US Filmmakers: Entertainment Insurance 101 (for Budgets under $100K)

Posted by David Hamilton on May 15, 2020 10:51:00 AM

US Filmmakers: Entertainment Insurance 101 (for Budgets < $100K)

FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE 101 FOR US FILMMAKERS | USA FILM INSURANCESource: Shutterstock Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 735595339

So you wrote a killer script, put together a budget, found your talent, and you’re ready to shoot your first project. You set the dates, bright-eyed, excited, and you go to rent some production equipment, and maybe a couple of props or costumes.

You get the quote from the prop house, and it requires insurance. You call your personal auto insurance agent, and they don’t know how to help.

You scour blogs, resource pages, and ask your friends whom they talked to for their production insurance. Once you talk to a broker, it’s like they’re speaking a different language. You feel confused, frustrated – “I just want to rent some cameras and shoot!”

WHAT IS FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE? | FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE USA | US-BASED FILM PRODUCTION INSURANCE

At Front Row, we understand how confusing production insurance can be because many of us were filmmakers (in prior lives) and have been there ourselves!

Every film production insurance policy needs to be tailored to the company, or to the project if a short-term film policy. A film insurance policy is based on the best offerings from insurance companies that provide entertainment production coverage.

A SOLID FILM INSURANCE POLICY WILL PROTECT THE PRODUCER FROM:

  • liability related to injuries on set
  • accidents in working vehicles
  • theft
  • loss and damage of rented and owned equipment
  • can also protect producers from libel or copyright infringement claims

Pro Tip: If you are a producer on a project, you carry the majority of the responsibility if something goes awry. This huge responsibility can have financial, legal, even criminal ramifications to you personally.

So, now we know what production insurance is, or at least get the general idea. But just because you purchased insurance, don’t think that everything you touch will necessarily be protected.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE FILM INSURANCE POLICIES OFFERED BY FRONT ROW FOR US FILMMAKERS:

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT INSURANCE

Covers against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction to cameras, camera equipment, sound & lighting equipment, grip equipment, portable electrical equipment & generators, mechanical effects equipment and similar miscellaneous equipment.

This coverage also typically includes loss of use of property of others for which the renter or producer is legally liable. The limit of coverage for production equipment should be sufficient to cover the replacement cost of ALL equipment being used on the project. Most equipment rental houses will include in their contract a statement confirming the renter’s requirement to fully insure the equipment in their possession.

This coverage may also be known as Inland Marine, or Rented Equipment coverage. If there is a loss for an item you rented, the insurance company will pay the amount to replace it. When your broker asks you for a replacement value, they are not referring to how much you are paying to rent, but how much it would be to replace this item. If you ask most rental/prop houses, they will add it onto your invoice if it isn’t already noted. Note: When Rental Equipment Value is greater than $25K USD, General Liability is mandatory and cannot be removed.

If you own more than $5,000 USD in production equipment, it’s best to purchase a separate Annual Equipment Floater Policy that covers your Owned Equipment Worldwide. It’s much more cost effective than purchasing the coverage for one project.

Equipment Floater Policy US quote.

SHORT-TERM PRODUCTION INSURANCE (SHORT SHOOT)

Short-Term Production Insurance is perfect for the new or indie filmmaker who may not have more than one project scheduled in the next six months. This coverage is ideal for singular projects and can satisfy insurance requirements from film schools, rental houses, permit offices, prop houses, and/or studio location rental space.

Pricing starts at around $500 USD for minimal coverages. The premium amount for 1-10 days of coverage is the same price and it will increase with the more days you add, but 60 days is the maximum coverage period for short-term policies.

Short Shoot US quote.

DICE INSURANCE (ANNUAL)

Q. What's the difference between short-term production insurance versus annual?

A. Short-term production insurance covers your productions on a project-by-project scale. Purchased on this scale, short-term policies can cover as little as one day of production (although you should cover your prep days, too).

Planning to shoot multiple times throughout the year, and have an estimated budget over $15K USD? Then you’ll want an annual (DICE) policy. This coverage can be much more cost effective than Short-Term Production Insurance. Pricing starts around $2,500 USD for the year. Financing may be available.

Although DICE policies can be completely customized to fit your productions need, the following coverage options are available:

DICE US quote.

FILM PRODUCER’S E&O INSURANCE

If your project is being sold or distributed, Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage may be for you; in fact, most distribution contracts will require this coverage. All television, streaming services, and feature films will require this coverage.

E&O coverage protects your production and covers any legal cost if another party accuses you of an unoriginal idea, e.g., title, characters, plots.

Pricing starting around $3,000 USD for three years of coverage.

Film producer’s E&O US quote.

OTHER FILM INSURANCE COVERAGES TO CONSIDER:

GENERAL LIABILITY

Although film policies vary widely, you’ll always need general liability. General liability covers bodily injury and property damage that occurs during the course of filming. Cast and crew are exempt from this and covered separately through a workers compensation policy. This coverage is required by most city/county permit offices.

The standard minimum policy is $1 million USD, and when the location is open to the public or sells tickets, it quickly jumps into a $5 million USD umbrella. The umbrella covers the possibility that more than one person gets injured in the facility during filming or live shows.

Example: you are filming on a sidewalk and a bystander walks by and trips on a cable; this would be a loss that would be covered by general liability. Now, if a cast or crew member trips, that would not be covered under general liability; that would be workers compensation (see below).

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Workers compensation protects you should something happen to your employees on the job. It's important to go over how you are covering crew (employees) and independent contractors.

YOU NEED A WORKER COMPENSATION POLICY IF:

  • You work as an independent contractor or freelancer
  • You are paid full rate, no taxes withheld (from a provided invoice)
  • You provide the production with a W-9 for labor or labor & gear

YOUR WORKERS COMPENSATION POLICY:

  • Can cover your payrolled cast & crew, 1099 freelancers and volunteers
  • Can cover your working crew in periods outside of general production
  • Protects you from claims arising from injuries to your crew
  • Provides for you in the case of injury on the job
  • Covers medical costs, loss of work or death benefits if injuries occur on the job

Note: If there are Hazardous Activities/Scenes (e.g., animals, stunts, guns, fight scenes, car chases, water scenes, aerial shoots), then Workers Comp is excluded and cannot be added. You must obtain Workers Comp either through a payroll company or through your local State Fund (if in California, contact https://www.statefundca.com). This will take extra time, so if you have a shoot this weekend, you may want to reconsider how important that stunt is to the project.

THIRD PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE

Legal liability for damage to or destruction of property belonging to others (including loss of use of the property) while the property is in the care, custody or control of the production company and is used or to be used in an insured production.

Physical damage to your location or other rented premises is not included unless Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) is purchased. If you are filming in a studio or using a platform like Peerspace for your project, this cover will most likely be required. Note: TPPD excludes the home/property of the producers, cast and crew of the project.

NON-OWNED/HIRED AUTO

Hired/Non-Owned Auto Liability covers damages and injuries sustained by other motorists that your production rental vehicle accidentally hits when your production is considered “At Fault”.

Hired/Non-Owned Auto Physical Damage covers accidental damages of the rental vehicle itself. The personal vehicles of the named insured/company owner and its officers are excluded. Personal auto insurance of cast/crew is primary coverage and Hired/Non-Owned Auto Liability of the production policy is excess/secondary coverage.

UMBRELLA LIABILITY

This policy provides additional limits to the general liability, auto liability, employers’ liability (under workers’ compensation policy) and third party property damage coverages. Some locations will require higher limits than the standard general/auto liability policy of $1mil USD.

GUILD/UNION TRAVEL ACCIDENT

Provides travel accident coverages (accidental death and dismemberment) as required by the guild or union contracts to which the producer is signatory. Coverage is blanket and the limits of liability meet all signatory requirements. Coverage may be extended to non-union employees, usually with a benefit limit of $50K USD each person.

PRODUCTION PACKAGE

A production package is an accumulation of coverages to protect multiple or singular projects such as features, TV series, or documentaries. If you have an annual gross production cost over $100,000 USD and are looking for annual coverage, a production package will be necessary.

Note: Most carriers do not sell just the production package; you most likely will be required to purchase general liability as well. Minimum premiums start around $6,000 USD. Some coverages available in a production package are:

Cast Coverage Example: the lead actor of your feature is running three hours late and may not come in because they have food poisoning. Your cast, crew, makeup artists have all shown up and are waiting. Cast Coverage would cover any loss associated with the actor not being present; expenses for that shoot day would be covered.

Negative Film — direct physical loss, damage or destruction of raw film or tape stock, exposed film (developed or undeveloped), videotape, matrices, lavenders, positives, inter-positives, working prints, cutting copies, fine grain prints, color transparencies, cells artwork and drawings, hard drives, software and related materials used to generate computer images, and soundtracks and tapes, up to the amount of the insured production cost.

Negative Film Example: you just wrapped up all the post work on a TV series and are running late to go meet a potential investor for coffee. You ask the new PA to hand-deliver the hard drive to the network, which is a few blocks away. The PA receives a phone call, leaves the hard drive on the roof of the car, and drives away… Negative Film would cover up to the gross production cost in the case of a loss.

Faulty Stock — loss, damage, or destruction of “negative film” caused by or resulting from fogging or the use of faulty materials (including cameras), faulty sound equipment, or faulty developing. Faulty coverage does not include loss caused by errors of judgement in exposure, lighting or sound recording; from the use of incorrect type of raw stock; or faulty manipulation by the cameraman unless a separate extension is included in coverage.

Props, Sets, and Wardrobe — provides coverage on props, sets, scenery, costumes, wardrobe and similar property against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction during the specified production period, subject to certain policy exclusions. Coverage for jewelry/furs/fine art is included with sub-limits. Animals can also be added. Coverage may also include loss of use of property of others for which the production is legally liable.

Miscellaneous Equipment — covers against direct physical loss, damage or destruction of camera, sound and lighting equipment, portable electric equipment and generators, mechanical effects equipment, grip equipment, and similar equipment for which the production company is legally liable. Coverage may include loss of use of property of others for which the production is legally liable. This coverage generally extends to cover physical damage to rented vehicles also.

Extra Expense — indemnifies the insured for extra expense incurred as a result of interruption, postponement or cancellation of a declared production as a direct and sole result of loss of (including damage to) property or facilities contracted by the insured (props/sets/wardrobe, miscellaneous equipment, third party property) in connection with the production insured. Coverage extensions are available for civil authority, ingress/egress, imminent peril, power interruption and strikes.

Office Contents — provides coverage on office property and computers, including laptops and similar property against risks of direct physical loss, damage or destruction during the specified production period.

Money & Currency — provides coverage for actual physical loss of funds during production (i.e., petty cash) against robbery, theft, embezzlement, or forgery of checks.

Q: Still have questions about your project, or have a specialty risk? No problem. US-based filmmakers can contact the LA office:

14156 Magnolia Blvd., Suite 200
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
PH: 424 529 6701
Email: LAoffice@frontrowinsurance.com

If calling from the United States, contact:
Mike Groner
Ph: 424-529-6704
Email: mike@frontrowinsurance.com 

for California:
Kathryn Hoffman
Ph: 424-644-1411
Email: kathryn@frontrowinsurance.com

Kent Hamilton
Ph: 424-529-6700
Email: kent@frontrowinsurance.com

Doug Hodges
Ph: 424 329 2480 
Email: doug@frontrowinsurance.com

for New York:
Stacie O'Beirne
Ph: 646-849-4114
Email: stacie@frontrowinsurance.com

for Nashville:
Tom P. Corley
Ph: 615-326-4226
Email: tom@frontrowinsurance.com

RELATED:

Getting a film permit in Los Angeles / film permits LA

Book on Amazon: Film Insurance 101

FREE eBook: E&O Insurance 101

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, DICE Insurance, US Film insurance broker, non-owned auto insurance, Third Party Property Damage, Workers Compensation

How to choose between a DICE Insurance Policy and a DigiGear Policy?

Posted by Grant Patten on Nov 11, 2019 12:33:21 PM

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A DICE POLICY AND A DIGIGEAR POLICY?

DICE (docs, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos)

The DICE Package Policy is intended to provide insurance for smaller budget documentaries, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos and more. DICE is best suited for producers who are planning to produce projects other than feature films or TV series.

DICE can provide coverage for a full year for rented & owned equipment as well as Props, Sets and Wardrobe, Office Contents, Vehicle Physical Damage and more. Commercial General Liability coverage can also be purchased either together with the equipment coverage or on a standalone basis. If you would like more information or to request a free non-obligation quote, visit our DICE Policy website here. If you are a US based Producer, click here instead.

A DICE policy is available in ~4 hours by calling or emailing our office.

DigiGear (film equipment)

The DigiGear Policy is intended for owners of camera equipment, sound, lighting and other film equipment. All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Like DICE, the DigiGear policy term is also for 12 months. A DigiGear policy is designed to cover owners/operators of production equipment whose operations or services fall within one of the below classifications:

  • Camera Operator
  • Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer
  • Videographer
  • Sound Recordist
  • Digital Imaging Technician
  • Grip

Unlike DICE, DigiGear is not a film production policy.

A DigiGear policy is available online in ~five minutes 24/7.
Note: coverage under DigiGear is only available to Canadian residents at this time.

For a visual overview of the two policies, view the infographic below:

DICE vs. DigiGear infographic

RELATED POST:

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A DICE POLICY AND A SHORT SHOOT POLICY*

 

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, DigiGear, corporate video insurance, music video insurance, Educational Film Insurance

DICE Insurance Policies: Annual Protection for Multiple Film Projects

Posted by David McLeish on Aug 24, 2018 4:14:34 PM

What are DICE Insurance Policies? 

Many film and video companies engage in multiple productions throughout the year. These types of companies, known as DICE Producers (Documentaries, Industrial Films, Commercials and Educational films), benefit from an annual insurance policy known, conveniently, as a DICE Policy.

Somewhat like an annual travel insurance policy that covers all the trips you take in a year, a DICE insurance policy will cover all the productions you undertake in a year, so you don’t need to keep re-applying for insurance for each individual production. This gives DICE Producers the freedom and flexibility to provide certificates of insurance and lock locations at a moment’s notice (many municipalities require $5 Million in Commercial General Liability to secure a film permit). An annual policy also means you only have to think about the insurance once a year, and unless you’re insurance nerds like us, once is probably enough!

There are some limitations: a DICE policy won’t cover feature length films, productions with shooting periods over 90 days, or TV series, episodes, or specials. But it will cover productions like short subjects, music videos, and photo shoots, along with the DICE staples—virtually everything except feature films and TV series.

Canadian Producers - Click HereUS Producers - Click Here

Calculating your DICE premiums:

The policy premium is based on your actual annual gross budgets. Coverage is purchased with a deposit premium that is based on your provisional, estimated annual gross production costs (say, you expect to do $500,000 that year). Then, at the end of the year, you report a final gross production cost and the premium is adjusted up or down accordingly. If you weren’t as busy as you had anticipated, the unused premium is refunded to you, or, if business was booming and you did better than expected, you can pay for the additional coverage used at the end of the year. This means you’re only paying for the insurance you actually needed during that year. Our DICE policies have a minimum annual gross budget of $220,000 and no upper limit, so whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, Front Row’s DICE Policy can be tailored exactly to the needs of your production business.

Additional Coverage is also available for:

Visit the Front Row Insurance Website for more information or a fast, free no obligation quote!

Canadian Producers - Click Here

US Producers - Click Here

 

Related Post:

WHAT IS A DICE POLICY? - LET FRONT ROW TELL YOU

DICE vs. SHORT SHOOT

DICE vs. DIGIGEAR

Topics: DICE Insurance, corporate video insurance, music video insurance

How to choose between a DICE Policy and a Short Shoot policy*

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 22, 2017 4:56:00 PM

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A DICE POLICY AND A SHORT SHOOT POLICY*

A Short Shoot Policy is intended for those producers who are conducting shoots lasting 15 days or less, using rented equipment and with budgets of $250,000 or less. This makes it ideal for short film producers, student projects or anyone else who will be filming on a short term basis and requires insurance. Equipment coverage can apply to any rented film production equipment as well as rented props, sets and wardrobe up to the specified policy limits. Commercial General Liability coverage can also be purchased either together with equipment coverage or on a standalone basis. If you would like a free non-obligation quote or to purchase coverage, visit our Short Shoot policy website here. *Currently we are only able to provide this coverage to Canadian Producers. If you require this coverage in the US, please complete this form.

A DICE Package Policy is intended to provide insurance for documentaries, corporate videos, commercials, educational films, music videos and more. It is best suited for producers who are planning to produce projects other than feature films or TV series. This can provide coverage for a full year for Rented and Owned equipment as well as Props, Sets and Wardrobe, Office Contents, Vehicle Physical Damage and more. Commercial General Liability coverage can also be purchased either together with the equipment coverage or on a standalone basis. If you would like more information or to request a free non-obligation quote, please visit our DICE policy website here. If you are a US based Producer please click here instead.

Note: If you're planning more than one short-term production within a calendar year, our recommendation is that you go with a DICE policy.

For more information, view the infographic below:

DICE - Short Shoot Infographic (Canada).jpg

 

related post:

How to choose between a DICE Insurance Policy and a DigiGear Policy?

 

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, corporate video insurance, music video insurance, Educational Film Insurance

The Annual Film Production Insurance Package Made Easy

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 13, 2017 4:46:15 PM

ANNUAL FILM INSURANCE - WITH COUPON!

The Annual DICE Insurance Policy takes the hassle out of purchasing film insurance for your film productions. It is flexible, affordable, and customizable designed to fit your individual needs. 

This policy will not only save you time, it will also save you money. Insuring all your productions under one policy helps to cut the costs, as it will reduce the administrative expenses associated with insuring each production individually, and these savings are passed onto you.

The Annual DICE Policy is specially designed to provide: insurance for commercials, documentary insurance, corporate video insurance, educational film insurance, music video insurance, training video insurance, short film insurance, and still photography insurance.

Check out our Infographic below for coupon savings and more. Coupon not valid in QC, ON, SK.

DICE Infographic

Interested in seeing more? Visit the Front Row Insurance Website for a free no-obligation quote!

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance, corporate video insurance, music video insurance, Educational Film Insurance

Front Row Launches Low-Cost Annual DICE Insurance Program in the USA

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 29, 2016 11:29:11 AM

Front Row Launches Low-Cost Annual DICE Insurance Program IN THE US

DICE Insurance Program USAphoto credit: Unsplash

Los Angeles, CA USA – December 13, 2016 – The new DICE policy launched by Front Row is less expensive than policies currently available in the film insurance market. DICE stands for Documentaries, Industrial, Commercial, and Educational Films.  The new policy also covers Music Videos, Sizzle Reels, shorts and other smaller productions. 

For producers that anticipate multiple projects in the next 12 months, the Front Row DICE policy will save time and money. Due to an innovative streamlined process, an indication of costs can be provided in minutes and a film policy is available in 6 hours.

The policy is underwritten by Chubb - the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company with headquarters in New Jersey.

The Front Row DICE policy also covers owned fixed and mobile filming equipment (for an additional charge). Corporate offices are insured at no additional cost.

This minimum package is $3,500 and will allow producers to shoot up to $200,000 of total project budgets in one year. Additional budget expenditures can be insured for $65 per $10,000 of production costs.  

The package provides continual coverage for a year, which allows filmmakers the flexibility to take on last minute projects without having to scramble to negotiate insurance coverage. It covers your shoot anywhere in the US or Canada.

Location and equipment rental certificates are unlimited and free. Front Row provides filmmakers with electronic certificates: filmmakers can issue 24/7 without having to contact Front Row each time.

“Filmmakers that purchase a policy can sleep easy knowing their gear is covered on and off the set all year and while in transit to a job. The policy  also offers general liability to protect the filmmaker against property damage and bodily injury that they cause while filming on location or in a studio.” said David Hamilton, President of Front Row. “The expected savings should be 20% in addition to the fast turnaround. Commercial use of owned or rented camera, lighting and sound equipment is not covered under a typical homeowners policy: the Front Row DICE insurance policy is an inexpensive and fast solution to this problem.”

All equipment is covered for: theft, damage, fire and loss of use. Rental equipment coverage is included. Learn more here: http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/annual-production-insurance

“We wanted to make the insurance process easier, faster and cheaper for DICE filmmakers,” said Hamilton, “Given that the process has been streamlined, there is less overhead making the cost to process a DICE insurance policy  much less  and we have passed the savings on to the filmmaker.”

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that works on behalf of the arts and entertainment industry to provide insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that clients receive the money they are owed per the insurance policy, as quickly as possible.

Contact:

DOUG HODGES - VICE PRESIDENT

doug@frontrowinsurance.com

Ph: 424-329-2480

Topics: DICE Insurance, US Film insurance broker

How does Imminent Peril Insurance Coverage Protect your Production?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 31, 2012 12:08:00 PM

Imminent Peril insurance coverage

Imminent Peril is part of Extra Expense (EE) coverage. EE itself is similar to Business Interruption insurance, except that it will not cover loss of income, but rather if you suffer an insured loss, it will pay for the extra costs to get your production back to filming as soon as possible. It will also reimburse you for extra costs incurred because something out of your control has prevented you from filming.

‘Imminent Peril’ is defined in the policy as “We will pay for expenses you incur to avoid a loss insured under this policy due to imminent peril to the extent that such expenses serve to avoid such loss.” It will pay for the damage you cause to prevent further damage.

EXAMPLES of losses that would be insured by Imminent Peril:Imminent Peril coverage

- A sudden  storm hits your external set with golf ball sized hail stones. To prevent damage to your filming gear, you tear down a façade from your set to cover the cameras. The cost to rebuild the intentional damage to the set would be covered by Imminent Peril.         

- A small fire ignites in your production office.  You attempt to control the fire by switching off the gas supply, breaking the alarm glass, using fire extinguishers and fire blankets, and evacuate the building to protect persons and property.  This coverage will pay for these extra materials and lost productive time used to minimize damage.

NB: As with most other coverages, there are some standard exclusions that apply to Extra Expense coverages. Please see the policy wording for a full description of the coverage, or call a specialized film insurance broker such as Front Row Insurance.

Topics: Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Documentary Insurance, DICE Insurance

Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

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

DAILY CALL SHEETS

Daily call sheet

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, i.e., 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, e.g., Aerial filming.

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)

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, SPFX Insurance, film insurance premium, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies

Film Insurance: E&O Claims Made Policies Vs. Occurrence Policies

Posted by Mike Groner on Jul 10, 2012 4:31:00 PM

CLAIMS MADE vs. OCCURRENCE BASED E&O

CLAIMS MADE VS. OCCURRENCE BASED E&O

CLAIMS MADE E&O POLICIES

Claims Made E&O Policies cover claims that are made during the policy term. The loss may have occurred in the past, but as long as it is reported during the current policy term, it can trigger coverage. In order for coverage to continue, the policy must stay in force.

With this type of policy, endorsements can be made so that the policy responds to incidents which occurred before the policy start date, also known as “Prior Acts” coverage. Tail Coverage is another  extension that can be obtained wherein the insurer will cover events that occur while the policy is in force, but which the insured is unaware of during the policy period, and are reported to the insurer after the policy terminates. By obtaining tail end coverage, the claims based policy is in effect converted to an occurrence policy.

Pro’s of a Claims Made E&O Policy

A benefit of this type of policy is that if a claim arises relating to incidents which occurred before the policy start date, the claim may be covered. Another reason why this type of E&O policy is purchased is because it is less expensive than occurrence based policies. Typically the premium increases over the first five years of coverage in increments proportional to the claims reporting for that experience.

Con’s of a Claims Made E&O Policy

Once a “claims-made” policy has expired, purchasing insurance for past events will become difficult, expensive and perhaps not possible. Once coverage has expired, claims can no longer be submitted, even if the claim occurred during the policy term.

 

OCCURRENCE BASED E&O POLICIES

Occurrence Based E&O Policies cover losses that occur during the policy term as long as the project/film is released or broadcast during the dates at which an incident causing damage occurs. Although the loss can be reported years later, it must have “occurred” during the policy term. This type of E&O policy may not cover occurrences that happened prior to the policy being in force.

Pro’s of an Occurrence Based E&O Policy

A benefit of this type of policy is that there is no need to renew the policy to maintain coverage. Also, years after this type of policy has lapsed, a claim can be made for incidents that occurred while the policy was in force.

Con’s of an Occurrence Based E&O Policy

This type of E&O policy is typically more expensive than claims based policies because the insured is prepaying for tail costs whether the tail gets used or not. Another disadvantage is that if a claim arises before delivery to the broadcaster or distributor, any defense costs associated with the claim may not be covered. It’s important to speak with your broker about whether Prior Acts coverage is included on your Occurrence Based Policy.

 

WHY E&O POLICIES ARE NEEDED?

  1. I.e, The script of your movie/show is slightly similar to another production, therefore a claim for plagiarism could arise.
  2. Covers the insured against defamation, libel and slander suits.
  3. Covers against intellectual property rights.
  4. Typically, most distributors and broadcasters will not distribute or air any production without it.
  5. It protects a company or individual from financial loss.

TYPICAL E&O CLAIM SCENARIOS

  • An action brought against a production company for the production of a movie which is similar to events depicted in a novel.
  • A defamation/slander suit brought against a production company based on a recognizable likeness between a fictional character in a TV series and an actual person.
  • A production company is sued for unauthorized use of Titles and/or Music/Stock Footage, for not acknowledging underlying works such as books, scripts of screenplays or for not requesting permission to acquire rights.

WHAT CAN AFFECT THE COST OF AN E&O POLICY?

  • Whether an attorney’s services were used to secure clearances and licenses
  • The coverage limits
  • Coverage Territory
  • Type of distribution
  • Type of production i.e., Documentary, TV Series
  • Subject matter of production
  • Production Budget

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Title reports, film insurance premium, DICE Insurance

How a Specialized Film Insurance Broker can help your Production

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

How a film insurance broker helps

Film InsuranceA broker will help identify the risks associated with a production. Once 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.

Related post: How to choose the right film insurance broker

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Short Film Insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, Film production offices, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, film insurance premium, DICE Insurance, Film Production Companies, Cast Insurance, Educational Film Insurance