Friday, December 21, 2012

What Coverage Do I Need for My Special Event?

Whether you are a production company, studio, independent film company, event planning company, or a private firm planning a client event, Special Event Insurance should be part of your planning. Special Event Insurance can provide the necessary security to ensure that if something does go wrong, you and your guests are protected.

What is Special Event Insurance?
There are many different kinds of Special Event insurance.  Special Event Insurance is designed to protect the event sponsors or planners against liability claims associated with the event. Claims can come from participants, vendors, and other third parties. Depending on your event, there is insurance coverage that addresses the specific risks. Here are a few of the different kinds of events that require insurance

Festivals - Music/Concert Events - Holiday Festivals - Private Business Events –Cast Parties – Media Events – Special Showings and more
What Kind of Insurance Should I Have?

Here are the different kinds of insurance that you should consider when holding your event. There is other coverage that you may need, but I wanted to identify at least three:

General Liability- General Liability insurance provides bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury to third parties arising out of the negligence of the event sponsors or organizers.

Liquor liability- If you are serving alcohol at your event, you need to make sure there is Liquor Liability coverage in place. Liquor Liability Insurance provides protection from claims relating to the sale, distribution, serving, or use of alcoholic beverages.

Event Cancellation- Event Cancellation Insurance is one of the most important items to consider. Event Cancellation Insurance protects the event planners or hosts from an unforeseen circumstance that requires the event to be canceled. It would provide funds to cover deposits and other costs that you may have already paid. Unforeseen circumstances could be related to weather, construction at the venue, or illness of the featured speaker or entertainer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Tree Safety

According to the US Fire Administration over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. Here are a few good reminders to help you enjoy the holiday:

1. Keep your Christmas tree well watered. Refilling the water every day will help it last about two to three weeks.

2. Check the tree for freshness before buying. A freshly cut tree will have a sticky trunk and the needles will not fall off if touched.

3. Set your tree away from heat vents and the fireplace. Heated air just dries out a tree, and one shooting spark can cause a disaster.

4. Inspect the lights. Check for exposed or worn wires, as well as broken sockets.

5. Turn off the lights at night; use a timer if needed.

6.  Do not burn the tree in your fireplace.

7.  Do not overload the electrical circuits.

8.  Take your tree down the first of January.

Enjoy the holiday, and thank you for selecting John Hart Insurance. We look forward to serving you for years to come.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cyber Liability

Reports in the Wall Street Journal have described accounts of a hackers breaking into over 2,400 different companies’ computers during an 18‐month period. In Oregon a private company experienced on‐line bank fraud. This seems to be the latest method of choice by these hackers. The FBI issued a press release in November 2009 concerning a type of “phishing” attack, or fraudulent means of obtaining personal credentials (bank account and password data, etc), occurring within small and medium businesses, municipal governments and school districts. The scam/phishing attack involves unsuspecting finance persons being lured into installing malicious software. The malicious software hides itself and records everything the person does on their personal/business computer. It records user names and passwords for every kind of transaction, including wires and ACH [Automated Clearing House]. The software will then forward the stolen data along with digital certificate information to the “bad guys” who will promptly use the information to transfer funds out of the organization’s bank account. As of October 2009, theft attempts have reached approximately $100 million.

Most business insurance policies do not cover computer fraud by a third party or the liability arising out of a cyber attack. The good news is the solutions are available. Make sure your crime policy has electronic crime and fraud coverage with appropriate limits. Cyber liability insurance can be added to your program to cover the costs associated with customer notification and recovery of hacked data.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Value of an Independent Agent

John Hart Insurance is an independent agency. This means we don’t answer to any insurance company. We have access to dozens of markets, which gives us the ability to shop your account. Our job is to find the best possible combination of premium, coverage, and service. Your overall satisfaction is most important to us. We are the entertainment insurance expert.

  • As your agent, we help you through the claim process. We look out after your interests
  • We can offer you a number of insurance options
  • Our team works for you not the insurance company
  • We are experts in your industry
  • We can explain the coverage differences and hard to understand terms
  • We can review coverage and make necessary changes based on your needs

If you want truly unbiased advice, work with us. As an independent insurance agent we are very knowledgeable about your industry and the different companies that exist in the marketplace. We have worked with customers like you in the past and have a good idea of which companies have the best track record when it comes to pleasing their policy holders. We can narrow your options down and help you choose between the best insurance companies in the market.

Friday, December 7, 2012

15 Passenger Vans Do’s and Dont's

Many companies in the entertainment industry use 15 passenger vans. These vehicles are very effective in transporting people and equipment from studios to locations. There is a ongoing risk that I want to make you aware of; 15 passenger vans have one of the highest accident rates among all vehicles in the US.

During a 10 year period 2000-10, there were over 1512 fatal crashes involving 15 passenger vans.  Over 600 were single-vehicle accidents, and most of these were rollover accidents. Here are the issues that led to these accidents:
  • The vans were not designed to accommodate 15 passengers and related cargo.
  • Some vans had added luggage racks which added weight and contributed to accidents.
  • The tires on 15 passengers vans seem to wear faster and become under-inflated causing poor steering and control issues.
  • Adding passengers and cargo causes the center of gravity to move upward and rearward, increasing the potential for the driver to lose control and increasing a vehicle’s tendency to roll over.

What You Can Do
  • Be aware of tire pressure
  • Don’t overload the van
  • Consider removing the rear seat
  • Wear seat belts!  Keep all seat belts accessible and require that all passengers use them
  • Do not overload 15-passenger vans, and do not use a roof rack or strap on cargo to the
  • back of the van. As the weight inside a van increases, so does the van’s propensity to roll over
  • Limit capacity to no more than 10 people
  • Don’t tow anything behind the van
  • For long distance trips, drivers should rotate every two hours 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Foreign Production Insurance

We all understand that traveling to a foreign country presents some logistical, social, and legal issues that should be thought through prior to travel. Traveling with a complete cast and crew to a foreign country to film a movie, compounds all those logistics. There are a number of things to consider; one of which is Foreign Production Insurance. Consider these risk factors:

  •  Each country has its own laws, rules and guidelines- We always recommend that you investigate these and develop your plans accordingly.
  • Cultural concerns- Not all countries have the same cultural norms as the U.S. Educate the cast and crew on the major cultural differences. Knowing these can go a long way to preventing legal and liability issues. Something as simple as knowing the traffic laws can prevent and or reduce liability to the production company.

If you are filming in a foreign county we recommend you purchase a Foreign Production Insurance policy. The coverage typically provides:
  • Foreign Liability coverage
  • Foreign contingent Non-Owned & Hired Auto coverage – Non-Owned & Hired auto coverage (for rented vehicles) is provided on a contingent basis (providing coverage over local primary coverage)
  • Foreign Workers’ Compensation/Employers Liability insurance
  • Props, sets and wardrobe
  • Negative and faulty stock

Other coverage you might consider; kidnap & ransom, travel accident, crime, and travel assistance insurance. These can be purchased together as a package policy and expanded as your business grows.

You should also consider contacting a U.S. Customs Broker regarding Carnets Bonds.  They are commonly known as “Merchandise Passports” and are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of equipment.

Contact us today for a review and quote. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Transformers 3…… $18 Mil Claim, are you covered?

In June 2012, Paramount Picture agreed to pay $18.5 million to an extra working on the film Transformers 3. The extra, a young woman who was 19 years-old at the time, was struck in the head by a piece of metal while filming a scene for the movie in Hammond, Indiana. Filming was halted for a number of days for the investigation, after which it was determined that a weld, which was connecting a car to a tow cable, had failed. The young woman now requires 24-hour care as a result of her injuries.

Cast coverage is intended to reimburse the production company for extra expense to complete principal photography due to the death, injury or sickness of the scheduled insured artist(s). Coverage can be expanded to include illness but only after such time as the individuals are medical examined. At that time the insurer will extend coverage to include illness. Coverage can also include kidnapping of any artist or director. Coverage can begin up to four weeks prior to filming. 

John Hart Insurance offers cast coverage as well as many other coverage and services to the entertainment industry. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Errors & Omissions for Film Producers

Those of us in the film industry have read the headlines regarding producers, film companies, and distributors being sued by individuals, writers, or other third parties. We all remember the litigation that threatened the release of Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. An author claimed the producers used “scenes” from her book, Echo of Lions. The case was settled and the movie was released. Mr. Spielberg had the backing of a major studio, but most film producers and distributors may not be so fortunate. That is why having Errors and Omission Insurance is important. Having this coverage provides the security and financial backing of a major insurance company, allowing you to utilize your resources toward production and distribution. What are the kinds of claims that could be brought against your company? Here are a few:
  •     Copyright infringement
  •     Trademark violation
  •     Failure to obtain consent
  •     Defamation, libel and slander
  •     Failure to obtain appropriate rights for music and film clips
  •     Breach of confidence 
  •     Improper use of celebrity's name or likeness
  •     Unauthorized use or misappropriation of format, characters or ideas
Defending errors and omissions cases can cause a considerable unplanned drain on the production company’s resources. That is why every production company needs Errors and Omissions Insurance.

The good news is that Errors & Omissions insurance can protect you and your company in these cases. The coverage offers many highlights but most importantly includes defense costs. Often these kinds of cases involve very specialized legal expertise, and the insurers utilize the most experienced legal professionals. The John Hart Agency offers Errors and Omissions coverage for producers, distributors, production companies, post production firms and others. Coverage highlights provided through the John Hart Agency includes:

·         All concerns listed above
·         Worldwide coverage
·         High limits
·         Coverage for the length of the "rights period" needed for distribution

The John Hart Agency offers a full range of insurance and risk services to the entertainment industry. We know and understand the industry, call us today.