Disgrace Insurance in the Film Industry: A Growing Concern

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 26, 2019 8:42:45 AM

Disgrace Insurance

Disgrace Insurance in the Film Industry

“You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal.”
Elizabeth Taylor

In this post, we’ll explain disgrace insurance and look at some of the interesting history behind this policy, we’ll review some infamous “disgrace events” and conclude with an overview of the main reasons why this policy should be considered.

What is Disgrace Insurance?

A standard Lloyd’s contract defines disgrace as “any criminal act, or any offence against public taste or decency … which degrades or brings that person into disrepute or provokes insult or shock to the community.”

Disgrace insurance compensates companies for the loss of irretrievable production costs or the expenses of altering a promotional campaign due to an unforeseen disgraceful act.

The History of Disgrace Insurance

Scandals in the film industry have been around since practically the start of the industry, of course, but in today’s digital era, they are compounded and often carry a significant financial toll on the companies involved. Stories about disgraced celebrities used to come out of one or two tabloid newspapers. Today, anything a star does is instantly on the Internet and spread through social media, so production companies and studios are rightly growing more concerned.

A little-known clause called “Death & Disgrace” was once a common feature of film insurance policies. This generally included protection for up to a year from the completion of filming in case of death or disgrace. But it is now uncommon for such a clause to be built into standard film insurance policies; this coverage would likely have to be purchased separately.

Under the old studio system (roughly, between the 1920s and ‘60s), film financiers were in control — their stars’ transgressions were therefore easier to cover up and their contracts easier to tear up.

Disgrace insurance arose in the 1980s alongside the popularity of the “celebrity endorsement”, which financially protects a celebrity’s employer in case he or she gets caught up in a scandal. Companies needed a way to shield themselves from financial losses should a star commit a crime or otherwise taint the reputation in which the brand had invested.

A subsidiary of insurance giant AIG began offering disgrace insurance in 1994, describing it as an extension of the entertainment insurance coverage the company had long been writing – mainly insuring bands performing at their concerts.

Examples of Disgrace Events

via GIPHY

  • 2019 college admissions bribery scandal: actress Felicity Huffman, among others, are in hot water after paying William Rick Singer, organizer of this scheme, to fraudulently inflate entrance exam test scores and bribe college officials to get their children into prestigious colleges. This scandal has negatively impacted Huffman’s film Otherhood.
  • Kevin Spacey’s erasure: due to the sexual assault allegations against Spacey, it was announced on November 8, 2017 that all of his footage from All the Money in the World would be excised, and that Christopher Plummer would replace him. The reshoots ended up costing $10 million.
  • #MeToo— Miramax’s implosion: in October 2017, more than a dozen women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing, assaulting and/or raping them. These allegations had a negative brand impact on Weinstein’s company, Miramax, LLC, which as of August 2019 is in the bidding process to be sold to another company.
  • Ghomeshi's dismissal from Q: Jian Ghomeshi was fired from the CBC in October 2014, amidst mounting allegations from women that he had sexually assaulted them. The CBC had to scramble to find a new host of Q and auditioned many potential replacements over a number of months. The costs associated with this would be covered under a disgrace insurance policy.

Benefits of Disgrace Insurance

A well-placed disgrace insurance policy can:

  1. Cover the cost of reshoots: if the situation with a disgraced celebrity is deemed bad enough to warrant a full reshoot with a new actor, disgrace insurance would cover a significant portion of this reshoot cost.
  2. Protect a company’s investment revenue: companies often have millions tied up in endorsements or investments, so when the proverbial “hits the fan,” financiers stand to lose big time. Bad PR for the company brand = less investment from financiers.
  3. Protect a company’s brand: companies have all seen the negative effects that a disgraced celebrity can have on their revenue, but to recover and rebuild brand awareness could take many years. Disgrace insurance can cushion this blow.
  4. Protect a company’s marketing spend: disgrace insurance can help a company recover wasted expenditure on advertising and airtime costs in the event that a contracted celebrity falls from grace or dies. Netflix, for example, took a $39 million loss on deciding not to move forward with House of Cards and Gore after the aforementioned Spacey scandal, after marketing had been invested in both.

How to Buy Disgrace Insurance

We’re working on offering a disgrace insurance policy at Front Row in the near future. Please contact us if you’d like more information.

 

Citations:

Hard vs. Soft Insurance Markets Explained (with Video!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 19, 2019 7:23:39 AM

Hard vs. Soft Insurance Markets Explained


FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE
SHORT SHOOT INSURANCE FOR FILMMAKERS
EQUIPMENT INSURANCE FOR FILMMAKERS - DIGIGEAR

What exactly is the difference between a hard and soft insurance market?

A “hard” market is characterized by a high demand for insurance coverage and, therefore, a reduced supply. Payouts may have increased and profits may have declined. As a result, insurance companies are less inclined to take on new business. The requirements to obtain insurance are stricter and premiums are more expensive.

Classic characteristics of a hard market include:

  • Higher insurance premiums.
  • More stringent underwriting criteria.
  • Reduced capacity, which means insurance carriers offer less coverage or limits.
  • Reduced competition among insurance carriers.

During a “soft” market, there is much competition between companies. Premiums are stable, if not falling. It’s fairly easy to get coverage for all kinds of risks. As someone looking to buy insurance, you may have a variety of options from which to choose and underwriting rules are less stringent.

Classic characteristics of a soft market include:

  • Lower insurance premiums.
  • Relaxed underwriting criteria.
  • Increased capacity, which means insurance carriers write more policies and higher limits.
  • Increased competition among insurance carriers.

As of Summer 2019, a hard market is expected in Canada over at least the next 12 months. We’re already seeing rating increases, especially on commercial property. As an insurance customer, then, you may be wondering, what is the reason for such price increases? Well, the insurance market is inherently cyclical and has “corrections” that involve premium price increases. Prices are rising for a number of reasons, including an increase in weather-related claims and auto insurance claims. Low interest rates are also a contributing factor.

We’re in a data-driven hard market today. With all the easily accessible data now available, insurance companies can pivot faster than ever before. In commercial lines, for example, insurers are getting out of different lines of business faster than in prior years. Once they see losses growing in one area, they will quickly shift out of that line of business. This also contributes to a hard market.

In Canada, we had been in a soft market for, roughly, the past seven years. There had been virtually no rating increases (including simple inflationary increases) for many years. There has also been some capacity pulled out of the broader insurance market – eight Lloyd's of London syndicates shut down at the end of 2018, for example.

In a July 2019 Canadian Underwriter interview, speaking on reasons for these price increases, Albert Benmichol, CEO of AXIS Capital said, “We believe the industry is appropriately reacting to loss trends that have deteriorated over the last few years and have exacerbated the negative impact of several years of price declines. We believe that pricing action will continue into 2020 and perhaps longer.”

Nevertheless, even in a hard market, rest assured that at Front Row, we remain committed to offering customers the best price for the best coverage. Our size gives us leverage with the insurance companies that we use to benefit you.

 

References:

Auto Insurance vs. Wedding Insurance – Comparison and Contrast

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 8, 2019 6:47:46 AM

Auto Insurance vs. Wedding Insurance – Comparison and Contrast

Auto Insurance vs. Wedding Insurance – Comparison and Contrast

“You wouldn't think of not insuring your car, so why wouldn't you insure your wedding?”

In this post, we’ll compare and contrast auto insurance to wedding insurance, making three points as to why anyone should consider purchasing both insurance policies. We’ve also designed an infographic to convey these points visually.

Point 1: The investments are comparable. So why not insure both?

The cost of a new car is, on average, approximately $37,000 according to data published by Kelley Blue Book. And the cost of auto insurance is approximately $2,500 a year.

According to the annually published Real Weddings Study from The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the US has risen to $33,931. And the cost of wedding insurance is approximately $300. Given these similar capital costs but the much lower insurance cost for a wedding, it makes sense to go ahead and insure not just your car but also your wedding.

A wedding insurance policy can help protect couples against the most common wedding insurance claims, such as vendor problems, alcohol-fueled guest injuries, severe weather and property damage. In 2018, 41% of Travelers’ wedding claims were due to vendor issues and 22% were due to property damage caused by wedding day accidents. Severe weather events also factored into a significant amount (18%) of claims.

Point 2: One is legally mandated, the other isn’t, but laws and history can change…

Of course, you’re required to insure your car, but no one forces you to insure your big day. But this may not always be the case. Nowadays, we take auto insurance for granted – of course it’s legally required! But there was a time – pre-1930 – when the idea of legally requiring auto insurance was actually quite controversial and engendered much public debate.

Widespread use of the motor car began after WWI in urban areas. Cars were relatively fast and dangerous then, yet there was still no mandatory form of auto insurance anywhere in the world. This meant that injured victims seldom got any compensation in an accident and drivers faced considerable costs to repair their car. Finally, a mandatory auto insurance scheme was introduced and debated in the UK with the Road Traffic Act 1930; Germany followed up with similar legislation in 1939.

Similarly, we’ve seen more and more unfortunate incidents occurring at weddings around the world, including serious injuries to guests (often caused by alcohol-fueled parties) and significant financial losses to the couple due to event cancellation or wedding gift theft. Here are just some examples of such incidents:

  • In April 2019, a couple in St. Peters, Missouri had a gift card box with about $2,800 cash in it stolen from their wedding. Like many couples, they had included a gift table with a box on it for people to place cards and money inside.
  • In February 2019, KTLA reported that a well-dressed wedding crasher stole a card box filled with cash gifts worth an estimated $10,000 from a Monrovia, California-area wedding.
  • In December 2018, Daily Mail reported on a wedding in Ludhiana in Punjab, India, where alcohol was being served for free. The wedding day ended in a chaotic brawl (much of it caught on video), with many drunken guests throwing chairs and plates at each other.
  • In September 2018, a serial wedding-gift thief from Eugene, Oregon pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated first-degree theft. Brian Keith Starr stole $18,737 worth of items from five Oregon-area weddings that year.
  • In November 2014, ABC reported on a wedding in Hobart, Tasmania that ended with the bride in the hospital and the groom and best man under arrest because of an alcohol-fueled brawl at their wedding reception. It took six police units to bring the situation under control.

These examples all attest to the fact that – while obviously not as deadly as auto-related incidents – wedding-related incidents are nevertheless quite serious and have real negative impact on all involved. It is conceivable, then, that as such unfortunate incidents become more and more common, public sentiment will eventually turn toward making wedding insurance mandatory.

Point 3: Additional coverage can (and likely should) be added onto both policies.

When someone purchases auto insurance, their assumption is often that they’re covered under all circumstances. However, if they don’t have comprehensive insurance, their vehicle won’t necessarily be protected in situations like theft, vandalism and weather damage. It would be ideal to get comprehensive coverage to cover incidents beyond car crashes.

Similarly, a basic wedding insurance policy normally provides General Liability Coverage for damage to the wedding venue and injury to third parties. Additional wedding insurance coverage that should be considered includes (but is not limited to):

  • Rented Equipment
  • Wedding Cancellation Insurance
  • Honeymoon Cancellation Insurance
  • Wedding Cake, Flowers, Rings, Presents & Gifts
  • Wedding Photography and Videos
  • Failure of Wedding Suppliers

How to Buy Wedding Liability Insurance

Under Front Row’s Wedding Liability Insurance policy, coverage can be included for various risks under a custom Wedding Enhancement Package, including wedding gift theft, host liquor liability, damage to wedding attire including the bridal gown and damage to the wedding cake. Policies starting at $105 and the coverage can be purchased online in six minutes or less without having to talk to a broker.

Auto Insurance vs. Wedding Insurance – An Infographic

Auto-vs.-Wedding-infographic-forweb


Citations:

https://www.birchwoodcredit.com/blog/what-is-the-average-price-of-a-car-in-canada-in-2019/

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/2-become-1-avoiding-disaster-on-your-wedding-day-174358.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_insurance#History

https://jefferyandspence.com/blog/auto-insurance-fiction-or-fact/

Free eBook: https://www.frontrowinsurance.com/wedding-insurance-101

Book Launch: Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

Posted by Grant Patten on Aug 2, 2019 11:17:51 AM

BOOK: FILM INSURANCE 101 & HOW TO PROTECT YOUR FILM PROJECT

Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

We at Front Row Insurance are pleased to announce the publication of our book on Amazon, Film Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project. Available in both eBook and Paperback formats. Learn how to protect your film project with information on all the different film insurance policies available (E&O, DICE, short shoot, etc.), including advice on how to reduce your project’s overall risk.

The manual includes:

  • Brief descriptions of the various types of coverage available to the Entertainment Industry
  • Coupon codes with discounts on various insurance policies amounting to $300 IN SAVINGS, including $150 in film/photo insurance policy savings. Coupons valid in Canada only

The eBook can be purchased on Amazon.ca for only CDN $0.99 or on Amazon.com for only USD $0.75 ! Paperback only a few dollars more. Considering the insurance policy coupons with substantial savings included right inside the book, this is clearly a great deal.

Contents:
FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE: WHY IT IS NEEDED
PRE-PRODUCTION INSURANCE
FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE
HOW THE PREMIUM IS DETERMINED
PREMIUMS: ONE WAY TO SAVE MONEY
INSURANCE FOR YOUR SHORT FILM
DIGIGEAR EQUIPMENT INSURANCE
PROPS/SETS/WARDROBE INSURANCE
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE COST
E&O: WHAT FILMMAKERS NEED TO KNOW
TITLE REPORTS: WHO NEEDS THEM?
SCRIPT INSURANCE CLEARANCE REPORTS
FAIR USE AND E&O INSURANCE FOR FILMMAKERS - PART 1
FAIR USE AND E&O INSURANCE FOR FILMMAKERS - PART 2
INVASION OF PRIVACY AND FALSE LIGHT ACCUSATIONS
WHAT IS A DICE POLICY?
THIRD PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY
RENTING CREW PERSONAL VEHICLES
UMBRELLA VS. EXCESS LIABILITY
WATERCRAFT USE
HELICOPTER FILM INSURANCE
COMMERCIAL GENERAL LIABILITY
NEGATIVE FILM & FAULTY STOCK INSURANCE
WORKERS COMP
CAST INSURANCE 
EE CAST INSURANCE
EXTRA EXPENSE 
IMMINENT PERIL COVERAGE
INGRESS & EGRESS COVERAGE
FOREIGN LOCATIONS EXPLAINED
CLAIMS: WHAT TO DO WHEN PRODUCTION STOPS
DISCOUNT/COUPON CODES