But first, what are insurance brokers?
Insurance Brokers work for the client to represent their interests, negotiating the lowest possible premium and the broadest coverage available. This is very different from an insurance agent, who represents the interests of an insurer. Brokers must take on-going to courses to maintain their licenses, which must be renewed yearly. They must be insured in each province for which they provide advice, so producers should check to see that their broker is licensed in the province in which they will shoot to prevent the production company from being fined.
What is a brokerage?
Front Row, for example, is a brokerage, housing a group of national experts – brokers who have specialized in the study and practice of insurance for film production, TV series, documentaries, webisodes, music videos and more. A brokerage must carry its own E&O insurance because brokers are responsible for their actions and can be sued for professional negligence if their advice is deemed to be faulty. It’s important to know the limit of the E&O insurance the brokerage holds: $1,000,000 may not be enough once legal fees are deducted from the limit. The strength of a brokerage will determine its relationship with the four film insurance companies which underwrite productions in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Everest and Travelers. Because of its size and specialization, Front Row has a unique relationship with these insurers, allowing its brokers to get the best coverage at the best price from the right insurer.
What can a specialized broker do for you?
- Make sure the insurance company pays the amount of the claim you are entitled to
- Help you to understand the specific language shown on Film Production Policies
- Act as a conduit between you and the insurance company. 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 you on ways to limit potential liabilities during production
- Review your existing insurance policies to reveal gaps or deficiencies in the coverage
- Comprehensively review your production to assess the amount and type of insurance required
- Help you understand what coverage you have and do not have and explain any limits to the coverage
Some tips on working with a broker
- Make sure they are licensed wherever you shoot
- Ask about their E&O coverage
- Make sure they offer specialized, knowledgeable advice in a clear and easy-to read format