Alyson Forster

Recent Posts

US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 4, 2020 7:12:51 AM

US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

If you’re a Canada-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.

Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?

things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:

  1. Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
  2. If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production (US), double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
  3. Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.

Below is a sample certificate. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.

US Certificate of Insurance

Ok, so from the top!

The highlighted section on the left is where your company information is located.

The highlighted section on the right is your insurance company. You will notice it shows insurer “A” and insurer “B”. This will correspond to the boxes on the far left side to show which company is which.

The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.

US Certificate of Insurance

This next part is VERY important, especially when it comes to Film LA. See the box that says “ADDL INSR”? That stands for Additional Insured, and the “Y” stands for yes. Next to that column, there is wording “SUBR WVD” this stands for Waiver of Subrogation.

This is a waiver that you must request in advance and most likely will cost additional premium. Without a “Y” under “ADDL INSR” and “SUBR WVD”- your insurance coverage will not be sufficient for Film LA.

The next part of the “grid” will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.

The bottom right highlighted section is what your rental/prop house will review. Keep in mind, this amount is not the value to rent the equipment. The amount is to replace the item in the case of a total loss.

The section ‘ded’ that is highlighted stands for your retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible.

Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.

Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessories replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Remember insurer “A” and insurer “B”? You can now see them on the far right column.

This row on your certificate is where any special wording would be located. If you need a rental house to be named additional insured, this is where the wording would be located.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Whenever there is a need for special wording on your certificate, please notify your broker. This is something only your broker can process.

Last section! So, the certificate holder will be the entity that requested to be named additional insured, loss payee, or certificate holder. If a rental house has requested to be named additional insured, this is where you would find their name and address.

US Certificate of Insurance

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.

Related:

Canadian Filmmakers: Certificate of Insurance

Getting a film permit in Los Angeles / Film LA

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Producers, Annual Film Insurance, Film production offices, Film Production Companies, US Film insurance broker, Certificates

Canadian Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 4, 2020 7:12:08 AM

Canadian Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

If you’re a US-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.

Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?

things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:

  1. Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
  2. If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production, double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
  3. Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.

Below is a sample certificate of insurance for Canadian film productions. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

Ok, so from the top!

The highlighted section below is where your company information is located.

The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

The next part of the first page will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

If a permit office, rental house, or specific entity you are working with has requested special wording on a certificate, it will go here. If you do need special wording on your certificate, please make sure you reach out to your broker in advance. Special wording or endorsements such as a “Waiver of Subrogation” may take up to 24-48 hours to process from the carrier.

Certificate of Insurance Canada

The following pages of your certificate of insurance will outline the limits of insurance and retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible, and is located on the far right column.

Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.

Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessory’s replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.

Certificate of Insurance Canada Schedule AHave more questions on the coverages on the far left column? Contact us.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.

Related:

US Filmmakers: Certificate of Insurance

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Producers, Annual Film Insurance, Film Production Companies, Film Location Insurance, Certificates

How to obtain Los Angeles film permits / LA film permits

Posted by Alyson Forster on Jun 15, 2020 6:54:55 AM

HOW TO OBTAIN LOS ANGELES FILM PERMITS / LA FILM PERMITS

HOW TO OBTAIN LOS ANGELES FILM PERMITS / LA FILM PERMITSSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 604497425, Shutterstock

How to obtain Los Angeles film permits / LA film permits: The Do’s and Don’ts of Film LA

If you have ever been a part of a production that was shot in the Greater Los Angeles area, you have more than likely worked with Film LA. Film LA is the permit authority for all productions taking place in and around Los Angeles County.

Obtaining a permit in Los Angeles is different from most other parts of the US. They not only have specific insurance requirements, but they also have an online insurance verification system known as KwikComply. If you need to obtain a permit, you must have your insurance agent submit on your behalf.

When you are new to working with Film LA, it can seem overwhelming and frustrating at times. There are many steps that are unique to the Greater Los Angeles area.

We have collaborated with Film LA to show you the “Do’s and Don’ts” of obtaining a film permit in Los Angeles.

Map of all the areas Film LA serves / Los Angeles filming locations:

Map of all the areas Film LA servesSource: Film LA (Above image can change frequently as Film LA updates their areas served when they begin working with new clients. Potential customers should still check with Film LA to eliminate any confusion and ensure accuracy.)

DO: REVIEW FILM LA’S CURRENT INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS BEFORE PURCHASING COVERAGE

Film LA’s insurance requirements are constantly changing due to regulatory decisions from the State of CA. When speaking with one of their reps, they recommended double-checking their website to make sure you are aware of any new changes.

An example of a new insurance requirement in effect July 1st, 2020 is that Workers Compensation is required on all productions. This is due to the CA AB5 (California Assembly Bill 5) that was passed in the beginning on 2020.

This is a state statute that requires employers to treat independent contractors as regular employees unless they pass a three-part test. This means offering medical and workers compensation coverage.

Example of who would/wouldn’t need to be supplied workers compensation coverage under CA AB5:

Nike can hire a videographer as a 1099 (contractor) to work on a commercial or event since video production is not related to making shoes, but if your business is filmmaking, anyone who works with you in production is an employee, such as a camera op or production assistant. The businesses must be fundamentally unrelated.

DO: CHECK OUT THE RESOURCES FILM LA HAS TO OFFER

Film LA has a great resource page for productions of all size. They have information on the California Film Commission, where you can apply for a CA Film Tax Incentive, local contacts, and software made specifically for filmmakers, such as MYLA311, which is an app with a useful directory of LA city services and phone numbers

DO: LOOK FOR AN INSURANCE BROKER THAT SPECIALIZES IN PRODUCTION AND ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE

As much as you may like your agent who bundles your home & auto insurance, production insurance is a specialized niche of insurance. Make sure to do your research before binding coverage. Review their website – see if they specialize in entertainment; if not, they may not know how Film LA requires insurance verifications.

See Front Row’s US homepage for the US film insurance products we currently offer.

DO: BUDGET IN THE COST OF THE PERMIT ITSELF | HOW MUCH DO FILM PERMITS COST IN LOS ANGELES? | how much do film permits cost in la?

According to Film LA, “The base fee is $699 USD and from there it will increase. Most commonly, a typical, single location permit in the City of LA will run about $957 USD at the minimum. Because of the uniqueness of each production and the permit they pull, we cannot provide a hard range of fees. I have seen permits in the tens of thousands of dollars and I have seen permits for as little as $784 USD.” (pricing subject to change)

To receive an exact permit quote, please email info@filmla.com.

DON’T: SAY “NO” TO A WAIVER OF SUBROGATION

A Waiver of Subrogation is a requirement of Film LA. It is a contractual provision whereby an insured waives the right of their insurance carrier to seek redress or seek compensation for losses from a negligent third party.

Be sure to let your agent know that this waiver is needed before coverage is bound.

Adding this waiver to your policy will add additional premium and may take more time for the insurance company to endorse. Note: Receiving this endorsement from the insurer can take anywhere from 24-48 hours.

DON’T: WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SECURE A PERMIT

This process of obtaining the correct insurance coverage, your agent submitting your coverage through KwikComply, getting approval from the City of Los Angeles and Film LA… this all takes time. Having your agent properly quote, bind and submit proof of coverage will take a minimum of 24 hours.

So, keep in mind: if you have a shoot on Saturday, you may not be able to secure coverage if you call your agent on Friday afternoon.

DON’T:  ASSUME ALL OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY HAS THE SAME INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

Certain areas of Los Angeles County, including school districts, beaches, parks, or cities may require specialized verbiage, limits, etc. If unsure, visit Film LA’s website or speak with your permit coordinator.

Citations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Assembly_Bill_5_(2019)

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/waiver-of-subrogation.asp

Topics: US Film insurance broker