So, get yourself an entertainment lawyer, take a look at those clearance procedures, make sure you’re following them and you will avoid claims forever. The other thing you should do is get friendly with your insurance broker – they’re very helpful.
All this lovely gear was stolen! Don’t let this be your gear.
Thanks to cooperation between the FBI, the US embassy and Argentinian federal police, this massive haul of film production gear worth ~$3M was recovered in September 2018. The thieves had apparently targeted equipment in Hollywood and other US cities and then smuggled it into Argentina. As of May 2019, four people have been arrested in the US and 17 suspects have been identified in Argentina.
Film Equipment Theft – Prevention Tips
We’ve provided some tips & tricks for how to guard your film equipment, as well as some information on how to insure your equipment so you are protected in any worst case scenario situations.
1. Exterior/Location Filming
Key individuals should be responsible and accountable for transporting equipment from trucks and trailers to the filming set/location
There should be a tracking process established for logging equipment in/out when transported between destinations
Securely store equipment when not in use, especially hard-to-replace items like custom props, sets and wardrobes
Station security personnel within sight of exposed equipment, ideally at all times
Heighten security presence whenever filming in crime-ridden neighbourhoods
2. Interior Filming
Always favour buildings that have a central security alarm system, and check with building facilities that the system is actually running properly
Favour buildings that have security guard personnel on site
The building ideally has a concierge who facilitates logging in/approval of visitors
If you need to store equipment in the building overnight, double-check that the room is secure and inform security personnel about it
3. Employee/Crew Theft
Have written policy in place informing cast/crew that it is unacceptable to take any objects from set as “souvenirs”; clearly communicate policy to cast/crew
Conduct reference/background checks on all new employees/crewmembers
All employees/crewmembers should wear highly visible ID badges while on set
Make use of sign-in/sign-out sheets for entering/exiting locations
Conduct inventory checks on regular basis
4. Vehicles (including rental cars, vans and trucks)
Ensure vehicles transporting valuable equipment are as nondescript as possible (don’t call attention to the vehicles)
Any equipment stored in a vehicle should always be locked and kept out of sight (e.g., covered with blankets)
Ideally have multiple drivers available to limit the number of extended stops and take turns monitoring the vehicle during stops
If overnight: ideally stay at reputable hotels; hotel parking lots should be well-lit and monitored by cameras and security guards
5. Air Travel (planes carrying production equipment)
Always have a clearly marked luggage tag and have a card with emergency contact information placed inside the luggage/container
Whenever possible, carry some valuable items onto the plane instead of checking them in, such as laptops and smaller cameras
Maintain an inventory listing the shipped items, along with planned shipping itinerary and equipment serial numbers
Consider Film Equipment Insurance – DigiGear
There seems to be no published information on whether or not the equipment involved in the Hollywood-Argentina smuggle was insured. If it wasn’t insured, no doubt, the owners of said equipment were likely kicking themselves after this massive theft occurred.
Avoid a similar fate by insuring your film equipment with Front Row under a DigiGear policy.
Arranging film production insurance for your renovation (reno) show should be done with the help of a specialized entertainment insurance broker.
The following information is to be used as a general reference only and does not alter the insurance policy wording for your specific production. In all cases, actual coverage is subject to the policy language, terms and conditions of the long form policies to be issued by the insurance company. Additionally, the following is not intended to be legal advice but rather are general recommendations intended to reduce your exposure to an insurance claim. When entering contracts with anyone you should consult a lawyer to draft appropriate language for your specific circumstances and to ensure that you are adequately protected.
With renovation shows we suggest that you consider the following guidelines:
Hire a general contractor to oversee major changes and the general contractor should be responsible for hiring subcontractors.
Insist that the general contractor and subcontractors provide you with proof of liability insurance for their operations in the form of an insurance certificate issued by their insurance company.
The insurance certificate should evidence coverage for Products and Completed Operations, should contain a cross liability and sever ability of interest clause and name the production company as an additional insured.
Homeowners should review and sign a release containing a hold harmless and waiver of subrogation clause against the production company.
Where possible homeowners should be included in the renovation decision making process for each change made.
Your contract with the general contractor should contain a hold harmless provision protecting prod co from any claims arising from work completed by the contractor. You should also consider an indemnity provision requiring the contractor to pay you back for any expenses, claims or suits brought against you resulting from their negligence or faulty workmanship.
Have you made arrangements with the contractors to come back and fix problems with the homes? Does the contractor provide a warranty on work performed?The contract should be between the homeowner and general contractor (not the production company).
Ultimately the homeowner could sue the production company and the contractor if they feel work was poorly done but adopting some of the guidelines above, having contractors who are properly insured and including the homeowner in decisions being made would greatly reduce your exposure to loss.
Decorating shows that involve changing room colours and adding new furniture etc. are less risky than more major renovations but when you are working on any third party properties there is a greater risk of something going wrong. Use a specialized film insurance broker to ensure you are properly covered.
Short film insurance can be arranged quickly through us, usually over the phone. Our program is very popular with new and established film makers because of the low cost and the simple process to arrange a policy.
Note that we can only assist individuals that live or have a company in Canada at this time; however, worldwide coverage is available to our Canadian film makers.
To provide you with a short film insurance cost, we need a few details. The fastest way to receive a quote is to complete the short application telling us about your project by clicking the link below.
Canada's largest Film Insurance Broker expands to LA.
Vancouver, Canada - - February 20 2014 -- Front Row is pleased to announce the opening of their first office in the United States. The US company will be known as Front Row Insurance Brokers, LLC and will be located at: 14156 Magnolia Blvd, Suite 200, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 .
The Los Angeles office will be headed up by well known film insurance veteran Kent Hamilton. Kent can be reached at 424-529-6700.
Kent will be supported by Mike Groner and Tina Ortiz.
Front Row is licensed and registered in every province and is Canada's largest specialized film insurance broker. Front Row represents: each of the four major film insurance companies: Chubb, Premiere/Everest, Allianz/Firemans Fund and Travelers / St Paul.
"An opportunity arose to bring Kent and his team into Front Row and we quickly worked to make that happen," says David Hamilton, President of Front Row based in Vancouver. "We are delighted that Kent decided to join Front Row given the multiple offers that he received from other brokerage firms." Kent was previously a Senior Vice President at Truman Van Dyke in Los Angeles where he specialized in arranging insurance coverage for film and TV productions.
Front Row is an independent film insurance 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 as quickly as possible.
Front Row also has offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with a combined staff of 31.
Canada's largest film insurance broker is created.
Vancouver,Canada - - September 23, 2013 -- Front Row is pleased to announce a merger with Globalex gestion de risques 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.
Travel Delay Insurance protects your film production budget when cast do not show up on set.
Travel Delay Insurance coverage is an Extra Expense coverage that is part of some film production insurance policies. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company defines Travel Delays in their insuring agreement as:
“For reasons other than weather, we will pay for loss due to the closure of any departure airport used by your personnel or used to transport your property, when such airport closure either delays or precludes the timely arrival of personnel or property to a filming location of the Insured Production”.
EXAMPLES of extra expenses covered by Travel Delay coverage:
There is a problem with the baggage belt within the airport delaying baggage & equipment from being loaded onto the plane.
There is a temporary bomb scare which results in a delay in cast or crew’s flight out of their departure airport.
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.
At first read, Ingress & Egress may sound like a type of leakage. In the case of this Extra Expense (EE) sub-coverage though, it actually refers to circumstances which may arise where persons or property are unable to either gain access (ingress) or leave (egress) a building/location in order to continue work as required. This coverage is similar in nature to the Civil & Military Authority EE sub-coverage, with the exception that the inability to access or leave the building/location in question is not decided by the authorities.
As with other Extra Expense coverages, the sub-limit (sum insured) attributed to the sub-coverages is the maximum amount given for that sub-coverage, and all Extra Expense claims cannot exceed the policy Extra Expense maximum limit.
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (Allianz) defines Ingress/Egress in their insuring agreement as:
“We will pay for loss due to your inability to access or leave a facility within your care, custody and control due to the closure, by other than a civil authority, of that facility’s access road, meaning a road that affords access into and out of that area within your care, custody and control, which is necessary to be used in connection with an Insured Production to which this Coverage applies.”
some losses/delays covered by Ingress & Egress:
Road access to the studio the Insured company is renting is blocked because a sinkhole has collapsed in the road.
Your film director is unable to leave his hotel on time because the street in front of the hotel has large fallen trees on it due to a windstorm the previous night.
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.
A typical production company will purchase liability insurance to provide coverage for claims relating to third party bodily injury and/or property damage caused by the production’s activities. As the majority of production companies will use vehicles on/off set, along with mobile equipment, watercraft and/or aircraft, they must also consider liability protection for these exposures too.
Whichever type of liability policy or policies are selected by a production company; there is a “primary” layer of coverage. Depending upon the limit of the primary general liability coverage, a production company may wish to purchase additional limits of protection: a filming location may require 10mil or more of coverage although 5mil is a common limit of coverage in Canada.
This additional layer of liability coverage is called umbrella or excess coverage.
Either Excess or Umbrella coverage is triggered when the primary protection’s limits have been breached, i.e., the underlying policy limit is exhausted.
Theoretically, an Umbrella Policy supplements its excess coverage to include miscellaneous and unidentified loss exposures that are not covered by an underlying policy. This is an advantage of an umbrella liability policy. Since there isn’t a source of primary protection for these exposures, a form of high deductible, called a self-insured retention, is applied to such losses.
An Excess Policy does NOT provide broader coverage; it only serves to supplement whatever coverage exists in the primary layer. It’s becoming increasingly common for such coverage to be provided on a Following Form basis. These forms are written so that they track the coverage, exclusions, and provisions of the underlying policies.
Simply stated, an Umbrella Policy will provide additional protection for your production company with different coverage that may not be in your underlying policy. An Excess Policy will further protect your production company by adding extra protection onto the limits of your underlying policy.
If you seek additional coverage for your production company, be sure to pay attention to what is stated in the form. The term "umbrella" may be used even when the form does not provide true umbrella coverage. For additional information relating to the above, please contact Front Row Insurance Brokers.
Firearms on Set | Weapon Safety for Film Producers | Filming with guns
The cost of film insurance for a production that uses firearms & guns on set can be minimized by following protocols that make the insurance underwriter comfortable. Insurance underwriters charge more when they are uncomfortable with the perceived risk.
Hire a good firearms wrangler and ensure they follow these protocols...
FIREARMS Protocols for a safe set and the lowest film insurance cost:
Take charge of all firearms and ammunition and keep an inventory of them
Know all the requirements for handling, transporting, and storing firearms, ammunition and black powder
Comply with all local, provincial, and federal regulations for firearms
Be familiar with the specific firearms being used and their safety requirements. Know how to load, unload, dismantle, clean and reassemble the firearms
Check firearms before and after each use
Clean all firearms daily after use
Load and Unload all firearms (if this is not practical, supervise the handling, loading, and unloading of firearms by designated, trained assistants) as follows...
Use the lightest load of blank ammunition necessary for the scene
Allow any actor who will be standing near the line of fire to witness the loading of the firearms
Train actors and stunt performers in the safe use of firearms
Take firearms away from actors and stunt performers between takes whenever possible
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)