US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

Posted by Alyson Forster on Aug 4, 2020 7:12:51 AM

US Filmmakers: Navigating Your Certificate of Insurance

If you’re a Canada-based filmmaker, read this blog post instead.

Congratulations, you successfully purchased your production insurance! Your broker has sent you a confirmation that your coverage is bound, a summary, invoice, and certificate of insurance. You review all of your paperwork and estimates from the rental house and permit office, but how do you know what coverage is what, or if you even purchased the correct coverage?

things that may go missed on a certificate that can ‘make or break’ you on the day of production:

  1. Make sure the production company’s name and address are correct. Rushed through the application? This is the time to triple check any spelling errors.
  2. If you are working (especially) on a Short-Term Production (US), double-check the effective dates. Make sure you include any additional pickup/drop-off dates that may be needed for props or rentals.
  3. Did a permit office request any special wording? This is the time to make sure you have the exact wording on your certificate as the insurance requirements noted.

Below is a sample certificate. We will review each section so you can properly understand what you are looking at.

US Certificate of Insurance

Ok, so from the top!

The highlighted section on the left is where your company information is located.

The highlighted section on the right is your insurance company. You will notice it shows insurer “A” and insurer “B”. This will correspond to the boxes on the far left side to show which company is which.

The non-highlighted section below is your insurance broker’s information.

US Certificate of Insurance

This next part is VERY important, especially when it comes to Film LA. See the box that says “ADDL INSR”? That stands for Additional Insured, and the “Y” stands for yes. Next to that column, there is wording “SUBR WVD” this stands for Waiver of Subrogation.

This is a waiver that you must request in advance and most likely will cost additional premium. Without a “Y” under “ADDL INSR” and “SUBR WVD”- your insurance coverage will not be sufficient for Film LA.

The next part of the “grid” will delegate the policy number and the start and end dates of coverage. If you need additional days for a short shoot, reach out to your broker immediately. If you request additional coverage dates after the expiration of coverage, you will be responsible for purchasing a new policy.

The bottom right highlighted section is what your rental/prop house will review. Keep in mind, this amount is not the value to rent the equipment. The amount is to replace the item in the case of a total loss.

The section ‘ded’ that is highlighted stands for your retention or deductible. The deductible or retention is the amount you will have to pay the insurance company in a case of a loss that exceeds the deductible.

Example: You rent a camera that has a replacement value of $50,000. The camera gets lost in transit. This means that for the insurance company to replace the camera, you will have to pay the deductible amount.

Example: You rent a grip accessory and the replacement value is $150. The grip accessory is damaged during the shoot. Since the accessories replacement value is less than the deductible, the insurance company will not cover the loss.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Remember insurer “A” and insurer “B”? You can now see them on the far right column.

This row on your certificate is where any special wording would be located. If you need a rental house to be named additional insured, this is where the wording would be located.

US Certificate of Insurance

Note: Whenever there is a need for special wording on your certificate, please notify your broker. This is something only your broker can process.

Last section! So, the certificate holder will be the entity that requested to be named additional insured, loss payee, or certificate holder. If a rental house has requested to be named additional insured, this is where you would find their name and address.

US Certificate of Insurance


About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides film insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with insurers and clients to expedite the payment of claims.


Canadian Filmmakers: Certificate of Insurance

Getting a film permit in Los Angeles / Film LA

DISCLAIMER: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Topics: Short Film Insurance, Film Production, Film Producers, Annual Film Insurance, Film production offices, Film Production Companies, US Film insurance broker, Certificates

Front Row Insurance Brokers Launches Online Business Insurance Program

Posted by David Hamilton on Aug 31, 2017 5:44:01 PM

Online SMALL Business / Office / Workplace Insurance

Office contents insurance

Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is excited to announce the launch of their new online business liability insurance and business contents insurance program. This unique offering provides commercial renters insurance for businesses that rent or lease their office space. Get a free business insurance quote in less than five minutes, 365 days a year, 24/7.

Visitors to the site that purchase a policy can sleep easy knowing their Workplace business renters insurance covers them all year with coverage to satisfy their landlord. Landlord certificates are no cost and are provided immediately upon purchasing a policy.

“Office equipment is covered in addition to liability insurance for small businesses. Earthquake and flood insurance are offered at no extra cost.“ said David Hamilton, CEO of Front Row Insurance Brokers. “This is a disruptive product for entrepreneurs looking for a reduction in small business insurance costs and an ability to purchase a policy in minutes without having to speak to a broker. The expected savings should average 20% and the time saving is significant for a business owner.”

Available to Canadian small business insurance buyers:

The policy term is for 12 months. All office equipment is covered for: theft, damage and fire. Business interruption insurance is also provided.

The online link ensures small business insurance- low prices:

  • $10,000 office contents insurance coverage: $25, plus a fee
  • $2,000,000 business liability coverage: $400
  • $500 deductible

The online program for business renters insurance follows Front Row’s lead over the past two years into online offerings for: short term filmmakers, photographers and musicians. “We wanted to make the insurance process easier, faster and cheaper for business liability insurance and office renters insurance,” said Hamilton, “Given that there is no need to speak to a broker and an insurance company underwriter is not involved, the cost to process a small business liability insurance policy is much less online and we have passed the savings on in the form of a less expensive small business insurance policy. Although the Workplace office insurance policy is online, we are still available to answer questions by e mail or over the phone if required.”

The site can be accessed by clicking this link:

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides office renters insurance for the lowest possible cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row ensures that all clients receive the money they are owed per the office insurance policy, as quickly as possible. Front Row has offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Topics: Film production offices, Office Contents Insurance

Earthquakes & Film Production: Prepare Emergency Kit before the Quake

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 1, 2012 5:34:00 PM

Earthquake Emergency Kit: Film Sets

Earthquake Emergency Kit

In an emergency, you’ll need some basic supplies, and you may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Make sure that your kit is easily accessible and easy to carry, and that designated staff and crew know where to access the kit(s).

Basic Earthquake Emergency Kit Checklist: 

  • Water – at least 2 litres of water per person per day. Include small bottles that can be easily carried.
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries).
  • Wind-up or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries).
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Extra Keys to offices.
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information.

Related Posts:



Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Film production offices, film insurance premium

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

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



If you are indoors on a film production set or in a film production office...


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

If you are outdoors on a film location:

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

If you are in a production or picture vehicle: 

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

Avoid the following in an earthquake: 

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

Front Row is experienced with insuring film productions against earthquakes: ask us how.

Related Posts:

Earthquakes and Film Production: Know the Risks and be Prepared

Earthquakes & Film Production: Prepare an Emergency Kit before the Quake

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Film production offices, Commercial Production Insurance, venue insurance

Earthquakes and Film Production: Know the Risks and be Prepared

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


Earthquakes and film sets

What would happen to your film production if IT were shaken by a violent earthquake?

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

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

Discuss earthquake coverage with your film insurance broker to ensure that your production will have the financial ability to recover losses after an earthquake. Ask your broker: does your Film Production Insurance include coverage for earthquakes?

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

Related Posts:

Earthquakes & Film Production: Prepare an Emergency Kit before the Quake

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

Topics: Film equipment insurance, Film Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film Insurance claims, Film production offices, Commercial Production Insurance, Documentary 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

Film Production Offices: 5 Ways to Burglar-Proof

Posted by David Hamilton on Jul 15, 2011 9:56:00 AM

Burglar-proof film office

Burglar-proof film production office

Film Production offices are more frequently robbed during the summer when windows and doors are left open in the summer heat.
Thieves usually enter a production office in one of two ways: by forcing entry through a window or door or simply opening an unlocked window or door.

Five ways you can secure your production office:

  1. Rent production space that has new locking windows: preferably on a second floor or higher.
  2. Ensure all windows and doors are locked overnight and while on set.
  3. Make the office look occupied by: leaving lights on, hiring a security guard, leaving a radio on.
  4. Install a security alarm and install deadbolts on all doors.
  5. Make sure that everyone in your first production meeting is actually employed by the production. We once had a claim where someone sat through the first production meeting and when everyone broke for coffee the thief left with several laptops.

Film production insurance policies will cover theft from a production office subject to a deductible: please contact us for more information. We are specialized film insurance brokers.

Topics: Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Film production offices, Film Production Companies