best interest to be prepared for every possible scenario as you prepare for office shenanigans.... 

CLICK HERE to read the full article at BC Business Magazine. 

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Credit: Kelsey Chance/Unsplash 

Tags: office party insurance, holiday party, party insurance, short term event insurance, insurance for a holiday party, holiday liability insurance, online holiday insurance, short term venue liability insurance, short term liability insurance, online short term venue insurance, online event insurance, One day special event liability, one day event insurance, single day insurance, event liability insurance, event insurance

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