After it is confirmed by authorities that it is safe to go outdoors, you can begin to assess any potential damage. If you have property damage, you should report your claim as soon as possible. The Travelers Insurance company recommends, the more information you can provide when you report the loss, the better they can begin their response. However, if you have missing information but have sustained damage, please report your claim in any event.
Stay inside and make sure everyone is safe. Stay tuned to the radio or television until an official "all clear" is given (if you were evacuated, return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so.
Avoid downed power lines. Never touch anything in contact with power lines, including water or water puddles that may be near the downed power lines.
Protect property from further damage. Board up broken windows at your production office, studio or filming location to protect against vandalism or additional weather damage. Arrange for reasonable temporary repairs
Keep accurate expense records. Save bills and materials receipts from your temporary repairs. (Do not make permanent repairs until the insurance adjuster has reviewed the damage.) Also, keep accurate records of other expenses incurred.
Separate and inventory the damaged property. Write a list of any damaged contents. Include the item description, name of the manufacturer, the brand name, age, the place and date of purchase, if known. Use any photographs, videotapes or personal property inventories you may already have to help
Entertainment lawyers are often called upon to help clients obtain Errors & Omissions insurance for their productions. This job is easy if the needs of E&O insurers are considered before production begins. However, the process can be difficult and time-consuming if no thought is given to E&O coverage until after the final cut is locked.
E&O Insurance covers claims against a production, including breach of copyright or trademark, breach of privacy, defamation and breach of contract. These claims do not usually surface until there has been a broadcast or exhibition of the production.
E&O coverage is not included in the standard production insurance that is taken out for injuries, damage to property, etc. Only occasionally do you hear about the types of claims for which E&O insurance provides protection. For example, an action was brought several years ago against Dreamworks by an author who had written a book about the events depicted in the feature film Amistad. The author claimed that her copyright had been breached because the film told the story in ways which were similar to the book. More recently, one of the characters depicted in the recently released feature film Boys Don’t Cry has brought an action for breach of privacy because of the manner in which her life was depicted.
But most claims do not make headlines; usually they are threatened and then settled. Even if your insurer is ultimately successful in defeating a claim, it can still be costly because of the legal fees involved. And even if a claim is settled, the producer generally pays.
There are only a small number of insurers who provide E&O insurance to the entertainment industry. These policies are sold by specialized agents who are familiar with film and television production. If you have been involved in producing a documentary or television production, you have probably filled out the lengthy forms involved in making an E&O application. The application tells the agent how far along you are in the production and what the problem areas are likely to be, but it also serves as a handy checklist for you. Once the application is received, the agent will provide you with a quote and hand it over to lawyers who provide advice to the insurer about the risks involved with the production. The insurer will have its lawyer contact production counsel to review the potential problem areas and to discuss how these will be addressed.
The advantage of having your lawyer speak directly to the insurer’s lawyer is that often E&O insurance can be approved with a single phone call. The disadvantage from a lawyer’s perspective is that you sometimes end up doing the insurer’s dirty work by telling a client why certain material can’t be used. Because the insurer’s lawyer relies on production lawyers to decide whether to grant insurance, your lawyer is obliged to identify problem areas. If they do not, you (and the broadcaster) could end up being liable for the omission and your lawyer’s credibility can be affected.
Event Cancellation Insurance is purchased for one-off events as a protection against loss of revenue or extra expenses that result from uncontrollable circumstances such as unforeseen weather conditions, power failure, terrorism, cancellation, abandonment, postponement, interruption or relocation of an event.
This type of insurance can also cover public liability, such as a serious injury to one of your patrons, if property is damaged, there is theft of expensive equipment or if you face a claim for actual or alleged bodily injury, and it is found to be your fault.
Why it’s needed
Event preparation can take years of planning, and with businesses incurring multiple expenses on the lead up to the event, most can not afford the costs associated with postponement, cancellation or relocation of an event. An organization’s physical assets impact the functionality of a business, therefore with risks to the bottom line being substantial, event cancellation insurance is needed to protect against the loss of costs, expenses or revenues associated with this exposure.
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Some examples of situations that would have benefited from having event cancellation include the following:
In July of 2011 a stage collapsed at the Ottawa Bluesfest as the likely result of a strong downdraft of air from a thunderstorm. There were multiple injuries involved with including possible spinal injuries.
During the Big Valley Jamboree in the summer of 2009, a powerful windstorm swept through the area causing the main stage to collapse. A total of 33 charges were laid against the three companies involved in this Alberta Stage Collapse. Each of the charges carries a maximum fine of $500,000 and possible jail time. There were more than a dozen injuries and one death.
Stage collapse at a Christian rock concert in April of 2008 where an auditorium floor collapsed at a church in Abbotsford, BC. Sound and Lighting scaffolds collapsed onto the front section of the stage and mosh pit with more than 40 injuries.
Who needs it:
Event coordinators responsible for special events such as film shoots, concerts, trade shows & exhibitions, entertainment & sporting events, corporate events such as product launches, and conventions to name just a few. Circumstances such as extreme weather conditions, civil, social and political unrest, strikes by employees at the venues to non appearance of key personnel are all coverages that can be purchased.
An example of the importance for promoters in obtaining event cancellation insurance can be seen after Michael Jackson’s unexpected death and the outlays and expenses that resulted from his projected 50 concerts at London’s O2 Arena.
There are two types of coverages: the costs and expenses of putting on the event, such as rental promotion and fees charged by service providers, and secondly, the anticipated profits that the event is expected to generate.
How it’s obtained:
By contacting your broker and/or completing an online application form and providing the relevant financial worksheets.
How long it takes to obtain:
Generally 48 hours is needed as a minimum in order to obtain coverage
What the cost is:
The cost is generally calculated according to the gross revenue or costs/expenses, premiums therefore vary widely. Premiums are also dependent on such factors as whether the event is indoor/outdoor, and if outdoor, what type of protection is in place to negate the effects of the elements. Additional factors that affect the premium include whether an event is dependant on particular cast members or performers and if so, the age and health issues of the performer will need to be known. Premiums are generally higher for this type of coverage as usually a “one time” event that doesn’t occur is a total loss.
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