How Can Music Venues And Tours Work Together Safely?

Posted by Janet Sellery on Jul 29, 2015 10:20:00 AM



Last August, at the CITT (Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology) conference in Ottawa, we talked about health and safety in venues used for tours and events. Here are three points that came up during our discussion:

Preparation FOR TOURING

  • Identify who has overall authority for H & S for each event. Depending on the contractual agreement, this could be either the venue or the promoter. Refer to definitions in local legislation for roles such as Employer, Owner, Constructor, Prime Contractor or Principal Contractor.
  • Discuss H & S requirements during the early stage of event planning and include them in a contract rider.
  • Remember, touring shows encounter different requirements around the world, ranging from non-existent to very strict. Help them understand what is required for your jurisdiction and venue.

Communication ON TOUR

  • The person arranging the booking may have limited ties to the show on site and may not pass on info. Talk about H & S when you advance the show closer to its arrival.
  • Communicate H & S info through venue technical specifications, promoter guides, advance sheets and info attached to the contract, as well as posted reminders and signage at the venue.
  • When the show arrives at the venue, review H & S info with the tour manager.

Enforcement AT EVENT

  • You’ve done your planning and communicated H & S requirements. What do you do when you encounter resistance?
  • The person with overall authority for H & S for the event must enforce the requirements.
  • Supervisors must respond as soon as an issue arises.
  • This may be as simple as a reminder to put on a hard hat, or as serious as stopping the work until it is made safe or sending a worker home. 

And the good news...

  • Local crews are generally on board with requirements such as hard hats, safety footwear and fall protection. As more venues require them, road crews are getting used to these expectations.
  • Risk assessment is becoming more common.
  • Attitudes towards H & S are improving.

Venues and tours need to continue to work together to protect their people and events.

Janet Sellery

Topics: tour insurance

Band On The Run: Touring Insurance Tips For Taking Your Show On The Road

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 2:02:00 PM



“Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came”
Jackson Browne, Stay

Life on the road can be rife with challenges and filled with excitement and exhilaration. But a little insurance planning before heading out on tour will ensure your excitement is from the audience and not an uninsured claim.

In today’s post, I’ll highlight some things for you to think about when planning your tour. While every circumstance is a little different, these are the key exposures that you and production manager will want to consider.

Instruments, Sound, Lighting and Other Equipment: Your instruments and equipment will be loaded, unloaded and then loaded again and again. In order for your insurance coverage to be seamless, you need to ensure that you have a ‘Floater’ coverage form. Floaters are a type of insurance that are not specific to any location, so they extend to wherever the gear is located: on the road, on the stage and everywhere in between. Be sure that the policy territory includes all of the countries where your tour will take you. And, if you are traveling into countries with less stable or unpredictable governments or legal systems, you’ll want to investigate coverage for seizures, quarantine or appropriation by authorities.

insurance considerations for musicianS:

  • Valuation: What are you entitled to from your insurance company? Will your policy pay to replace old equipment with new, or are they only responsible to pay you for used equipment?
  • What’s covered? Does your policy cover theft and accidental damage? Are there restrictions or exclusions if gear is stolen from a vehicle or if unattended?
  • Unexpected costs or extra expenses: Will your insurance pay for renting new gear if yours is stolen or unusable after being damaged? These unexpected costs can be included in your insurance so you don’t have to find a way to pay them out of an already tight tour budget.
  • Musicians’ property: Be clear on who is required to insure your musicians’ instruments. If it is you, then a simple written agreement can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your insurance company has an obligation to respond to claims for property that you don’t own.
  • Loss of equity or value in instruments: Higher end, rare or old instruments often build value over time and this value can be affected when damaged, even when repaired by experienced and recognized craftspeople. Ask whether your insurance will cover this as part of your claim. When insuring others’ instruments, be sure to discuss their value and what their expectations are if their instrument is damaged.
Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Band Insurance: Learn more 
To read more on Tour Insurance click here

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance

Carnet Bonds And Touring Insurance For Your Band

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:59:00 PM

Carnet bonds

Carnet Bonds: (pronounced ‘car-neh’)

Carnet Bonds must be posted with the Chamber of Commerce when you are taking your equipment outside of the country. A Carnet is like a passport for the property you are taking on the road. It allows you to pass into a country with your equipment duty & tax free.

The Carnet Bond is a financial guarantee with the government that pays the duty or taxes if the gear doesn’t return and it is used to prevent companies or individuals from importing property without paying these charges. You will be required to complete and file an ATA Carnet application along with a detailed list of the property with the Chamber of Commerce.

You will need to include the current value of the equipment not the new cost. This will be used to calculate the amount of your Carnet Bond. While you can purchase a Carnet Bond from a broker, the Chamber of Commerce offers an excellent on-line system for purchasing the Bond and the rates are generally more competitive than purchasing it on your own.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Band Insurance: Learn More 

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, carnet bonds, band tour insurance

Musician Liability Insurance: Make Sure Your Band's Tour Is Protected

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:53:00 PM


Liability Insurance for Musicians

When someone gets hurt or you damage property such as a venue, a hotel room or a studio, you could be facing a tour liability claim. They can be costly to defend and to settle, if you are negligent and are responsible to pay the other party for their injury or damage.

To reduce your risk, make sure you only engage contractors or service providers who have insurance and who are able to add you as an Additional Insured to their policy. As an Additional Insured, their insurance company is obliged to defend you if the actions, or inactions, of the contractor for the claim against you.

Most tour liability insurance policies will provide worldwide coverage, provided that the claim is brought against you in Canada or the USA. You may want to consider expanding this to include claims brought anywhere in the world if you have assets in other countries, or if you are travelling to countries with less predictable legal or political environments. Carefully review the insurance requirements of contracts such as venue agreements and equipment rental contracts.

As a final point, be sure your policy does not exclude claims related to injuries to performers. You’d be surprised just how many policies prospective clients bring me that have this type of exclusion.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Musician Liability Insurance: Learn more

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: musical instrument insurance, concert insurance, tour insurance

Touring Insurance For Your Band: Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:48:00 PM


Planes, Trains and Automobiles - MUSICAL TOUR INSURANCE

Non-owned aircraft, helicopters, aviation, rented vehicles, international exposures; these are all things to talk about with your broker when you are arranging your insurance.

Chartered tour vehicles, buses or airplanes can present risks to you that need to be considered as part of your insurance program. Checking to ensure that the owners and operators are insured is crucial. It is common to find coverage in policies for the use of non-owned vehicles in Canada or the USA, but not for international rentals. Be sure to look into this if you are planning to rent vehicles as part of your tour.

Front Row Insurance Specializes in Touring Insurance for bands: Learn more.

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!



Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance

Does Your Band's Tour Insurance Include Out-of-Country Medical?

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:46:00 PM


Out-of-Country Medical Insurance FOR MUSICIANS & BANDS

Even a short hospital stay can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses that will not be insured by your provincial medical insurance. A long hospital stay with extensive treatment, or the need to be returned home by air ambulance can create devastating financial hardship for you and your family.

Out-of-Country medical insurance is inexpensive and a ‘must-have’ for your musicians and crew. Consider purchasing an annual policy for uninterrupted and seamless coverage for pleasure travel or a last minute gig. Pre-existing or on-going health conditions, can be problematic when making a claim, so you’ll want to ensure that there are no restrictions on the insurability of any of those who are on the road. If you are leaving it up to each individual to purchase their own insurance then be sure to ask them to provide you with a copy of their policy before setting out.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize In Tour Insurance, Including Out-of-Country Medical Insurance: Learn More

To Read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance, out of country medical insurance


Posted by Janet Sellery on Jul 24, 2015 10:43:00 AM

Sarah Jones, Camera Assistanthow did what happened to sarah jones change film industry safety?

On February 20, 2014, Sarah Jones, a 27 year old camera assistant, was tragically killed when Midnight Rider filmmakers criminally trespassed onto live train tracks and began shooting. They did not tell their crew that they had twice been denied permission by CSX to be on the tracks; they also had no safety meeting beforehand and no medic, nor railroad personnel present on set.

Her colleagues have reflected on their role in health and safety and Dave Chameides has written a moving article: Camera Operator After ‘Midnight Rider': “Speak Loudly And Lead By Example”. Here are some excerpts: (The emphasis is mine.)

“As a camera operator with 25 years experience, I understand that it’s part of my job description to make sure that my crew and I remain safe. I’m not infallible and it’s not a job that is mine alone, but at the end of the day I know that if one of my brothers or sisters doesn’t make it home safely, I’m one of the people who dropped the ball.

And I can’t live with that.

More than a year has passed since that fateful day and I find myself thinking of Sarah Jones often. The weight of her death hangs on me, not because I knew her but because I see her on set every day.

On every set I see her because on every set I see young filmmakers hungry to prove themselves, to make their mark, to climb the ladder and live this crazy dream that we all seem so enamored with. And on every set I know that all the Sarahs look to me and others for guidance, safe in the knowledge that if we are not concerned about a particular issue than it must be OK.

But it’s not always OK.

So today I have a request. If you are an experienced industry professional, let your co-workers know that you will point out any safety issues you are aware of. Let them know it’s up to all of us to watch out for each other but that you’ll gladly speak up if they are afraid to. Let them know that set safety is portal to portal, because crew members will lose a life falling asleep at the wheel much more often than they will from of a falling piece of equipment. Let them know that what’s most important in our business is that every member of the crew arrives home safely at the end of every day.

While it’s everyone’s job to address safety concerns, these individuals may not have the confidence to speak up yet, so it falls on us, the veterans, to do that for them and lead by example. We had role models who watched out for us when our careers were just starting out and now it’s our turn to step up, regardless of where we fall on the call sheet. The simple fact that we have years in the trenches gives us the power and the responsibility to speak loudly, speak clearly, and show others that safety comes first and unsafe set practices will not be tolerated.

No one spoke up for Sarah Jones or any of her crew. Someone should have. Starting today, make sure someone does.

For Sarah.

For all the Sarahs.

For all of us.

First filmmaker ever convicted in a case involving on-set death

Director/producer/co-writer Randy Miller pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years — two years in jail, eight years probation — plus a $20,000 fine and 360 hours of community service. He also agreed not to serve as director, assistant director or supervisor in charge of safety on any film production for 10 years.

Unit production manager Jay Sedrish and first assistant director Hillary Schwartz were convicted of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter. Both were released on 10 years probation.



The Safety for Sarah movement

Safety For Sarah Logo

Safety for Sarah website

See: ‘Midnight Rider’ Director Randall Miller Issues Statement From Jail – Updated

Janet Sellery

Topics: TV Series, Public Liability Insurance for Film

4 Easy Steps To Reading A Theatre Insurance Policy

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 23, 2015 1:38:00 PM


“You got it buddy, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away”

Tom WaitsStep Right Up


In the nearly 30 years I’ve been a theatre insurance broker, I’ve read many theatre insurance policies. Over those years, I’ve adopted an approach to help me determine what’s covered and what’s not, relatively quickly.

In today’s post, I thought I would share these very simple tips with you. They will make you feel more comfortable with the policy you are buying and help you form better questions when discussing the coverage with your broker or dealing with a claim.

Before we begin, it’s important to know there are four essential parts of any Theatre Insurance Policy. For the purpose of this discussion, I will be referring to a "Broad Form" type of policy (often referred to as an ‘All Risks’ policy; a terrible name by the way, as I’ve yet to see a policy that covers everything!) This type of policy has become the most common in the industry and is generally considered a broader form of coverage than a ‘Specified or Named Perils’ policy. Broad Form policies outline what type of claims you will NOT be insured against; whereas, a Specified Perils policy outlines the types of claims which are insured by the policy.

So here we go:

  1. Start with the Insuring Agreement: it’s here that the insurance company tells you what they are insuring. These are generally short and you will see certain words identified with italics, or bold or capitalized letters; policies will use this as a way of telling the reader that these words have a broader meaning which are defined elsewhere in the policy, usually under a section titled Definitions;
  2. Move on to the Definitions: Definitions broaden a single word or words beyond the common-use meaning, to define what it means in your policy. For example, the word ‘Insured’, may be broadened to include your corporation, employees, officers, volunteers, shareholders, etc. Using Definitions makes reading the policy less repetitive and easier to read. Sometimes a definition will also tell what it doesn’t mean, so watch that.
  3. Now, read the Exclusions: It is here where your coverage is shaped and the insurance company tells you what will NOT be covered by your policy. Some insurance companies have this under a section referred to as ‘What’s Not Covered’, or ‘Causes of Loss Not Covered’. Often I’m asked the question, “So what are we covered for?” While this is a great question, to me it’s more important to know what you are NOT covered for as it there where the surprises live. This is why I read the Exclusions. Sometimes you will find there are exclusions specific to certain sections of your policy, and then there are some known as General Exclusions which apply to your ENTIRE policy. If you see an exclusion that you don’t like or you feel it too greatly restricts your coverage, be sure to raise this with your broker. Some exclusions can be removed by paying an additional premium for the added coverage.
  4. And finally, look for ‘Endorsements’: these are used by insurance companies to modify their standard policies. They can broaden or restrict your coverage. They can usually be found listed in the front section of your policy known as your ‘Policy Declarations’.These are the front sheets on your policy where the insurance company lists your insured amounts, deductibles and premiums.

There will be other parts of the policy called Statutory Conditions and General Conditions. While these are important, they are generally common to most policies and can be read once you have tackled the parts I’ve listed above.

And one final tip: when it comes to making a claim under a Broad Form policy, it is your insurance company that has the responsibility to establish that one of the exclusions applies to your claim. Any ambiguity will be read in your favour as they were the ones who created the policy wording. By contrast a Named or Specified Perils policy requires YOU to demonstrate that your claim has resulted from one of the insured loss types specified in your policy.

By using these 4 simple tips you will quickly be able to understand your policy, feel more comfortable with it, and be able to ask questions that may help broaden your insurance protection.

We have an easy online low-cost insurance solution for Canadian producers who are renting theatre space and equipment for a short period:

Get a quote in 2 minutes

Topics: Theatre Insurance

Copyright Reports: Use Them to Minimize the Potential of an E&O Claim

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 22, 2015 3:31:00 PM

Copyright Reports


Prior to providing a Producers E&O quote, the film insurance company will recommend that you obtain a copyright report. At Front Row, we recommend that a copyright report be obtained on any book, play, etc. that the producer is buying rights to, or for any script that was not written as a work for hire by the production company’s own employees.

The copyright report is important because they make you aware of any conflicting assignments that hinder or destroy the right to use the underlying work. It is not common for someone to try to defraud you, but many owners of the underlying work do not fully understand previous option agreements or other contracts, or co-owners of the rights may already have assigned the film or TV rights to someone else.

A recent claim involved a producer of a movie sued for copyright infringement. Plaintiff alleged that her unpublished novel was the basis for the movie. The Producers Errors and Omissions policy will provide a lawyer and pay the legal fees to defend the producer that purchased an E&O Policy for Producers.

Once the assignment of the film/TV rights to the underlying work is obtained, the producer should register that assignment with the copyright office. This registration will prevent someone who obtains conflicting rights from establishing a priority of rights by beating the producer to the registration procedure.

If you would like a no obligation Producers E&O insurance quote, please click here.

Front Row is an independent film insurance broker that works on behalf of filmmakers to transfer the risks of filming to insurance companies for the lowest possible cost. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.



E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: E&O Insurance, Script Clearance reports

E&O Insurance for Producers: Minimizing the Risk of Unsolicited Submissions Claims

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 21, 2015 10:04:38 AM

Minimizing the risk of E&O Claims

Here are some ways to prevent a Film Producers E&O insurance claim:

  1. Refuse to read scripts, story concepts etc. without getting a written waiver of any future claims by the Man holding film camerawriter.
  2. All submissions are held (preferably unopened) by clerical staff until they send out a release form and get back a signed copy.
  3. Maintain good record keeping systems of what submissions have come in, who saw them, and how they were handled.
  4. Limit the number of people who actually review these projects.
  5. Be careful how you respond to submissions.
  6. Keep track of where the project ideas come from and when.    

An example of a potential claim: plaintiff sues producer for copyright infringement. Alleges that movie being produced is based on a script submitted to the producer years before that was rejected. Producer made notes throughout the script recommending changes and plaintiff believes these changes are consistent with the movie. The amount claimed was not specified.

The producers errors and omissions policy will provide a lawyer and pay the legal fees to defend the producer that purchased an e&o policy for producers. 

If you would like a no obligation Producers E and O insurance quote, please click here.

Related Post: Claims Made vs. Occurrence Based E&O Claims

Front Row is an independent film insurance broker that works on behalf of filmmakers to transfer the risks of filming to insurance companies for the lowest possible cost. Front Row makes sure that filmmakers receive their claim money quickly. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.

Topics: E&O Insurance

Elmo and Film Production Liability Insurance

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 20, 2015 10:53:00 AM

What could Elmo have to do with General Liability Insurance for Film Production?

Elmo: General Liability Insurance for Film ProductionRoyalty-free stock photo ID: 1527200630, Shutterstock

A legendary Sesame Street character loved by generations of children. Along with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he is an icon whose scraggly red face will never be forgotten. All of this was called into question two years ago, however, when Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash was charged with sexually abusing a minor.

It has been a long and arduous battle in court, but on the heels of his final charges being dropped, it only makes sense to discuss how production liability insurance for television can protect projects from these kinds of charges.

First let us mention that most production liability insurance policies will exclude claims related to sexual abuse. This means that claims will not be paid and organizations where an employee has been charged will be left without protection. Our actONE program includes this coverage to protect the organizations only. The employee is not protected as illegal acts are uninsurable. Having said this we will cover all trial costs if he/she is found not guilty.

One of the other major features of the policy we provide is Public Relations Coverage. This foots the bill for any expenses incurred in hiring a public relations expert to manage the reputation damage that comes with sexual abuse claims.

So, what can you do to protect your organization?

Firstly, criminal background checks are a great form of due diligence that can prove you were as careful as possible in the event of a law suit. We encourage them particularly where theatres offer educational workshops involving minors.

Lastly, for projects in theatre film or television,  if anyone under the age of 18 will be on set in the company of adults employed by you, it is crucial that you divulge this to your broker in advance.

We can’t protect against what we don’t know about, and in cases like this…

One error can break you.

Topics: production liability insurance for films, Theatre Insurance

Producers E&O Insurance: Best Practices when Reviewing Scripts

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 17, 2015 11:40:00 AM

Producers errors and omissions (E&O)

Producers errors and omissions claims can be prevented by following the guidelines on the list below. The list is not meant to be all- encompassing, but instead it is a quick reference:

  1. Avoid the accidental use of real names of people or organizations.
  2. Avoid identifying someone by a specific job or his/her e&o insurance, scriptsinvolvement in actual events, even if the name is totally fictional.
  3. Avoid using real addresses.
  4. Don’t use real phone numbers, credit card numbers, social insurance numbers etc.
  5. Get permission for uses of trademarks and logos, and avoid references to companies or products and where possible don’t use identifiable props (eg. Photographs, paintings, posters, sculptures, magazines) that are protected by copyright, unless you get permission from the copyright holder.

An example of a potential claim: recently a plaintiff alleges copyright infringement in connection with the use of certain fine art images in a movie of the week. The amount claimed was $900,000.

Another example: A ‘sound alike’ rendition of a musician’s song was used in movie.  Musician sued for misappropriation and copyright infringement. The amount claimed was: $65,000.

The producers errors and omissions policy will provide a lawyer and pay the legal fees to defend the producer that purchased an e&o policy for producers.

If you would like a no obligation Producers E and O insurance quote, please click here.

Related Post: Producers E&O

Front Row is an independent film insurance broker that works on behalf of filmmakers to transfer the risks of filming to insurance companies for the lowest possible cost. Front Row makes sure that filmmakers receive their claim money quickly. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.



E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: E&O Insurance, Film Insurance claims

Theatre Insurance: Make A Potential Disaster A Minor Inconvenience

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 16, 2015 10:43:00 AM

theatre insurance

There is nothing like a night out at the theatre.

Theatre InsuranceGetting dressed up in a fine outfit. Hiring a babysitter for the kids. And being swept away in a dark room that allows you to forget about real life, if only for a few hours, is well worth the price of admission. The idea that anything could shatter the illusion is unconscionable. “What could ever go wrong?” you might ask. At a UK production of “Grumpy Old Women,” the audience found out the hard way.

At Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, the audience was evacuated due to a pyrotechnic mishap that occurred well before intermission. Frustrated theatre goers spilled out onto nearby Regent street as firemen arrived promptly at the scene. Despite its challenges, like many great stories of the theatre, this one has a happy ending.

Ultimately  the fire was put out and the show went on as planned. Since we’re in the insurance industry however, let’s have a look at some hypotheticals.

More than almost any other hazard, fire shows just how important it is that a theatre carry good production liability insurance. Had the pyrotechnic mishap gotten out of control the damage to property and more importantly people could have been immeasurable. While key person insurance would have protected the lead actors, and the company’s theatre insurance would have covered sets, and costumes, without the proper liability limits an out-of-control fire is enough to draw the curtain on any business due to its potential to cause personal injury.  Furthermore one production’s damage to a theatre has implications for said theatres future productions and revenue streams, all of which need to be protected.

At Front Row, we always make sure our theatres have air-tight insurance coverage in every respect so that ‘potential disaster’ is reduced to ‘minor inconvenience.’

In the end, “Grumpy Old Women” proved more comedy than tragedy.

We have an easy online low cost insurance solution for Canadian producers who are renting theatre space and equipment for a short period:

Get a quote in 2 minutes

Topics: Theatre Insurance

E&O Insurance Quote: Are You Being Offered The Right Coverage?

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 15, 2015 9:56:08 AM

E&O: are you paying for the coverage you need?

If you are shopping for an insurance quote for producers E&O insurance make sure you are paying for the coverage that you need.

Piggy bank: E&O insuranceTo endure and succeed in today’s increasingly global entertainment business, video and film producers must continually keep pace with evolving technology, marketplace demands, competitors, and a changing legal landscape. Complicating the picture further is an expanding litany of media liability exposures, any of which can result in a calamitous lawsuit…from any number of sources.

Consider the financial impact on your organization if:

• A person featured in a production sued you for defamation and invasion of privacy.
• A woman who was mentioned in a production claimed that it caused her to suffer emotional distress.
• A writer, alleging a production used his storyline, sued you for copyright infringement and misappropriation.
• A theatre company sued your production company, alleging trademark infringement over a film’s title.

Even if you did nothing wrong, defense and settlement costs can escalate to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

One solution is Chubb’s MediaGuard E&O policy that specifically addresses the nature of these risks. Chubb has insured video and film producers for approximately 40 years, so they’ve seen producers sued over their content-related activities time and time again. They understand that in today’s constantly shifting legal landscape, the precise nature of media liability lawsuits can be difficult to predict. Unfortunately, one thing that can be predicted is the financial and reputational havoc such lawsuits can cause.

MediaGuard Highlights:

•  “occurrence form” which covers activities that occur during the policy period (regardless of when claim is first made).
• “All risk” coverage extends beyond specified “named perils” to include risks arising out of core functions of video and film production: gathering and creating information and communicating it to the public.
• Built-in merchandising coverage, including third-party licensing of any logo, symbol, trademark, or other intellectual property for use in connection with the sale of goods and services directly relating to a production.
• Built-in advertising coverage.
• Negligent publication coverage for any claim alleging harm to a person or entity that acted or failed to act in reliance upon the information published.
• Our customer fully controls whether to settle without sacrificing coverage and can choose between reimbursement of defense costs or duty to defend.
• No “insured versus insured” exclusion with respect to internal copyright disputes.
• Broad breach-of-contract carve backs for, among other things, alleged failure to attribute authorship or credit under any agreement to which the insured is a party and alleged misappropriation of ideas under implied contract.
• Punitive damages coverage, where insurable by law.
• Internet Liability clause with automatic coverage for newly created websites after the policy incepts.

Front Row Insurance Brokers can offer you a Producer's E&O insurance quote from Chubb. Click here to get a quote.



E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: E&O Insurance

Interns And Film, Television And Performing Arts Productions

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 14, 2015 11:16:00 AM


180051_182557985117662_6147903_nInterns abound in film, television, and performing arts production. Every year young people develop their skills and gain knowledge through these hands-on work experiences. But for producers providing these opportunities, it's important to be aware of the allowable scope of the duties that can be assigned to interns.

In 2013, the Producers of the Charlie Rose show settled a $250,000 class-action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns. The action alleged that the Producers did not adhere to protocols set-out under the US Department of Labour codes, which say:

  • Duties must be educational for the intern
  • Duties would not be done by regular paid employees
  • Employer doesn't derive any immediate advantage from the intern
  • The intern is not entitled to a job following the internship
  • The intern understands that they are not entitled to a salary or wage

In Canada, there aren’t any laws directly regulating internships; however, standards could be considered if an action was to be brought against a Producer.

The Canadian Intern Association's ( mandate is to advocate against the exploitation of interns and aim to improve the internship experience for both interns and employers. 

In a 2011 Canadian Press article, employment lawyer Andrew Langille, is quoted as saying upwards of 95% of unpaid internships (in Ontario) are probably illegal, because interns are doing work typically performed by paid employees.

If you are using interns, protect yourself by following some simple guidelines:

  • Clearly define the scope of the internship with the intern in advance of them starting the assignment
  • Communicate your policies to your staff and let them know what duties should not be assigned to an intern
  • Monitor the experience with the intern & your staff to make sure that the assignment is progressing as initially defined 

Many intern programs require you have accident insurance for your interns. Varying levels of insurance can be purchased at a reasonable cost either for the assignment or to cover all interns throughout a specified period.   Understanding whether your liability insurance will respond to claims related to an intern being injured is critical and a review of your policy is recommended before you decide to bring on an intern.

Interning is a proactive way for the industry to participate in developing the skills of their future production staff and it can be a terrific opportunity for young people who want to build a career in arts & entertainment, media & culture. As is the case with most things, clear and regular communication can help ensure it doesn't present an unexpected risk to you.

For additional reference information, please see:

  1. Hollywood Reporter blog article 'Charlie Rose' Interns Settle Unpaid Wages Lawsuit can be read here.
  2. Andrew Langille manages a website about youths, workplace law, economics, labour markets education & public policy.

Topics: Intern Rights

Automobile Liability Insurance and Film Productions Companies

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 9, 2015 10:13:00 AM


All automobiles intended to be used on roads whether licensed or unlicensed must be covered by a primary automobile liability policy. Certain minimum coverage and limits are required by law but in all provinces third party liability insurance is compulsory.

Owned Vehicles

Automobiles owned by production must be insured for the compulsory coverage in the province where they Film Production Insurance - motorbikeare located and where the automobiles are licensed. We also recommend purchasing optional physical damage coverage and we can provide a quote as required.

Motorized Snow Vehicles, ATVs and Other Special Vehicles

Your insurance requirements will vary depending on the province that the vehicle is being used in, and whether the vehicle is being used on public or private property. There are too many variables to deal with each particular circumstance, so you should always check with our office prior to the use of any of these types of vehicles.

Automobile Rentals

When renting or leasing automobiles from others, whether companies or individuals, their automobile liability insurance could be invalid unless they have a special endorsement from their insurance company giving them permission to rent or lease the automobiles to you. Therefore, when sourcing automobiles we recommend using established rental car agencies and picture vehicle companies wherever possible.

Employees of production using their own vehicles for company business or receiving a call allowance should contact their own insurance broker or agent to make sure that their automobile policy is amended to permit business use.

Production Vehicles, Trucks, Motor Homes, Honeywagons & Picture Vehicles

Automobiles rented or leased for a term exceeding 30 days may be insured by the production company under their own automobile liability policy. Policies can be obtained through our office for all provinces except British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba where provincially run government insurers provide coverage.

For automobiles rented for terms under 30 days liability coverage is provided under the Commercial General Liability policy - S.P.F. No. 6 or Q.P.F. No. 6 Non-Owned Automobile extension (if purchased by the production company). Note that this coverage does not replace the automobile owner’s legal obligation to maintain primary automobile liability insurance.

Automobile Physical Damage Insurance

All rented, borrowed or leased automobiles for which you are legally responsible are covered for physical damage under the Entertainment Package Policy if Commercial Vehicle Physical Damage coverage is purchased. Coverage typically carries a deductible of 10% of loss with a minimum amount between $1,500 to $2,500.

Note: Valuation for vehicles is based on the actual cash value which represents the depreciated value of the vehicles and their repair parts. If you have any new, unique, customized, historic or collector vehicles that need to be insured for their replacement cost or on an agreed value basis please notify us well in advance of purchasing, hiring, renting or leasing these types of vehicles. In some cases an independent vehicle appraisal establishing the value of the vehicle might be required.

Topics: Film Production Vehicle Insurance, non-owned auto insurance, automobile insurance for films, Film equipment rental insurance

Cast Insurance For Live Performances

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 9, 2015 10:08:00 AM


Cast insurance - woman actor

Here’s a scenario:

You successfully pitched the project, secured the financing, cast a couple of great lead actors in the roles and now you need to get all of the other pieces in place for the show. Of course you need some production insurance, and on this show you want some Cast Insurance on your two leads. They’re both integral to the show and it would bad for you and your investors if an illness, injury, or worse, was to prevent one or both of them from appearing. It’s not a long run; scheduling will make it hard to extend it, so insurance is the way to go to cover the financial exposure of something going wrong with the actors.

You connect with the broker and he tells you a medical will be required on each actor. You think, “No problem - both are young and healthy”, but your contract with them doesn’t say anything about insurance. One of their agents pushes back, but in the end it’s agreed that the actor will see the doctor.

The medical is received, but … (as the reader, I’m sure you knew there was going to be a ‘but’ coming) … when the insurance company reviews it, they make note of a history of a medical condition that concerns them. The underwriter researches it and speaks with her company’s consulting physician and learns that the condition is exacerbated by stress and can really flair up if the person becomes fatigued. This is a rigorous and physical show with 6 shows a week. You begin to be concerned.

The insurers decide this is a risk they don’t want to insure. Now your concern elevates. The financial risk is high and, if the health condition becomes an issue, you will likely need to cancel the show as there won’t be time to re-cast and rehearse a new actor into the remaining scheduled performances.

As a broker, I have seen this scenario play out many times. So how can it be avoided? What are the steps a Producer can take to protect themselves from facing a major insurance policy exclusion that leaves them with a big financial exposure?

I recommend that Producers start thinking about Cast Insurance when they are budgeting their show. If you aren’t able to work the cost of understudies or swings into your budget, or if the success of the run could be affected by the loss of a lead-role actor, then you should be including Cast Insurance as a line item in your show budget.


  • Put it in the contract. Your deal memos or engagement agreements should always address the insurability of the actor and should secure their consent to see an approved physician for a medical exam.
  • Talk to your lawyer. A pre-signed medical would be ideal, but this could leave you with a discrimination exposure if you decide not to hire based on the findings. It may be appropriate under certain circumstances, but talk to your lawyer before going down this path. Sometimes the process of negotiating the medical and insurability clause will open a discussion about something that could present an insurance issue.
  • Medical & health-related information obtained through a cast medical is extremely valuable. As Producer, you will be privy to information about conditions which could affect the actor and impact your show.
  • Cast Medical Insurance can exclude pre-existing health conditions, drug, alcohol & substance abuse, psychological disorders and performance issues such as voice or movement-related issues. If your financial risk is too high because of a health-related exclusion then you need to be able to rely on your contract with the actor to provide you with a remedy. Without the protection of a contract, you may have to accept the exposure of a policy exclusion.
  • Think about their family. The death of an immediate family member during the run will result in the actor needing to take time away from your show. How will you address this? Your insurance coverage can include Family Bereavement coverage to help deal with the costs of an unexpected cancellation, postponement or interruption.
  • Build a schedule that works. When faced with an insurance exclusion, think about how you can schedule your shows to allow time for the person to care for themselves or time for health-care support. Be sure that the actor can maintain their usual health protocols while on your show: their personal wellness is a priority.

Cast insurance can be a key component of managing the financial risks of a show. It can be used effectively to pay committed production expenses, reimburse pre-production costs and pay for sunk expenses such as media & marketing, and it can be used to pay additional costs associated with re-casting or re-scheduling shows. But, you need to have good information that enables you to develop a contingency plan for dealing with a problem if it occurs.

As with most things, information and communication are key to structuring a plan for managing cast-related risks, so open the dialogue early, build the insurance costs into your budget, and go out and cast those amazing actors in your show.

Topics: Cast Insurance, Live Show Insurance, Theatre Insurance, Actor body insurance