Kent Hamilton

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Producers E&O: What is My Distributor and Financier Asking For?

Posted by Kent Hamilton on Apr 7, 2017 3:12:31 PM

Documentary E&O Insurance


You sold your documentary! You met your distributor requirement of obtaining a three year E&O policy through the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) Program. Congratulations!

However, you read the fine print in the contract and you’re surprised to see several requirements:

  • First, the distributor wants you to extend your policy to cover them by naming them Additional Insured in case of a claim. No problem: you just send a request and provide us with your distributors name and address. This will generate a certificate of Insurance (COI). The certificate will detail: your company name and address, what insurance company is covering you, how much insurance the project has (i.e. $1,000,000/$3,000,000), and what the retention (deductible) is, e.g., $10,000 or $25,000).
  •  Second, the distributor wants to be covered for 5 years! You just paid a lot of money for a three year policy. Will this cost you more premium? The answer is maybe. There is a special endorsement called a “Rights Period Endorsement (RPE) ” or “Term of Contract Endorsement (TOC)”. This endorsement will extend the length of your E&O term to match the length of your distributors agreement as long as you notify the insurance carrier prior to the expiration of your policy. Just send us your distribution contract and in the majority of cases, the insurance carrier will provide you with this money-saving endorsement.

Now you can breathe easier knowing that your E&O policy is in place  to protect your company, financiers and distributors.

Producer's E&O will cover legal & judgement costs if you are found responsible for any of:

  1. Invasion or infringement of privacy
  2. Infringement of copyright or trademark
  3. Libel, slander or other forms of defamation
  4. Plagiarism, piracy or unfair competition resulting from the alleged use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, performances of artists or performers or other material
  5. Breach of contract, implied or in fact or in law, resulting from the alleged submission, acquisition or use of program, musical or literary material used by the insured in the insured production

Please note that this is an illustration only: for a detailed outline of E&O coverage, contact us and we will send you a sample policy wording. In the event of a coverage conflict given the advice above, the policy wording would prevail.

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.



How is it decided whether a doc will be covered by special rates for E&O?

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: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance

E&O Insurance for Film: Who Is Insured.

Posted by Kent Hamilton on Feb 6, 2017 11:51:54 AM

E&O Insurance for Film

You arrive home after your screening of your documentary at a well known film festival. The film was well received. You feel great! Your hard work and investment for the last five years has paid off. Your distributor is happy. But even more than that you told your  important story and exposed the truth about a difficult subject.

Film producer's E&O insurance

There is a knock at your door and a courier presents you with a registered letter. You sign and open the package and see that you, your company, your wife, your financial partner and your cameraman have been sued for libel and slander by a large, powerful company. Fear strikes! Your wife? Your investor? Your cameraman? Why would they name them on the suit?

Your mind eases when you remember that your attorney was careful to vet the production for libel and slander issues. You remember not liking the process because some great ideas and footage had to be scrapped during editing. You are glad that you engaged a specialized clearance attorney familiar with “fair use” issues.

And…you purchased an E&O policy for your company from a specialized documentary insurance broker. Wow! You catch your breath. Similar scenarios to this have been played out many times for many documentarians.

But am I personally protected under the policy? Is my wife, investor and cameraman protected? Or will those legal costs have to be borne separate from that of the company’s policy?

What should I do?

The first thing you should do is notify your insurance broker and forward the legal letter you received.

Under most normal situations: you, your company, your wife, the investor and the cameraman would all be protected under the policy. You will also be provided with an expert claims adjuster and a lawyer paid by the E&O insurance company to defend your production through a settlement and even a court case, if necessary.

To obtain a preliminary E&O quote, please Click Here. You will be requested to fill out an application and a quote will be given to you in most cases within one business day.

Note: this is an illustration only. For a detailed outline of the E&O coverage, contact us and we will send you a sample policy wording. In the event of a coverage conflict given the advice above, the policy wording would prevail.

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance