Substantial Film Insurance Savings in Vancouver compared to Los Angeles

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 21, 2012 5:08:00 PM

It is much less expensive to  insure a film production in Vancouver as compared to Los Angeles - $30,000 less for a film budgeted at $5,000,000.. This is a substantial benefit to a producer that is considering Louisiana, New Mexico or LA vs Vancouver.

I have prepared an excel premium savings spreadsheet for you to share with US Producers to make them aware of yet another good reason to film in BC!

You can download the premium savings spreadsheet here

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I hope to see you at the Whistler Film Festival.

david@frontrowinsurance.com

   1 604 684 3456

 

                                Front Row Insurance                                           

                                                        

Tags: Commercial Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Annual Film Insurance, Film Production Companies, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Film production offices, Canadian Insurance

Risk Assessments for Film Productions

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 20, 2012 1:44:00 PM

Most workplace injuries and diseases can be prevented by identifying and dealing with potential workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

 

Q. When do you need to conduct a risk assessment?

 

A.  For each potentially hazardous activity or situation involved in your production. Ie.

  • Stunts
  • Special Effects
  • Water work
  • Helicopters, Fixed-wing aircraft, and gliders
  • Exotic or domestic animals and reptiles
  • Potentially hazardous location

 

Conducting Risk Assessments – 3 basic steps

 

  1. Identify potential hazards and unsafe work practices
  2. Assess the risks associated with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices
  3. Deal with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices

Remember: Write your risk assessments on paper, that way they can be attached to call sheets and used as a reference in case they are needed at a later date.

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)

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Producers, Specialized film insurance broker, Cast Insurance, Short Film Insurance, Short Film Production Insurance, Risk Assesment

Focus on Safety to Reduce Film Production Workers Compensation Claims

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 13, 2012 2:06:00 PM

Film production companies have an obligation towards their cast and crew members, and must ensure their health and safety.

Production Companies should:

  • Develop and implement health & safety programs
  • Provide first aid equipment and emergency procedures for workers
  • Provide personal protective clothing and equipment for workers where required by the Regulation
  • Hire qualified, Competent Workers with the proper tickets and qualifications
  • Report all incidents involving medical treatments or lost time from injury or disease to the WCB.
  • Investigate all incidents, involving near misses
  • Ensure that cast and crew follow all WCB, municipal, provincial and federal requirements

 

Cast and Crew must W.A.I.F.

 

  • Wear personal protective clothing and equipment when required
  • Alert the supervisor or production company to potential hazards
  • Immediately report work they consider unsafe to their supervisor
  • Follow safe work procedures

 

Production Companies should form a joint health and safety committee that is responsible for identifying potential hazards or unsafe work practices and providing suggestions to improve conditions. The committee delegates should ensure that regular workplace inspections are carried out, and confirm that incidents are investigated. Above all, it’s important to consider and respond to heath and safety recommendations from the cast & crew.

Some examples of task allocations per position are:

Production Manager – Ensure that sets and locations are inspected for potential hazards and that potential hazards are eliminated or controlled.

Production Coordinator – Communicate the distribution of information to cast, crew members and various departments within the production company.

Director – Support assistant directors in their occupational health & safety responsibilities

Director of Photography – Make safety a priority when placing cameras and setting up lighting

Construction Coordinator – Ensure that the construction mill has a first aid facility stocked with appropriate supplies

Location Manager – Assess all locations for potential hazards (starting from the time of the initial scout)

SPFX/Stunt Coordinator – Hold safety talks immediately before any scheduled special effect or stunt

 

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

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Workers Comp insurance

Film Insurance Brokers: Proper Licensing Protects Your Production

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 4, 2012 1:27:00 PM

Did you know:

  • Your Film broker must be licensed in each province that they place business in?
  • There are penalties for conducting business as a Film Insurance broker in a province in which one is not licensed?
  • There are potential consequences for a broker’s client if their broker isn’t properly licensed?

 

Each province has it’s own Insurance Act. Each province is in charge of enforcing the rules according to their unique Act. Given that the auto market within each Province has separate laws and regulations, insurance will be governed by separate rules within each Province

If a broker is found in violation of a Provincial Insurance Broker Act, they will potentially face not only fines and possible imprisonment, but also have their credibility and reputation tarnished.

An insurance company could reject a claim on the basis that the broker wasn’t properly licensed. Make sure the Film Insurance Broker you are dealing with is licensed in the province where you have incorporated your film production company.

Front Row is a specialized Film Insurance Broker that is licensed and registered in all Canadian provinces.

 

 

Tags: Commercial Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Film Producers, Specialized film insurance broker, Front Row Insurance Brokers, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Front Row

Earthquakes & Film Production: Make an Emergency Plan before the Quake

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 1, 2012 11:51:00 AM

Film Production Insurance and Earthquakes: It is important to make an Emergency Plan before the Earth Moves 

  • Discuss what could happen on the film set and in the film production office should an earthquake strike.
  • Make a list of what needs to be done ahead of time, and store important documents ie. financial documents and  insurance policies in waterproof containers.
  • Refer http://www.frontrowinsurance.com/new-media/
  • Appoint an appropriate out of town contact that can act as a central point of contact in an emergency.
  • Write down and exercise the plan at least once a year

 

Tags: Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Equipment, Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Insurance claims, Specialized film insurance broker, Film equipment insurance, Film Gear insurance, Film production offices, Film equipment insurance, Film production equipment insurance, Film Gear 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

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.

Tags: DICE Policy, Annual Film Insuruance, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Production Equipment, Documentary Films, Film Production Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Film insurance broker, DICE Insurance, DICE Insurance, Educational Films, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Specialized film insurance broker, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Cast Insurance, Film production offices, Short Film Insurance, Short Film Production Insurance, Film production equipment insurance, Front Row, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canadian Insurance, Canada Film Broker

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

E&O Insurance - How much of your production's format is copyright-able

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 27, 2012 2:19:00 PM

By: Doran S. Chandler - Roberts & Stahl, Entertainment Lawyers

DORAN CHANDLER LawyerWhenever a producer or writer dreams up a new idea for a television show, it doesn't take long for them to start worrying about someone pinching it and beating them to the punch. This is especially true in the case of news programs, game shows, and other reality based productions. Such productions are relatively inexpensive to produce and consist mainly of material with a questionable footing in copyright. This makes it accessible to a large number of producers and difficult to pitch and develop without tipping off competitors about a potential new trend.

A somewhat odd corollary to this is that the value of television formats has grown exponentially in recent years with the widespread licensing of formats to broadcasters or production companies in foreign markets. As a result, many producers want to know what they can borrow from existing programs, and whether they can protect what they have created. Only one notable Canadian case, Hutton v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, sheds some light on the issue. 


In Hutton, the Alberta courts considered whether the format of a music video magazine show could be copyrighted. The courts held that concepts and devices generally present in shows of the same genre were not protect-able, such as the mood of the hosts, the presentation of biographical materials, interviews, and the use of TV monitors in the set design. The courts also considered the use of infinity shots, bumpers and teasers to commercials, the use of montages, and the use of transitions like dissolves and back-to-back video playbacks, finding that these elements could not in themselves be protected. One characteristic the trial court found protect-able at trial were elements of "dramatic conceit" in the programs, or the entertainment fictions used to create drama in each program. The trial judge ultimately found that the plaintiff's show, Star Chart, was not a dramatic work within s.2 of the Copyright Act and thus not capable of being copyrighted. On Appeal, the Alberta court deemphasized the idea that dramatic conceit was protect-table and held simply that the works were not qualitatively similar and did not have any causal connection between them.

The end result of Hutton is that, while we have some idea about what Canadian courts will consider when evaluating a format, we don't really have a clear guideline for what is required to achieve a protect-able format. Adding to the uncertainty is that different standards of protection have emerged in other jurisdictions. In one case considering the copyright-ability of the format for Opportunity Knocks, a prominent UK copyright judge held that the elements of a "dramatic format" were too uncertain for copyright protection.

Meanwhile, courts in Holland and Brazil have granted protection to the Survivor and Big Brother formats, respectively, finding that copyright can subsist in the meticulous combination of individually unprotect-able elements in a format. Together, these decisions leave producers intending to rely on a specific format on shaky ground. Given that the legal right to use or to keep others from using a given format is unpredictable at best, it is a good idea to take some precautions when developing a show. One important security measure is to pitch your concept formally in conference using confidentiality agreements. Another useful precaution is to document and distinguish your concept with as much detail as possible, including the use of specific music, timing, camera angles and set design.

Registering distinctive slogans and catch phrases with the trademark office can offer protection, as can registering your detailed synopsis with the copyright office. Lastly, advertise your production as aggressively as possible because a strong market presence will always attract more copyright protection than anonymity. 
- Robert Galletti

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

Bears and Film Insurance: What to Ask?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 8, 2011 10:26:00 AM

animal film insurance

Bears are frequently used in film productions shot in the Pacific Northwest. The risks associated with filming a bear can be transferred to an insurance company once the underwriter understands how the public, cast, crew, equipment and the  bear will be protected. The underwriter will need answers to the following questions to underwrite and cover the risk:

 

 

1.            Current Bear Vet exam certificates. What is the value of the bear to the owner if the bear were to die? Usually the figure is  based on three years revenue that the bear has earned.

2.            How will the bear get from their pen/corral to their position on set in the electrified fenced area? How will the cast and crew be protected during this transit?

3.            Where will the bear be on set when not filming? During this time, how will cast/crew/public be protected?

4.            When bear is on set and filming, what do they do to protect public/cast/crew from bear?

5.            Please confirm cast not in direct contact with the bear. Will the cast always be on one side of the electrified fence and the bear on the other?

6.            Please provide shooting schedule with the bear

7.            Please forward storyboards of bear scenes when available.

8.            Given the time of year, are there any issues resulting from the bear normally hibernating during this time of year?

9.            Details of housing and transit of the bears from the permanent home.

10.          The main corral  structure to house the bear – is this a permanent structure? What will it be constructed of?  How high will the fence be?

11.          Will the bears be housed over night at the corral?

12.          What type of security will be in place?

13.          Will there be 24 hour attendants for the bear?

14.          How will the bears be shipped to the set from out of town? 

15.          How are the protected during shipping?

 

As specialized film insurance brokers we can assist with obtaining this coverage.

Click me Click me

 

Tags: Film Production Insurance, Short Film Insurance, Short Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Insurance claims, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Specialized film insurance broker, Film Production, Film Producers, Film production equipment insurance, DICE Policy, Commercial Production Insurance, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Special Effects Insurance, Documentary Films, DICE Insurance, Commercials, Educational Films, animal insurance, filming animals, bear insurance

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all