Steve Beatty

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...But isn't the circus supposed to be dangerous?

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jan 9, 2019 2:04:02 PM

circus insurance

Circus acrobat

One of the delights of the circus is seeing the most skilled acrobats dazzle an audience with risky stunts. At Front Row, 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.

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Paddy And Nico And Key Person Insurance

Posted by Steve Beatty on Aug 7, 2015 3:47:56 PM


Britain’s Got Talent was thrown a curve ball when dance duo “Paddy and Nico” had to withdraw from the competition.

The sudden change occurred due to a rib injury sustained by Paddy during a rehearsal. Part of the novelty of the team was the fact that the female dance partner was so much older than her male counterpart. Let’s chat for a moment about all of the implications this has on event insurance and key person insurance in general.

Firstly when insuring these performers, it would have been cultureONE-image-perform-artssignificantly more expensive to cover Paddy. Aside from any age related pre-existing conditions, the risks involved in an older person dancing on a live show are far greater than those of a younger person in prime health. As we’ve seen, injuries can be serious and underwriters take this into account before ever assuming risk. With proper coverage in place, the key person insurance would have kicked in and taken care of medical expenses incurred due to Paddy’s involvement with the show.

In most cases involving key person insurance, part of the coverage is used to pay for a replacement with similar competence and experience. Since this is a reality TV show, however, replacing talent would undermine the competition element and would therefore not be possible. As a result, the duo simply withdrew from the show altogether.

While having a dance team so different in age added a fun and exciting element to the competition, it would certainly raise some red flags from a key person insurance standpoint.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Can Arrange Key Person Insurance for you. Learn More





Topics: Cast Insurance, TV Series, event insurance, Key Person Insurance, performance insurance

British Pantomime And Theatre Insurance

Posted by Steve Beatty on Aug 6, 2015 11:33:03 AM

theatre insurance

I sure hope “Theatr Clwyd” out in England had theatre insurance.

A Christmas pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk was cut short after an actor twisted his ankle in the middlecultureONE-image-contact of a performance. The actor’s name is Edward York and he plays the role of “Squire Snuffbox”–a detail his father keeps from the other retirees at the racetrack. An ambulance was called and an emergency crew arrived at the scene to escort the actor to the hospital. Of course the show had to be cancelled in the middle of a performance. Let’s take a look at how Theatre Insurance can come to the rescue in such an occurrence.

As part of the Theatre Insurance for its season, there is no question that “Theatr Clwyd” would have cancellation insurance that would replace income lost by the unfortunate accident. Every audience member would want their money back and some might even be tourists incapable of seeing a future show. There is also the question of just how big a part of the play “Squire Snuffbox” actually was. If he was a major character without an understudy, Theatre Insurance would cover the cost of replacing him.  If he was a minor player, perhaps the show could go on without him for a time.

Finally there is the issue of medical expenses. If “Theatr Clwyd” had purchased cast medical coverage under their theatre insurance, any of Squire Snuffbox’s sore ankle expenses would be taken care of.


So there you have it, folks. A Christmas Tragedy and it’ll take a lot more than 3 ghosts to fix this one.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are Theatre Insurance Experts. Learn More:

Band On The Run: Touring Insurance Tips For Taking Your Show On The Road

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 2:02:00 PM



“Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd, and we remember why we came”
Jackson Browne, Stay

Life on the road can be rife with challenges and filled with excitement and exhilaration. But a little insurance planning before heading out on tour will ensure your excitement is from the audience and not an uninsured claim.

In today’s post, I’ll highlight some things for you to think about when planning your tour. While every circumstance is a little different, these are the key exposures that you and production manager will want to consider.

Instruments, Sound, Lighting and Other Equipment: Your instruments and equipment will be loaded, unloaded and then loaded again and again. In order for your insurance coverage to be seamless, you need to ensure that you have a ‘Floater’ coverage form. Floaters are a type of insurance that are not specific to any location, so they extend to wherever the gear is located: on the road, on the stage and everywhere in between. Be sure that the policy territory includes all of the countries where your tour will take you. And, if you are traveling into countries with less stable or unpredictable governments or legal systems, you’ll want to investigate coverage for seizures, quarantine or appropriation by authorities.

insurance considerations for musicianS:

  • Valuation: What are you entitled to from your insurance company? Will your policy pay to replace old equipment with new, or are they only responsible to pay you for used equipment?
  • What’s covered? Does your policy cover theft and accidental damage? Are there restrictions or exclusions if gear is stolen from a vehicle or if unattended?
  • Unexpected costs or extra expenses: Will your insurance pay for renting new gear if yours is stolen or unusable after being damaged? These unexpected costs can be included in your insurance so you don’t have to find a way to pay them out of an already tight tour budget.
  • Musicians’ property: Be clear on who is required to insure your musicians’ instruments. If it is you, then a simple written agreement can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your insurance company has an obligation to respond to claims for property that you don’t own.
  • Loss of equity or value in instruments: Higher end, rare or old instruments often build value over time and this value can be affected when damaged, even when repaired by experienced and recognized craftspeople. Ask whether your insurance will cover this as part of your claim. When insuring others’ instruments, be sure to discuss their value and what their expectations are if their instrument is damaged.
Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Band Insurance: Learn more 
To read more on Tour Insurance click here

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance

Carnet Bonds And Touring Insurance For Your Band

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:59:00 PM

Carnet bonds

Carnet Bonds: (pronounced ‘car-neh’)

Carnet Bonds must be posted with the Chamber of Commerce when you are taking your equipment outside of the country. A Carnet is like a passport for the property you are taking on the road. It allows you to pass into a country with your equipment duty & tax free.

The Carnet Bond is a financial guarantee with the government that pays the duty or taxes if the gear doesn’t return and it is used to prevent companies or individuals from importing property without paying these charges. You will be required to complete and file an ATA Carnet application along with a detailed list of the property with the Chamber of Commerce.

You will need to include the current value of the equipment not the new cost. This will be used to calculate the amount of your Carnet Bond. While you can purchase a Carnet Bond from a broker, the Chamber of Commerce offers an excellent on-line system for purchasing the Bond and the rates are generally more competitive than purchasing it on your own.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Band Insurance: Learn More 

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, carnet bonds, band tour insurance

Musician Liability Insurance: Make Sure Your Band's Tour Is Protected

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:53:00 PM


Liability Insurance for Musicians

When someone gets hurt or you damage property such as a venue, a hotel room or a studio, you could be facing a tour liability claim. They can be costly to defend and to settle, if you are negligent and are responsible to pay the other party for their injury or damage.

To reduce your risk, make sure you only engage contractors or service providers who have insurance and who are able to add you as an Additional Insured to their policy. As an Additional Insured, their insurance company is obliged to defend you if the actions, or inactions, of the contractor for the claim against you.

Most tour liability insurance policies will provide worldwide coverage, provided that the claim is brought against you in Canada or the USA. You may want to consider expanding this to include claims brought anywhere in the world if you have assets in other countries, or if you are travelling to countries with less predictable legal or political environments. Carefully review the insurance requirements of contracts such as venue agreements and equipment rental contracts.

As a final point, be sure your policy does not exclude claims related to injuries to performers. You’d be surprised just how many policies prospective clients bring me that have this type of exclusion.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize in Musician Liability Insurance: Learn more

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: musical instrument insurance, concert insurance, tour insurance

Touring Insurance For Your Band: Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:48:00 PM


Planes, Trains and Automobiles - MUSICAL TOUR INSURANCE

Non-owned aircraft, helicopters, aviation, rented vehicles, international exposures; these are all things to talk about with your broker when you are arranging your insurance.

Chartered tour vehicles, buses or airplanes can present risks to you that need to be considered as part of your insurance program. Checking to ensure that the owners and operators are insured is crucial. It is common to find coverage in policies for the use of non-owned vehicles in Canada or the USA, but not for international rentals. Be sure to look into this if you are planning to rent vehicles as part of your tour.

Front Row Insurance Specializes in Touring Insurance for bands: Learn more.

To read more on Tour Insurance click here!



Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance

Does Your Band's Tour Insurance Include Out-of-Country Medical?

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 28, 2015 1:46:00 PM


Out-of-Country Medical Insurance FOR MUSICIANS & BANDS

Even a short hospital stay can result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses that will not be insured by your provincial medical insurance. A long hospital stay with extensive treatment, or the need to be returned home by air ambulance can create devastating financial hardship for you and your family.

Out-of-Country medical insurance is inexpensive and a ‘must-have’ for your musicians and crew. Consider purchasing an annual policy for uninterrupted and seamless coverage for pleasure travel or a last minute gig. Pre-existing or on-going health conditions, can be problematic when making a claim, so you’ll want to ensure that there are no restrictions on the insurability of any of those who are on the road. If you are leaving it up to each individual to purchase their own insurance then be sure to ask them to provide you with a copy of their policy before setting out.

Front Row Insurance Brokers Specialize In Tour Insurance, Including Out-of-Country Medical Insurance: Learn More

To Read more on Tour Insurance click here!

Topics: concert insurance, tour insurance, band tour insurance, out of country medical insurance

4 Easy Steps To Reading A Theatre Insurance Policy

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 23, 2015 1:38:00 PM


“You got it buddy, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away”

Tom WaitsStep Right Up


In the nearly 30 years I’ve been a theatre insurance broker, I’ve read many theatre insurance policies. Over those years, I’ve adopted an approach to help me determine what’s covered and what’s not, relatively quickly.

In today’s post, I thought I would share these very simple tips with you. They will make you feel more comfortable with the policy you are buying and help you form better questions when discussing the coverage with your broker or dealing with a claim.

Before we begin, it’s important to know there are four essential parts of any Theatre Insurance Policy. For the purpose of this discussion, I will be referring to a "Broad Form" type of policy (often referred to as an ‘All Risks’ policy; a terrible name by the way, as I’ve yet to see a policy that covers everything!) This type of policy has become the most common in the industry and is generally considered a broader form of coverage than a ‘Specified or Named Perils’ policy. Broad Form policies outline what type of claims you will NOT be insured against; whereas, a Specified Perils policy outlines the types of claims which are insured by the policy.

So here we go:

  1. Start with the Insuring Agreement: it’s here that the insurance company tells you what they are insuring. These are generally short and you will see certain words identified with italics, or bold or capitalized letters; policies will use this as a way of telling the reader that these words have a broader meaning which are defined elsewhere in the policy, usually under a section titled Definitions;
  2. Move on to the Definitions: Definitions broaden a single word or words beyond the common-use meaning, to define what it means in your policy. For example, the word ‘Insured’, may be broadened to include your corporation, employees, officers, volunteers, shareholders, etc. Using Definitions makes reading the policy less repetitive and easier to read. Sometimes a definition will also tell what it doesn’t mean, so watch that.
  3. Now, read the Exclusions: It is here where your coverage is shaped and the insurance company tells you what will NOT be covered by your policy. Some insurance companies have this under a section referred to as ‘What’s Not Covered’, or ‘Causes of Loss Not Covered’. Often I’m asked the question, “So what are we covered for?” While this is a great question, to me it’s more important to know what you are NOT covered for as it there where the surprises live. This is why I read the Exclusions. Sometimes you will find there are exclusions specific to certain sections of your policy, and then there are some known as General Exclusions which apply to your ENTIRE policy. If you see an exclusion that you don’t like or you feel it too greatly restricts your coverage, be sure to raise this with your broker. Some exclusions can be removed by paying an additional premium for the added coverage.
  4. And finally, look for ‘Endorsements’: these are used by insurance companies to modify their standard policies. They can broaden or restrict your coverage. They can usually be found listed in the front section of your policy known as your ‘Policy Declarations’.These are the front sheets on your policy where the insurance company lists your insured amounts, deductibles and premiums.

There will be other parts of the policy called Statutory Conditions and General Conditions. While these are important, they are generally common to most policies and can be read once you have tackled the parts I’ve listed above.

And one final tip: when it comes to making a claim under a Broad Form policy, it is your insurance company that has the responsibility to establish that one of the exclusions applies to your claim. Any ambiguity will be read in your favour as they were the ones who created the policy wording. By contrast a Named or Specified Perils policy requires YOU to demonstrate that your claim has resulted from one of the insured loss types specified in your policy.

By using these 4 simple tips you will quickly be able to understand your policy, feel more comfortable with it, and be able to ask questions that may help broaden your insurance protection.

We have an easy online low-cost insurance solution for Canadian producers who are renting theatre space and equipment for a short period:

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Topics: Theatre Insurance

Elmo and Film Production Liability Insurance

Posted by Steve Beatty on Jul 20, 2015 10:53:00 AM

What could Elmo have to do with General Liability Insurance for Film Production?

Elmo: General Liability Insurance for Film ProductionRoyalty-free stock photo ID: 1527200630, Shutterstock

A legendary Sesame Street character loved by generations of children. Along with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, he is an icon whose scraggly red face will never be forgotten. All of this was called into question two years ago, however, when Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash was charged with sexually abusing a minor.

It has been a long and arduous battle in court, but on the heels of his final charges being dropped, it only makes sense to discuss how production liability insurance for television can protect projects from these kinds of charges.

First let us mention that most production liability insurance policies will exclude claims related to sexual abuse. This means that claims will not be paid and organizations where an employee has been charged will be left without protection. Our actONE program includes this coverage to protect the organizations only. The employee is not protected as illegal acts are uninsurable. Having said this we will cover all trial costs if he/she is found not guilty.

One of the other major features of the policy we provide is Public Relations Coverage. This foots the bill for any expenses incurred in hiring a public relations expert to manage the reputation damage that comes with sexual abuse claims.

So, what can you do to protect your organization?

Firstly, criminal background checks are a great form of due diligence that can prove you were as careful as possible in the event of a law suit. We encourage them particularly where theatres offer educational workshops involving minors.

Lastly, for projects in theatre film or television,  if anyone under the age of 18 will be on set in the company of adults employed by you, it is crucial that you divulge this to your broker in advance.

We can’t protect against what we don’t know about, and in cases like this…

One error can break you.

Topics: production liability insurance for films, Theatre Insurance