How a Specialized Film Insurance Broker can help your Production

Posted by David Hamilton on Feb 29, 2016 9:39:49 AM

But first, what are insurance brokers?

Insurance Brokers work for the client to represent their interests, negotiating the lowest possible premium and the broadest coverage available. This is very different from an insurance agent, who represents the interests of an insurer. Brokers must take on-going to courses to maintain their licenses, which must be renewed yearly. They must be insured in each province for which they provide advice, so producers should check to see that their broker is licensed in the province in which they will shoot to prevent the production company from being fined.

 

What is a brokerage?

logo5Front Row, for example, is a brokerage, housing a group of national experts – brokers who have specialized in the study and practice of insurance for film production, TV series, documentaries, webisodes, music videos and more. A brokerage must carry its own E&O insurance because brokers are responsible for their actions and can be sued for professional negligence if their advice is deemed to be faulty. It’s important to know the limit of the E&O insurance the brokerage holds:  $1,000,000 may not be enough once legal fees are deducted from the limit. The strength of a brokerage will determine its relationship with the four film insurance companies which underwrite productions in Canada: Chubb, Fireman’s Fund, Everest and Travelers.  Because of its size and specialization, Front Row has a unique relationship with these insurers, allowing its brokers to get the best coverage at the best price from the right insurer.

 

What can a specialized broker do for you?

  • Make sure the insurance company pays the amount of the claim you are entitled to
  • Help you to understand the specific language shown on Film Production Policies
  • Act as a conduit between you and the insurance company. 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 you on ways to limit potential liabilities during production
  • Review your existing insurance policies to reveal gaps or deficiencies in the coverage
  • Comprehensively review your production to assess the amount and type of insurance required
  • Help you understand what coverage you have and do not have and explain any limits to the coverage

 

Some tips on working with a broker

  •          Make sure they are licensed wherever you shoot
  •          Ask about their E&O coverage
  •          Make sure they offer specialized, knowledgeable advice in a clear and easy-to read format

 

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How can Ingress & Egress Coverage protect your Film Production?

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 3, 2013 9:44:00 AM

At first read, Ingress & Egress may sound like a type of leakage.  In the case of this Extra Expense (EE) sub-coverage though, it actually refers to circumstances which may arise where persons or property are unable to either gain access (ingress) or leave (egress) a building/location in order to continue work as required.  This coverage is similar in nature to the Civil & Military Authority EE sub-coverage, with the exception that the inability to access or leave the building/location in question is not decided by the authorities.

 As with other Extra Expense coverages, the sub-limit (sum insured) attributed to the sub-coverages is the maximum amount given for that sub-coverage, and all Extra Expense claims cannot exceed the policy Extra Expense maximum limit.

 The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (Allianz) defines Ingress/Egress in their insuring agreement as:

 “We will pay for loss due to your inability to access or leave a facility within your care, custody and control due to the closure, by other than a civil authority, of that facility’s access road, meaning a road that affords access into and out of that area within your care, custody and control, which is necessary to be used in connection with an Insured Production to which this Coverage applies.”

 EXAMPLES of losses/delay expenses covered by this Ingress & Egress coverage:732172 48635269[1] resized 600

-Road access to the studio the Insured company is renting is blocked because a sinkhole  has collapsed in the road.

-Your film director is unable to leave his hotel on time because the street in front of the hotel has large fallen trees on it due to a windstorm the previous night.

 NB: As with most other coverages, there are some standard exclusions that apply to Extra Expense coverages. Please see the policy wording for a full description of the coverage, or call a specialized film insurance broker such as Front Row Insurance.

Need help? contact david@frontrowinsurance.com.

 

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Firearms on the Film Set and Film Insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 14, 2012 11:00:00 AM

The cost for film Insurance for a production that uses firearms on set  can be minimized by following protocols that make the insurance underwriter comfortable. Insurance underwriters charge more when they are uncomfortable with the perceived risk.

Hire a good  firearms wrangler and ensure they follow these protocols for a safe set and the lowest film insurance cost:

1.            Take charge of all firearms and ammunition and keep an inventory of them

2.            Know all the requirements for handling, transporting, and storing firearms, ammunition and black powder

3.            Comply with all local, provincial, and federal regulations for firearms

4.            Be familiar with the specific firearms being used and their safety requirements. Know how to load, unload, dismantle, clean and reassemble the firearms

5.            Check firearms before and after each use

6.            Clean all firearms daily after use

7.            Load and Unload all firearms (if this is not practical, supervise the handling, loading, and unloading of firearms by designated, trained assistants) as follows:

  • Use the lightest load of blank ammunition necessary for the scene
  • Allow any actor who will be standing near the line of fire to witness the loading of the firearms

8.            Train actors and stunt performers in the safe use of firearms

9.            Take firearms away from actors and stunt performers between takes whenever possible

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

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Film Production Insurance & Mechanical Devices / Articulated Set Safety

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 10, 2012 9:42:00 AM

If a mechanical device or an articulated set is used in a production, the film insurance cost can be minimized if the production company ensures that:

1.            The device or set is capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used

2.            Workers operate the device or set in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, safe work practices, and the requirements of the Regulation

3.            The device or set is properly inspected, tested or maintained

If a production company requires that a mechanical device or articulated set to be created for a production, the production company is considered the supplier of that device or set. As a supplier, the production company must provide directions for the safe use of the device or set and must ensure that the device or set is safe when used as specified. Such directions could be developed in consultation with a qualified person such as a professional engineer.

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

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Film Production Insurance: Smoke and Fog Safety on The Film Set

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 7, 2012 4:52:00 PM

To keep your film insurance premiums to a minimum utilize best practices when using fog and smoke effects on set.

The following substances are typically used to create smoke or fog:

1.            Propylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, butylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol

2.            Glycerin products

3.            Highly refined mineral oils

4.            Cryogenic gases such as carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen

The choice of substance depends on whether it will be used indoors or outdoors, and whether the cast or crew will be exposed to it for significant period of time.

Film Production Insurance and Smoke Fog SafetyEnsure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using any of these substances. You should not alter the mix. Never heat substances above the temperatures specified in the guidelines.

Use the minimum chemical concentration for the minimum time necessary to achieve the desired fog or smoke effect. Check  the Regulation to see if the substance you are using has an exposure limit. Do not exceed exposure limits or reduce the oxygen concentration in the air below the normal level.

If necessary, have an occupational hygienist assess ways to reduce exposure and confirm that the oxygen concentration in the air is sufficient.

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

 

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

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Film Production Companies & Pyrotechnics: Film Insurance Best Practices

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 4, 2012 2:42:00 PM

If you plan to use pyrotechnics during your film production, determine the potential hazards and conduct a risk assessment for each potential hazard to minimize your film insurance costs.

Avoid the following common pyrotechnic mistakes:

1.            Triggering the pyrotechnic effect prematurelyPyrotechnics

2.            Using more pyrotechnic material than necessary

3.            Not having fire extinguishers of a suitable type and capacity available

4.            Assigning duties to inadequately trained or inexperienced pyro technicians or assistants

5.            Entering danger areas before the special effects coordinator has inspected them and the all-clear signal has sounded.

Work safely to achieve realism: When planning stunts and special effects, always look for the safest way to execute the scene. Consider using scale models and computer simulations as replacements for live stunts and pyrotechnics.

Inform the Cast and Crew:

On call sheets, include safety information related to pyrotechnic special effects and make sure to inform your film insurance broker so that they can advise the film insurance underwriter. Specify restricted or no-access areas as well as viewing locations, if they are available.

Conduct a safety talk and dry run before filming a pyrotechnic special effect. If you make changes to scheduled pyrotechnics, hold another talk to explain the changes and any revised safety precautions.

 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure that you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

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Film Production Companies and Camera Cars: Reducing the Risk

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 26, 2012 5:42:00 PM

The camera car should  be engineered specifically for film and television production. The insert-camera car operator has the authority to suspend operation of the vehicle if they believe the vehicle is unsafe in any way.

General Guidelines – Follow these safety requirements when working with insert-camera cars:

  • Inspect the car – including the brakes, tires, electrical system, and towing equipment – before and after each use
  • Qualified, experienced workers must rig the car
  • When using an insert-camera car at night, install two portable tail lights on the towing vehicle
  • Do not transport crew members or equipment not directly needed for the shot sequence
  • Do not ride on the tow bar or on the exterior of the towed vehicle. Crew members may ride on a towed camera platform specifically designed for this type of work, as long as they use the necessary restraints and harnesses.
  • In most cases, insert-camera cars require a police escort during operation

 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

 

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

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Film and HD Production Companies and Watercraft Use

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 22, 2012 4:32:00 PM

Use Boats safely to protect your cast and crew during your film production. The following suggestions will result in the best film insurance premium with the deductible:  

  1. Follow all boating regulations

  2. Ensure that the operator knows how to operate the boat competently and safely

  3. Make sure that the boat is seaworthy and that all machinery and equipment on board meets WCB requirements

  4. Know the boat’s load capacity, do not overload the boat

  5. Allow only essential cast and crew members on the boat. All others should remain on land.

  6. Do not smoke on board. Fire at sea is a serious potential hazard.

On the Boat

  1. Put equipment and tools in their place and use straps to secure tripods and other filming gear.

  2. Secure hatch covers so they will not slide or shift

  3. Keep passageways clear and do not block emergency exits

  4. Keep the deck clear of potential slipping and tripping hazards

Boats that are tied to the dock during filming and are not on the water under their own power will be covered under props/sets/wardrobes coverage on the entertainment package insurance policy. Talk to your film insurance broker if the boat is under power.  

Have emergency backups in place so you will be ready if anything goes wrong during filming.  

Emergency backups include:  

  1. A reliable communication system 

  2. Safety lines, nets, observers, or divers for filming in rivers or other bodies of water where potentially hazardous conditions exist (for example, swift currents, thick underwater plant life, or rocks) 

  3. Stationing emergency rescue workers downstream of having a safety boat nearby  

  4. A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure that you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.   

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Risk Assessments for Film Productions

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 20, 2012 1:44:00 PM

Most workplace injuries and diseases can be prevented by identifying and dealing with potential workplace hazards and unsafe work practices.

 

Q. When do you need to conduct a risk assessment?

 

A.  For each potentially hazardous activity or situation involved in your production. Ie.

  • Stunts
  • Special Effects
  • Water work
  • Helicopters, Fixed-wing aircraft, and gliders
  • Exotic or domestic animals and reptiles
  • Potentially hazardous location

 

Conducting Risk Assessments – 3 basic steps

 

  1. Identify potential hazards and unsafe work practices
  2. Assess the risks associated with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices
  3. Deal with the potential hazards or unsafe work practices

Remember: Write your risk assessments on paper, that way they can be attached to call sheets and used as a reference in case they are needed at a later date.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

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Film Production Companies and Lighting Safety

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 19, 2012 11:05:00 AM

Lighting – Set up  Film Set Lighting Safely

 

  • Use appropriate fall protection equipment when setting up lighting
  • Ensure that all lighting fixtures are supported so that they will not fall ie. Use safety wire or chain to suspend fixtures
  • Ensure that all lighting stands are property weighted with sandbags
  • Cover arc-type lamps such as HMIs in wet weather to prevent rain from entering the unit and ballast
  • When using open-faced lighting units, provide protection from shrapnel in case the bulb explodes
  • Ensure that scaffolds or other metal grids that are used to support the lighting are grounded
  • Before using any grounded equipment, test for continuity between the ground pin on the plug and the metal parts of the lighting equipment
  • Before relamping or repairing a light, turn it off and disconnect it from the power source.

 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

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