Front Row Insurance Brokers announce merger with Globalex of Montreal

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 23, 2013 5:31:00 PM

Canada's largest film insurance broker is created.


GlobalEx InsuranceVancouver,Canada - - September 23, 1013 -- Front Row is pleased to announce a merger with Globalex after five months of discussion.  Globalex is one of the largest specialized film insurance brokers in Quebec with 12 staff located in their Sherbrooke St office. 

The combined company is licensed and registered in every province and is the largest broker as measured by premium volume for each of the four major film insurance companies: Chubb, Premiere/Everest, Allianz/Firemans Fund and Travelers / St Paul.

"Our volume with the insurance companies gives us a competitive edge when negotiating coverage, premiums and claims settlements for our clients," says David Hamilton, President of Front Row based in Vancouver.

Front Row is an independent broker that works on behalf of producers to transfer the risks of filming to insurance companies for a premium charge. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that the production company receives the money that they are owed per the insurance policy.

Front Row also has offices in Toronto and Vancouver.

Tags: Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canada Film Broker, film insurance underwriter, Globalex Insurance

Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 14, 2012 5:44:00 PM

Daily Call Sheets are a useful way to alert cast and crew to potential hazards for that day’s shooting schedule, and to inform them about which safety precautions they might need to take.  Film Insurance underwriters appreciate the risk management component of a call sheet and take this protocol into consideration when assessing the film insurance risk of a film production.

The following should be included on Call Sheets:

  • Scheduled stunts
  • Any special effects that will be used
  • Scheduled use of firearms
  • Potential hazards specific to the location
  • Any required personal protective clothing and equipment and how workers can get it
  • The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
  • The location of the first aid kit or facility
  • The location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility
  • Any other health and safety concerns that the cast and crew need to be aware of

 

Safety guidelines should be attached to call sheets ie. If any special effects are to be used on the set, then a safety guideline should be attached specific to the type of special effects that will used. For example, if you are shooting near a thoroughfare with lots of traffic, it may be useful to add notes about this on the call sheet. What are the weather conditions like? Will the crew require special footwear or clothing for extreme temperature? What about sunscreen or hydration requirements?

Along this line of thought, it is important to include information such as the nearest hospital, along with any other emergency numbers that are specific to your location.

Have you thought about:

Putting up safety posters in common areas around the set location as a reminder to pay attention to certain hazards around the workplace and certain locations ie. Aerial filming etc.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

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Earthquakes and Film Production: What to do when the Earth Moves

Posted by David Hamilton on Oct 26, 2012 10:44:00 AM

If you are indoors on a film production set or in a film production office, DROP,  COVER AND HOLD ON: 

 

  • Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, or any solid furniture.
  • Cover your head and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects.
  • Hold on to the object that you are under so that you remain covered.

 

If you are outdoors on a film location:

 

  • Stay outside.
  • Go to an open area away from buildings. The most dangerous place is
    near exterior walls.
  • If you’re in a crowded area, take cover where you won’t be trampled.

 

If you are in a production vehicle or in a picture vehicle: 

 

  • Pull over to a safe place where you are not blocking the road.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, buildings or any structure that could collapse.
  • Stop the vehicle and stay inside.
  • Listen to your car vehicle for instructions from emergency officials.
  • If power lines are down, do not attempt to get out of the car.

 

Avoid the following in an earthquake: 

 

  • Doorways, which can slam shut and cause injuries.
  • Windows, bookcases, tall furniture and light fixtures, which can shatter or lead to other injuries.
  • Elevators: get out as soon as you can.
  • If you’re near a coastline in a high risk area during a strong earthquake, immediately move inland or to higher ground until officials declare the area is safe.

 

 Front Row is experienced with insuring Film Productions against earthquakes: ask us how.

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Earthquakes and Film Production: Know the Risks and be Prepared

Posted by David Hamilton on Oct 22, 2012 6:38:00 PM

What would happen to your film production if your production office and set if they were shaken by a violent earthquake?

There are various measures you can undertake to minimize damage so that you can continue to film as soon as possible:

 

  • Staff and crew should be shown how to turn off the water and electricity in the office and on set, with on/off positions clearly labeled.
  • Water heaters should be secured to wall studs or masonry: ask your landlord to do thi.
  • Secure all major appliances/electronics to walls, including expensive or fragile items that if damaged, would be a significant loss.
  • Secure top-heavy set furniture to walls with heavier items kept on lower shelves.
  • Put anti skid pads under tv’s, computers, and other related camera equipment
  • Keep flammable items and other chemicals used on set away from heat and where they are less likely to spill.
  • For mobile trailers on set, leave the wheels on or use a structural bracing system that can reduce the chance of the unit falling off it’s support.
  • Ensure that sufficient emergency kits are located around the office/on set, and designated staff and crew know where to access them.

               

Discuss earthquake coverage with your film insurance broker to ensure that your production will have the financial ability to recover losses after an earthquake. Ask your broker is your Film Production insurance included coverage for earthquake.

Front Row is experienced with insuring Film Productions against earthquakes: ask us how.

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New Film Insurance Company in Canada - Competition Benefits Producers

Posted by David Hamilton on May 28, 2012 11:50:00 AM

The World's largest Film Insurance Company opens in Canada creating more Competition to BenEfit Producers. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has opened an office  in Toronto.  As Canada’s largest Film Insurance Broker, we have been selected as an approved broker that can obtain quotes and production coverage from Fireman’s Fund.

Front Row is an independent broker that represents Film Producers – not the insurance companies. We can offer you quotes for your project from all four of the Film Insurance companies in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers.

If you are not receiving four quotes from the broker that you are using, please contact us and we would be happy to provide the missing quotes so that you ensure you are receiving the best premium and coverage available in the marketplace.

We can make the process simple for you.  If you are able to provide us with the following information, we will have an indication of costs and/or a quote for you within 24 hours or less:

1.            Dates of  Filming

2.            Copy of Budget Top Sheet

3.            Synopsis and Script

 

There is no cost or obligation – you have nothing to lose and you may benefit with a lower premium.

Our staff have a combined 205 years of experience insuring film productions in Canada.  In the event of a claim, we will ensure that you are paid the money you are owed as quickly as possible.  We have offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with a staff in excess of 16.

Articles about our firm are available on our website.

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How a Specialized Film Insurance Broker can help your Production

Posted by David Hamilton on Apr 10, 2012 5:54:00 PM

A  film insurance broker helps identify the risks associated with your film production, TV series, Documentary, Webisode, Music Video ect.

Film InsuranceOnce the risks are identified, the risk can be transferred to an insurance company for a fee or premium. The film insurance broker negotiates the lowest possible premium and the broadest coverage available in the market place. In Canada, there are four film insurance companies: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers. Front Row is able to provide you with a quote from each of these companies in an easy to understand comparison format.

Unlike insurance agents - who work for the insurance company -  Insurance Brokers work for the client. Insurance brokers are recognized by law as experts in insurance. Insurance Brokers in Canada must pass a series of exams in order to be licensed and there is annual continuing education to maintain a license. Make sure your broker is licensed in the province that you are shooting your production or the production could be fined or subject to a surtax.

Insurance Brokers owe a higher duty of care to their clients than an Insurance Agent. Brokers represent the interests of their clients, not the insurance companies. They offer professional advice in arranging insurance on behalf of their clients.

Since insurance brokers are considered under the law as professionals, they are responsible for their actions and can be sued for professional negligence if their advice is deemed to be faulty. All licensed brokers therefore need to carry professional Errors and Omissions coverage. You should ask your broker the limit of E&O insurance that they cover:  $1,000,000 may not be enough once defense costs are deducted from the limit.

The many roles of a broker include: 

  • Negotiate with the insurance companies on behalf of clients. There are four insurance companies in Canada: an Insurance broker must be familiar with what these companies offer so that the best price and coverage is procured for the producer.
  • Brokers facilitate claims - Because the broker works on behalf of the client, it is their duty to ensure that insurance companies pay the full amount of the claim that the client is entitled to.
  • The broker acts as a conduit for communication between the insurance company and the client. This includes providing certificates for banks, bonding companies and locations to evidence coverage allowing banks to release funds to the client, locations to be locked by the location manager and equipment to be rented.
  • Advise clients on ways to limit potential liabilities during production.
  • Review scope of the client's existing insurance policies to reveal gaps or deficiencies in the coverage.
  • Comprehensive examination of the clients production to assess the amount and type of insurance required. A broker will also help the client understand what coverage they have and do not have and they can explain any limits to the coverage.

It is important to deal with a broker that understands the specific language shown on Film Production Policies. For this reason, it is strongly suggested that you seek out a specialized Film Insurance Broker when you need insurance for your production.

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E&O: Acquire proper permission before you eat at McD****** or drink a C***

Posted by Doran Chandler on Mar 20, 2012 3:02:00 PM


It happens more often than you might expect: a producer completes a film, locks picture, makes a sale, and then drops by our law office to inquire about “clearing” the film for Errors & Omissions insurance coverage. In reviewing the film, we note that the producer filmed copyrighted and trademarked material, but failed to get the necessary permission to include it in the film.

E&O insurance policies insure against claims arising from accidentally infringing a copyright or trademark, invading someone’s privacy or otherwise getting tripped up on someone else’s rights. In order to qualify for E&O coverage, the film in question must be fully cleared and the producer must acquire all necessary permissions from third parties whose rights might otherwise be infringed. If a film includes material that potentially infringes a third party’s copyright and permission has not been acquired, there are a number of options to consider.

First, the film could be edited to remove the offending material. This is only a viable option if time, finances and/or creative willingness permit. Second, there may be an exception allowing the inclusion of certain copyrighted material in the film without permission.

Likely the most popular excuse for copyright infringements is the concept of “fair use”. Although referred to regularly in industry reference materials available here in Canada, fair use is a US principle based on the belief that it is not “fair” to find every copying to be a violation of copyright law if such copying was for certain purposes, including criticism or review. (For example, the concept of “parody” falls under fair use in the US and has provided many a filmmaker with substantial sources of otherwise protected material. Thank you Mel Brooks and Mike Myers!)



Fair use does not exist in Canada and is often used interchangeably, and often confusingly, with “fair dealing”, the concept found in the Canadian Copyright Act. Other than in very clear-cut cases, extreme caution must be used in relying on fair dealing, which is a very limited defense as the use of the material must be for “private study, research, criticism, review or newspaper summary”. Unfortunately, because there are no hard and fast rules available, it is impossible to define what is and is not fair dealing.

Other than fair dealing, in Canada, the concept of “incidental inclusion” may provide another possible exception to copyright infringement. If the use of copyrighted material is very minor and is incidentally and not deliberately included, (for example, a pre-existing credit card door sticker at a retail location), it is likely that the use will fall within incidental inclusion and will not be considered an infringement. It can become prohibitively expensive and time consuming to clear every protected item in a film, no matter how small the use.

If E&O insurance is required, and if none of the above options is feasible, in some cases it may be possible to “exclude” the offending material from the E&O insurance policy and effectively assume the risk yourself. (Be aware, however, that these types of exclusions may not be acceptable to broadcasters and distributors.)

The bottom line? Always, always, always ensure that you acquire all necessary permission to include any protected material in your film before you start shooting.

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canadian Insurance, Canada Film Broker, E&O

A Canadian Insurance Broker Needed to Avoid Potential Tax Penalties

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 7, 2012 2:55:00 PM

If you are a US Insurance Broker that has a client with a Canadian subsidiary, Canadian tax law requires that: 

  • The policy must be issued by a licensed Canadian insurer
  • The premium must be paid by the Canadian subsidiary directly to a licensed Canadian broker who then  must pay the Canadian insurer.
  • If an unlicensed insurer is used, Provincial tax penalties may be as high as 50% of the premium and an additional Federal tax of 10% of the premium will also be levied

A US Insurance Broker that does not hold a license in Canada will not be able to place business with a Canadian insurance company. Furthermore a US broker that does not hold a Canadian license is not allowed to provide insurance advice to a Canadian company – even if it is a subsidiary of a US parent company. To do so will incur a premium tax and penalties that are payable by the subsidiary. 

A broker licensed and domiciled in Canada will make sure that your client complies with all insurance regulations so that the policy will respond when required. A Canadian Entertainment Insurance Broker will also ensure that the premiums qualify for any applicable tax credits.

This article explains the law well and in detail l and that the CRA (the equivalent of your IRS) is being stricter about enforcing it- http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/news/excise-tax-extends-its-reach/1000405882/.

At Front Row, we would be happy to assist you insure your subsidiaries inCanada. Ask us how.

Please contact David Hamilton:  604-684-3456 or e-mail david@frontrowinsurance.com

Tags: directors & officers liablity, Documentary Insurance, Documentary Films, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, DICE Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Front Row, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canadian Insurance, Canada Film Broker, US Insurance Broker

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