How is it decided whether a doc will be covered by special rates for E&O?

Posted by Grant Patten on Jun 16, 2021 8:06:38 AM

How is it decided whether a doc will be covered by special, reduced rates for E&O insurance?

How is it decided whether a documentary will be covered by special, reduced rates for E&O insurance?Source: Shutterstock, 1746536957 Royalty-free stock photo

Members of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) have access to an insurance program with special rates designed for Canadian documentary producers. Film producer’s errors & omissions (E&O) coverage is included in this program.

It is important to note that the insurance company (insurer) does not necessarily see each documentary project as one and the same, in terms of risk. Some projects are going to be seen as riskier than others and each insurer has a different “risk appetite” when it comes to the types of projects they are insuring. Therefore, it is useful for producers to keep certain things in mind from the beginning of their project, while they are still finalizing the budget, to make sure there are no (or fewer) surprises re: E&O.

Note: The insurer, not Front Row (we’re the broker), lays out the parameters of the film producer’s E&O insurance program.

Projects that do NOT fall under the DOC E&O program pricing:

  • Controversial and/or mean spirited (g., investigative, intended to “expose” someone; this can be seen as contentious)
  • Docudramas
  • Productions with US counsel
  • Productions depending on fair use/fair dealing as a defense
  • Productions that have previously aired

Note: this does not necessarily mean that Front Row cannot cover the above projects, but that there may be an additional cost above the reduced E&O pricing for DOC or that this business may have to be placed with another insurer.

Fair dealing relates to exemptions under the Copyright Act in Canada; fair use is the US legislation. It is assumed by many producers that fair use provides more leeway in terms of what is allowed. This is not always an accurate assumption. Many lawsuits have arisen over this assumption and there has not been much consistency in these rulings. This can be especially problematic when a producer is relying on fair use arguments, but they have a Canadian lawyer. The Canadian lawyer might not be up to speed on all the fair use-related cases that are developing in the US. We always recommend that producers first talk to their clearance lawyer(s) to gather their feedback before purchasing E&O insurance.

Get Producer’s E&O Insurance | Errors & Omissions Insurance for Producers | DigiGear Insurance | Film Equipment Insurance

If you’re a member of DOC, you can access insurance coverage at a cost that is much lower than an individual documentary producer can normally obtain when purchasing insurance coverage on his/her own. Get a quote here.

If you’re not a member of DOC, you can still request a quote for film producer’s E&O.

Documentary filmmakers/producers may also wish to consider:

  • Short-Term Film Insurance (Canada): provides coverage for up to 15 consecutive days of shooting, with no minimum premium. The coverage is available online 24/7. Covers rented gear, rented locations, rented props, sets, wardrobes, and more. Quotes are free. If you’re in the US, get a quote here.
  • DigiGear Insurance (Canada): custom equipment insurance for owners of: cameras, sound and lighting gear working in the film/TV industry. Also available online. Quotes in 2 minutes. Policy available in 5 minutes. Shop from your phone. If you’re in the US, get a quote here.
  • Legal expense insurance provides you with financial coverage for a variety of potential legal events and provides unlimited access to a general Legal Helpline.

Refer a Friend to Front Row Insurance

Based on customer demand, we’ve setup our referral marketing program and if you refer a friend to Front Row, you could win a $15 Amazon eGift Card OR be entered into a random draw to win a $99 Amazon eGift Card! (depending on your province)


About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that specializes in the entertainment industry – specifically, the film industry. Front Row has 50+ staff in 8 offices that have a combined 530+ years of experience. Front Row is the largest film insurance broker in Canada. Front Row works hard to provide insurance protection at a low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims. Offices in: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, NY, Nashville and LA.

Related posts:

Fair dealing (Canada) vs. Fair use (US)

Title searches/title reports

Clearance reports

eBook: E&O Insurance 101

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.


Q&A Web Conference for DOC Members May 27 2021, Front Row Insurance/DOC Canada

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Documentary Insurance, Script Clearance reports, Docudrama insurance, Fair Use Doctrine, Legal expense

Producer’s E&O: Contact a clearance lawyer early to avoid problems!

Posted by Heather Watt and Lori Massini on Feb 17, 2021 7:59:06 AM

Film Producer’s E&O Insurance: Contact a clearance lawyer early to avoid problems during your shoot

Film Producer’s E&O InsuranceSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1484401412, Shutterstock

Guest blog post by Producer Essentials

As production counsel – the lawyer for the producer or production company that is creating a film or show – we are often brought onto a project late in the game, after principal photography has already commenced (or wrapped). This is because some producers may only think about hiring a lawyer when they need to secure errors and omissions insurance (E&O) for their production. And sometimes that is fine; there are low-risk productions that can go from development through to distribution without hitting any legal hurdles. However, we commonly see producers come to us because they have encountered problems that, if not resolved, would result in them being unable to secure E&O, but if caught early on, could have been easily avoided.

Some of the most frequent examples that we encounter are problems that arise due to a gap in chain of title. Without clear chain of title, a production will be unable to secure financing, E&O, or distribution, and could open the producer up to legal liability. And this gap is not necessarily because the producer did not seek out the proper permission for the underlying rights to a production, but rather that there was an oversight when creative contributions were made to a script but not properly recorded in contract, or when the creator is the producer, but failed to transfer their rights in the production to their production company. These are just two examples of how gaps can appear in chain of title (there are many more that we could give); however, the point is that by having a lawyer engaged on a project from the development stage, these types of problems would be prevented in the first place.

Hiring production counsel can be an intimidating process when you don’t really know what role they actually play. Couple this with the image of lawyers being an expensive burden on a tight production budget, and the result is that producers will often only hire a lawyer once something has gone wrong on a production. However, we have found that when our clients have a basic understanding of the key areas in the production process that usually involve legal counsel (or that would proceed much more smoothly if they did), they are more aware of what exactly it is that production counsel does and can feel confident in hiring a lawyer.

This is one of the main reasons we wanted to create a practical resource for producers and business affairs professionals. Our goal with Producer Essentials is not to replace the need for legal counsel, but rather to give producers the tools to navigate their own blind spots in the production legal landscape, so that they can issue spot and understand when their lawyer should handle something. This not only provides a level of cost predictability when it comes to the production budget, it takes a lot of stress off the producer, so that they can focus on the actual producing!


About Heather Watt and Lori Massini:

Heather Watt and Lori Massini are experienced entertainment and corporate commercial lawyers in Vancouver, BC. They are trusted advisors to their clients and assist with all production-related legal and business affairs needs, including drafting agreements and negotiating the hiring of cast and crew, preparing the appropriate corporate vehicles for various productions, overseeing complex production financing arrangements, and providing guidance on the provincial and federal tax credit systems. Lori and Heather are the co-creators of Producer Essentials.

About Producer Essentials:

Producer Essentials: A Comprehensive Guide to Business Affairs and Production Law for Film and Television is a self-paced course covering all aspects of film and television production, from financing to post-production to marketing and everything in between. Producer Essentials brings together industry professionals from the US and Canada to offer practical firsthand experience and insights into the entertainment industry, giving students the tools to effectively navigate the production landscape. Find out more at!

Related Posts:


Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Legal expense

Why Does a Film Producer Need E&O Insurance?

Posted by Remy Khouzam on Jan 3, 2020 6:35:17 AM

Why does a film producer need Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance?

Why is E&O necessary from a legal perspective?

E&O insurance film | errors and omissions insurance film:

Remy Khouzam (Lawyer)
: The reality of the North American market, at the very least, is that E&O insurance is required and producers must obtain it because broadcasters, distributors, public sector financiers, etc. will require it.

So, why is it a good idea for a producer to get E&O insurance apart from the fact that they have to? It protects them in case of a claim under trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation issues and these claims can be very expensive and costs can rise quickly. Having the E&O insurance in place will allow you to cover those costs.


About: Lussier & Khouzam is a Canadian law firm specialized in Arts and Entertainment law. Visit their website at

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Script Clearance reports, Defamation insurance, Trademark, Legal expense

Protecting your script with Producers E&O insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Oct 2, 2018 2:27:48 PM

Producer's E&O Insurance

Ensure Your Story is Told. Protect your Script.

Your team has recently secured the rights to a popular book, and you’re ready to make it into a feature film. You’re excited to get started bringing the concept and promise of the book to life, and you hire a respected screenwriter to adapt the book for the screen. You’re working on revisions when suddenly a letter arrives from another screenwriter who claims that he pitched a very similar script to the director not long ago.

All of a sudden, things aren’t going to plan...

Legal counsel to defend such cases is costly, and even if the matter is resolved without a lawsuit it will still drain valuable time from your production schedule.

No amount of preparation can totally eliminate the risk.

That’s why even when you know you’ve covered your bases, you still need insurance to protect you if something goes wrong. That’s where Errors & Omissions insurance (“E&O”) can help.

Among other things, it offers protection against:

  • Claims of plagiarism
  • Libel/slander accusations
  • Accusations of defamation of character or invasion of privacy
  • Lawsuits arising from alleged unauthorized use of:
  1. Titles
  2. Formats
  3. Ideas
  4. Characters
  5. Plots

The policy will pay for legal defense if a third party sues you for the above reasons, even if the claim has no merit, and provides peace of mind after your initial due diligence is completed. Finally and perhaps most importantly, many distributors require that you have this coverage in place prior to green-lighting release of your film.

Don’t let your film get derailed before it even gets on track; contact us to ensure you have the right coverage.

Related Post: Best Practices When Reviewing Scripts



E&O Insurance 101 & How to Protect Your Film Project

E&O: What You Need to Know

E&O: Cost

Are you paying for the coverage you need?

Steps to Obtain

Producer Errors and Omissions

E&O: Reviewing Scripts

Distributor Errors and Omissions

Documentary E&O Insurance

Copyright Reports

How much of your film is copyright-able?

Copyright Infringements

Title Reports

Script Clearance Reports

Clearance Procedures

Claims Made vs. Occurrence

Fair Use

False Light Accusations

The value of a lawyer

To get or not get permission: The Social Network

A production lawyer's guide to obtaining E&O insurance and preventing litigation

Topics: Film Producer's E&O Insurance, Legal expense