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.

 

 

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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.  

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New Film Insurance Company in Canada - Competition Benefits Producers

Posted by David Hamilton on May 28, 2012 11:50:00 AM

The World's largest Film Insurance Company opens in Canada creating more Competition to BenEfit Producers. The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has opened an office  in Toronto.  As Canada’s largest Film Insurance Broker, we have been selected as an approved broker that can obtain quotes and production coverage from Fireman’s Fund.

Front Row is an independent broker that represents Film Producers – not the insurance companies. We can offer you quotes for your project from all four of the Film Insurance companies in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Premiere and Travelers.

If you are not receiving four quotes from the broker that you are using, please contact us and we would be happy to provide the missing quotes so that you ensure you are receiving the best premium and coverage available in the marketplace.

We can make the process simple for you.  If you are able to provide us with the following information, we will have an indication of costs and/or a quote for you within 24 hours or less:

1.            Dates of  Filming

2.            Copy of Budget Top Sheet

3.            Synopsis and Script

 

There is no cost or obligation – you have nothing to lose and you may benefit with a lower premium.

Our staff have a combined 205 years of experience insuring film productions in Canada.  In the event of a claim, we will ensure that you are paid the money you are owed as quickly as possible.  We have offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with a staff in excess of 16.

Articles about our firm are available on our website.

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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.

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A Canadian Insurance Broker Needed to Avoid Potential Tax Penalties

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 7, 2012 2:55:00 PM

If you are a US Insurance Broker that has a client with a Canadian subsidiary, Canadian tax law requires that: 

  • The policy must be issued by a licensed Canadian insurer
  • The premium must be paid by the Canadian subsidiary directly to a licensed Canadian broker who then  must pay the Canadian insurer.
  • If an unlicensed insurer is used, Provincial tax penalties may be as high as 50% of the premium and an additional Federal tax of 10% of the premium will also be levied

A US Insurance Broker that does not hold a license in Canada will not be able to place business with a Canadian insurance company. Furthermore a US broker that does not hold a Canadian license is not allowed to provide insurance advice to a Canadian company – even if it is a subsidiary of a US parent company. To do so will incur a premium tax and penalties that are payable by the subsidiary. 

A broker licensed and domiciled in Canada will make sure that your client complies with all insurance regulations so that the policy will respond when required. A Canadian Entertainment Insurance Broker will also ensure that the premiums qualify for any applicable tax credits.

This article explains the law well and in detail l and that the CRA (the equivalent of your IRS) is being stricter about enforcing it- http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/news/excise-tax-extends-its-reach/1000405882/.

At Front Row, we would be happy to assist you insure your subsidiaries inCanada. Ask us how.

Please contact David Hamilton:  604-684-3456 or e-mail david@frontrowinsurance.com

Tags: directors & officers liablity, Documentary Insurance, Documentary Films, Film Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, DICE Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production Companies, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Front Row Insurance Brokers, Front Row, Canadian Insurance Broker, Canadian Insurance, Canada Film Broker, US Insurance Broker

The Front Row Vancouver Office has Moved

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 13, 2011 10:46:00 AM

Front Row InsuranceThe Vancouver office of Front Row Insurance Brokers has relocated to a larger office located at 1788 West Broadway at Burrard.


We are looking forward to this exciting new expansion.  Our new location will be easily accessible on the Broadway corridor and will have 30 guest parking spots. 


We hope to see you at our new location in 2012!

Tags: Annual Film Insuruance, Documentary Insurance, Film Insurance, Production Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Fairs and Festivals insurance, Annual Film Insurance, Aircraft Insurance, Front Row Insurance Brokers, animal insurance, Front Row

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