Musical Instrument Theft Prevention: What You Need to Know

Posted by Meghan Stickney on Jan 24, 2019 10:39:53 PM

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Unfortunately, there seems to be an increase in musical instrument theft as of late, but there are some actions you can take to protect yourself and your band.


We’ve provided some tips and tricks for how to guard your instruments, as well as some information on how to insure your instruments so you are protected in any worst case scenario situations.

1. Anonymity

  • One of the best ways to prevent your instruments from being stolen is to remain as anonymous as possible – in terms of your band and your instruments.
  • Avoid having band stickers on your vehicle and instruments, so that you aren’t a clear target.
  • Tint or paint your windows or buy blinds, so people can’t see into your vehicle, your rehearsal space or any place you store your instruments.

2. Security

  • This one might sound obvious, but there are a few critical steps you can take to make sure that you’re keeping your items as secure as possible. These include the following:
  • Install an alarm.
  • Develop a protocol to make sure that your vehicle is locked at all times. Even when you’re loading in, and may be making several trips to a nearby space. This happens a lot with bands and musicians and presents a target for thieves.
  • Chain all of your gear together in your van or trunk so that if the thief does a smash and grab they will not be able to get away quickly.

3. Parking

  • Many instrument thefts happen overnight, so it is important to be careful about how and where you park.
  • Park your vehicle back against a wall whenever possible so it’s harder to get in the back doors.
  • Park in the underground garage of your hotel rather than the surface lot.
  • Leave your vehicle at a tow truck yard: they are manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The cost is usually reasonable for the protection provided.

4. Keep Records

  • In the unfortunate case that something does get stolen, it’s important that you have the proper records. It helps with the investigation and increases the chances of your property being found.
  • Take pictures of your instruments – this way you’ll have an image to present should something be taken.
  • Keep a record of serial numbers. This way investigators will absolutely know if an instrument is yours or not.
  • Store a copy of the appraisal if the instruments are older than 5 years. Vintage gear will be have the best claims settlement if there is an appraisal to refer to.

 In the unfortunate event that your gear is stolen, you’ll really only be protected from losses if you’ve chosen an insurance provider that specializes in instrument insurance for professionals (like us). Most homeowners policies will not insure instruments and gear used professionally or damage caused by airlines so be sure to source a policy for professionals. This ensures all of your bases are covered and the tools of your trade will be protected.

Many music professionals rely on Front Row for their tour and instrument coverage. We offer the advantage of one-stop online shopping with low rates, flexible options, and excellent service. Buy protection though our website with no need to speak to a broker. For more information on how to insure your instruments, click here

 About the contributor: David Hamilton is President + CEO of Front Row Insurance, one of the world’s largest entertainment insurance brokers that is privately owned in Canada. Front Row specializes in musical instrument insurance for professionals. http://frontrowinsurance.com/

 

Topics: musical instrument coverage, musical instrument insurance company, Musician Liability Insurance

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.

Topics: E&O insurance for Films, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, E&O Insurance Deductable, Producers E&O Insurance quote, 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!

 

Topics: cheap event insurance, one day event insurance, One day special event liability, short term 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. 

Topics: Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, entertainment 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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Topics: Cast Insurance, Film Productions Cast Insurance, Actors Insurance, Cast Insurance for live performances, Theatre company cast insurance, Actor body 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.

Topics: circus insurance, circus performer insurance