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.