E&O Insurance for film: WHO IS INSURED

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

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 E&OThere 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 the large and  powerful company that employs many lawyers. 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 Doc 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.

Please note that 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.

 

Tags: E&O, Film E&O, E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance

Distributor's Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Sep 26, 2012 6:33:00 PM

Much like the producer's E&O insurance, distributor's Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance covers  distributors from lawsuits that may arise due to the content of the material they are distributing.

Distributor's E&O insurance differs  from Producer's E&O in that distributors are insured for a list of titles they are distributing. In order to add a production to a distributors E&O policy a minimum of one year of E&O policy needs to have been in force. For each film that you distribute, you will need to ask for evidence of previous e&o coverage.

The premium is determined by the estimated annual revenue that is expect from the list of titles to be insured. A deposit premium is paid and then the deposit is adjusted at the end of the policy year based on actual distribution revenue. A distributors policy is typically much less expensive as compared to extending individual e&o policies. The adjustment rate is usually 10 cents per $1000 of revenue.

To get a quote, we will need to have an application completed and we will need a list of the titles to be covered. Would you like me to send you a copy of a blank application?

WHY E&O POLICIES ARE NEEDED?

  1. Ie. 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

Tags: Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Digital E&O insurance, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, Film Production Insurance claims, Script Clearance reports, Title reports, Front Row Insurance Brokers, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Canada Film Broker, E&O

E&O Insurance for your Film Production: Preventing Litigation

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 23, 2012 12:06:00 PM

This article is an excellent introduction to what is and what is not covered by a Film Producers e&o Insurance Policy.

The author is an attorney that has spent a considerable amount of time working with the Canadian Film and Television industry. She has represented international film insurance companies for over 30 years.

Also discussed in the article:

Overview of Clearance Procedures

  • Standard Film and TV Clearance Produres
  • Docudramas
  • Documentaries
  • Fair Use: Criticism and Parody
  • Minimizing The Risk Of Copyright and Submission Claims
  • Companion Materials, The Digital Age and More

 Created on 07/23/12 at 14:58:48

Tags: Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, E&O, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance

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

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

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. Ie. 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 recognisable 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 ie. Documentary, TV Series
  • Subject matter of production
  • Production Budget
Contact Front Row Insurance Brokers to learn more about Film Errors & Omissions Insurance coverage.  

Tags: Short Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Production, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Film Insurance claims, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, E&O, DICE Policy, Digital E&O insurance, Title reports, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, DICE Insurance, Front Row

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

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