Multimedia Insurance Coverage

Posted by David McLeish on Oct 27, 2018 3:05:00 PM


Thanks to the Internet, Everyone Has Seen your Movie.

Your intrepid film managed to weather the entire production process without any hiccups—bravo! Now that the theatrical run is over, it’s time to bequeath the film to posterity in the form of home video and TV rebroadcasts. Safe enough, right?

In fact, the “tail” of a movie’s lifespan is no less exposed to potential claims than any other phase. As the film is released to home video and dissected on the internet, every scene and every word of dialogue will be scrutinized. As more sets of eyes see your film, the likelihood of a nuisance lawsuit unfortunately increases. For example:

  • Unauthorized use of logos can elicit legal action from the corporations that own them
  • Inclusion of identifiable faces in crowd scenes can prompt legal action
  • Misappropriation of name or likeness can cause a lawsuit to be brought

Multimedia risk insurance (or “Producer’s Errors & Omissions [‘E&O’] Coverage) offers protection against these kinds of lawsuits, including alleged unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or privacy, and breach of contract. Distributors normally require that this coverage be in place prior to distribution simply because of the myriad of unpredictable risks a film can face in the distribution phase.

As a filmmaker, you want to be able to focus on doing just that—making films. Wouldn’t you like to rest easy once you’re finished? Ensure your production is protected from the idea phase to the home video phase so you can concentrate on what you do best.

Contact us – we can help.

Topics: Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, TV and Film Producers E&O Insurance cost, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance

E&O Film Insurance Protects Against Invasion of Privacy and False Light Accusations

Posted by Casey Budden on Oct 26, 2018 7:10:24 AM

False light accusations

E&O Film Insurance & False Light Accusations

You’ve made it! After much hard work, your film is finished and being widely screened in theatres. Audiences love it, and very positive reviews have appeared in several notable publications. Pride and excitement are the order of the day as everyone involved enjoys the fruits of their labor. Extreme care was taken in the production, so you’re shocked when you’re informed that a lawsuit has been brought against you for invasion of privacy.

Invasion of privacy is a serious risk to which filmmakers are exposed, and it’s difficult to anticipate all possible sources of legal action.

Imagine this scenario:

Your movie is an adaptation of a well-known book—let’s say, a roman a clef about a Canadian rail disaster. Due to the length of the book and the demands of the feature film format, some artistic license necessarily had to be taken and the book was heavily adapted from the original. This is not unusual, but unfortunately an actual person recognized himself in one of your characters and took serious issue with the way he was depicted.

Claims of this sort are fairly common and fall under the rubric of “false light” accusations. The typical argument is that a specific characterization is unflattering and transparent enough that the average member of the public can easily deduce who it is based upon. In other words, the party in question has been presented “in a false light.”

Let’s also consider a second scenario:

Your film is a documentary about the Canadian boxing world. You’re very careful about securing releases from all parties discussed in your film and all recognizable persons who appear in the background. You’re confident that you’ve taken all necessary precautions, but you still receive notice that one of the fighters discussed has initiated a lawsuit against you for public disclosure of embarrassing facts. While your depiction was accurate, your film included some discussion of the fighter’s life after the boxing world and went into detail about a failed business venture. The party concerned considers this information embarrassing and not relevant to the subject of the documentary.

What can be done?

Generally, claims of invasion of privacy are more successful if the plaintiff can argue that:

  • The subject matter would be highly offensive to a reasonable person
  • The information is not of legitimate concern to the public (i.e., the information is not newsworthy).

It’s obvious that these terms are highly subjective. What constitutes “highly offensive?” Who is this fabled “reasonable person?” And what exactly is of “legitimate concern” to the public? Even when extreme care has been used, a lawsuit is sometimes unavoidable.

A Producers’ Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance Policy Is The Best Protection.

The last thing you want is to face a costly lawsuit after your film has already been released. An Errors & Omissions policy protects the entire lifespan of your project against situations such as the above, by helping arrange a legal defense against:

  • Allegations of unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism
  • Allegations of libel, slander, and defamation of character
  • Allegations of invasion of privacy

Contact us for more information.

Topics: Multimendia Risk, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, media liability insurance policy, title clearance, Film E&O, E&O Policy for producers, E&O copyright report, false light and E and O, invasion of privacy and filming

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 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 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.



  1. I.e, 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.



  • 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 recognizable 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.



  • Whether an attorney’s services were used to secure clearances and licenses
  • The coverage limits
  • Coverage Territory
  • Type of distribution
  • Type of production i.e., 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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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

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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

E&O Insurance: copyright infringements

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.

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Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 15, 2011 4:13:00 PM

The Canada Business Corporation Act and numerous statutes in each Province impose many duties on the Company Director. The breach of any of these, if it leads to financial loss to the company or to the shareholders or to others, can be grounds for an action for damages. There are further duties established by Common Law.

It is not uncommon for many claims to be unjustified or unfounded; however, the costs associated with their investigation and defense are often substantial.

Allegations which are most commonly made and which have to be defended by Directors include:

  • Acting beyond the scope of their authority.
  • Giving wrong or unprofessional advice.
  • Breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Failure to police the corporation or supervise subordinates properly. Anti-trust violations.
  • Improper or excessive company spending.
  • Unauthorized company borrowing.
  • Conflict of interest.

Remember, the above only need to be alleged for costs to be incurred.

These allegations are most likely to occur following:

  •  Acquisitions/divestitures.
  •  Mergers.
  •  Foreign investment (especially in the USA).
  •  Public offerings.
  •  Management buy-outs.
  •  Lack of growth, reduced dividends, improper handling of negotiations.
  •  Mismanagement or waste of corporate assets.
  •  Employee dismissal.
  •  Board room dispute.
  •  Breach of contract.
  •  Liquidation of the company.
  •  Change in ownership of the company's share capital.

It is also worth remembering that Directors can be held liable for acts committed by other Directors, simply .because they ·sit on the same board. Such damages can extend to the entire personal estate of the Director involved.

Directors and Officers' Liability Insurance is...

  1. Financial protection for personal assets of an individual Director or Officer.
  2. Reimbursement of claims paid by the organization for its Directors and Officers.
  3. Designed especially to meet the cost of:
    • Defending claims
    •  Compensatory damages Which the Director or officer may be legally obligated to pay following a wrongful act arising out of his position within the organization.

A Directors’ and Officers' Liability insurance policy should be a serious business consideration for your company.

Or for further information please contact:

David Hamilton

Front Row Insurance Brokers

Telephone: 604-684-3456 (direct)

Fax: 604-684-3437


Topics: E&O Insurance, Multimendia Risk, directors & officers liablity, directors & officers insurance, D&O liability, d&o insurances, d & o insurance, d&o insurance, d&o insurance

Digital Film Insurance and the Future

Posted by Mike Groner on Dec 5, 2011 4:41:00 PM

Insurance for digital features, TV series and documentaries is rapidly evolving.

It’s the case that many production companies now incorporate scenes in their films that were once captured live but are now being created, edited and manipulated digitally in post production. What this means is that the need for negative/faulty insurance is becoming gradually reduced and will soon be replaced by digital image capture, processing and storage.

  • In 2009 Slumdog Millionaire became the first movie shot mainly in digital to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography
  • The highest grossing movie in the history of cinema, Avator, was shot on digital cameras as well.

As digital cinematography shifts towards “tapeless” or “file based” workflows, insurers needs to ensure that they are covering similar incidences of risk, tailored towards loss and/or damage to digital media.

What this means for insurer’s

Digital data should be covered as software under the negative coverage policy definition, and though some policy wordings incorporate coverage for digital data, the wordings might still need to be formatted and reworded for digital media. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data, therefore wordings need to reflect the new technology and storage devices which presently, many don’t.

If the film industry moves solely towards digital film, then the risk rating and pricing related to production packages will need to be reviewed given that the risk factor between the periods of principal photography and post production will be significantly reduced and  the risk of loss will be shifted towards another area such as post production.

Typically insurers will require information relating to the lab and type of film used, whereas with digital cinematography the shift will be towards the type of camera being used and the experience of the operator in using an HD or Red Camera. Back up procedures will have more impact on the rating of a production.


Various technical considerations arise when contrasting film vs. digital cinematography ie. when shooting on film, response to light is determined by what film stock is used, whereas with digital photography, response to light is determined by the CMOS or CCD sensor(s) in the camera, so the cinematographer needs familiarity with the specific camera model. Typical production packages are rated based on all costs incurred during principal photography and exclude many post production costs. Production company requirements are now shifting towards a significant portion of the risk stemming from post production activities.


Technology innovation has meant that new vendors have emerged on the market such as RED and Silicon Imaging that are primarily focused on digital technology.

Impact on Claims/Losses

What this means for insurance losses is that innovative risk control and risk transfer methods need to be addressed that specifically relate to new exposures from digital media products. The types of losses that can result stem from transferring digital date to/from 2D to 3D conversion, losses resulting from migration of data from old forms of storage to new forms. Also, Care, Custody and Control issues relating to the migration and archiving of data.

The Future

As insurers revisit their policy wordings, they must ensure that their coverage and exclusions match with the industry requirements, as the advances in digital technology won’t slow down to wait out the process. While wordings might not currently exclude losses resulting from digital cinematography, insurers must ensure that new risk rating methods and coverage address the new risks that will arise during post production and storage of data.  

Topics: Short Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Production Insurance, Entertainment Insurance, Entertainment Insurance Broker, Film Production, Multimendia Risk, Film Insurance claims, Film Producers, DICE Policy, Documentary Insurance, HD E&O, Documentary Films, DICE Insurance

Film E&O Insurance Clearance Procedures for Producers - Part 3 of 3

Posted by David Hamilton on Jun 5, 2010 12:04:00 PM


Proper film E&O insurance clearances for your film will result in the best possible coverage and cost for your producers E&O insurance policy - otherwise known as multimedia E&O.



  1. If the Production involves actual events, it should be ascertained that the author’s sources   are independent and primary (contemporaneous newspaper reports, court transcripts, interviews with witnesses, etc.) and not secondary (another author’s copyrighted work, autobiographies, copyrighted magazine articles, etc.).
  2. Shooting script and rough cuts should be checked, if possible, to assure compliance with all of the above. During photography, persons might be photographed on location dialogue added or other matter included which was not originally contemplated.
  3. If the intent is to use the Production on Videotapes, Videocassettes, Videodiscs or other technology, rights to manufacture, distribute and release the Production must be obtained, including the above rights, from all writers, directors, actors, musicians, composers and others, connected to the work, including proprietors of underlying materials.
  4. Film Clips should not be used unless licenses and authorizations for the second use are obtained from the owner of the clip or party authorized to license the same, as well as licenses from all persons rendering services in or supplying material contained in the film clip; e.g., underlying literary rights, performances of actors or musicians. Special attention should be paid to music rights as publishers are taking the position that new synchronization and performance licenses are required.
  5. In addition, dead persons (through their personal representatives or heirs) have a “right of publicity”, especially where there is considerable fictionalization. Clearances must be obtained where necessary. Where the work is fictional in whole or in part, the names of all characters must be fictional. If for some special reason particular names need not be fictional, full details must be provided to the Company in an attachment to the Application.
  6. Consideration should be given to the likelihood of any claim or litigation. Is there a potential claimant portrayed in the Production who has sued before or is likely to sue again? Is the subject matter of the Production such as to require difficult and extensive discovery in the event of necessity to defend? Are sources reliable? The above factors should be considered in your clearance procedures and recommendations.
Please contact us if you have any further questions.
Part 1
Part 2
Producers' Errors and Omissions Insurance  Learn More

Topics: Film Production Insurance, Film Insurance, Film insurance broker, Entertainment Insurance Broker, E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance

Multimedia Risk Insurance Explained

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 25, 2010 3:47:00 PM

Otherwise known as Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance, Multimedia Risk Insurance covers legal liability and defense for the production company  against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of titles, formats, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or privacy, breach of contract. It also protects against alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. This coverage will usually be required by a distributor prior to the release of any theatrical or television production.

If coverage is required for the title, you must obtain a ‘Title Report & Opinion' from a recognised Film Title Clearance Company offering this service and submit the report to underwriters for final approval.

Premium indications prior to actual quotes when coverage is offered can vary; However a straight forward documentary would cost $5,000 and $7,000 for a feature film.

Upon instructions from the Production Company, the broker will begin clearance procedures where the attorney for the underwriter will review and approve your lawyers clear the project - there is a fee for this service which is included in the final premium. If coverage is not bound, the fee is payable to the attorney for the underwriter and an invoice will be issued accordingly.

You should check your production/distribution/financing agreements regarding the start date for Errors & Omissions coverage. Some financiers require Errors & Omissions coverage to be in place for the first day of principle photography.

It can take up to ten (10) working days for a project to be cleared and coverage to be in place.


Go to our website for more information:

Topics: E&O insurance for Films, E&O Insurance, Errors and Omissions coverage for films, Multimendia Risk, Multimedia Risk Insurance, Digital E&O insurance, Producers Errors & Omissions Liability Insurance, Producers E&O Insurance, HD E&O, Producers Errors and Omissions Insurance