Monthly Archives: April 2016

Commercial Insurance Offers Real Solutions For The Entertainment Industry

bigstock-Clapper-board-film-reel-and-f-45132883Commercial Insurance 101

If you are involved in any entertainment operation, you know how important it is to keep your production running smoothly. There is nothing worse than an interruption in your production that may cause you to under deliver products or services to your producers, studio or networks. One very important parts of running a company, is ensuring that you have proper entertainment insurance coverage.

What Is Commercial Insurance For The Entertainment Industry?

Entertainment insurance is designed to protect your business from unforeseen losses like fire, theft, business income loss, and third party liability claims.

There are many different kinds of coverage that can be included in a commercial insurance policy, and depending on your business, you may need other specialized coverage including:

  • Property- including coverage for props
  • Business income- loss of potential income
  • Inland marine- coverage for drones, cameras, etc
  • Workers’ compensation- including injury to stunt professionals
  • General liability-
  • Professional liability- copyright infringement coverage
  • Automobile
  • Director and officers
  • Employment liability

It is important to use an agent with commercial experience to help your business find the right combination of coverage, price, and service.

MovieInsure.com offers a wide variety of A-rated, admitted and Non-Admitted insurance companies for our clients to choose from. We only deal with companies that are on the Insurance Commissioner’s approved list. We are located in beautiful Northridge, California next to CSUN

Your Experience Mod Is Your Workers’ Comp Identity

xcdeIt is a fact that many entertainment employers actually overpay for their workers’ compensation premiums.  According to the latest reports, employers are paying around 20% more in surcharges than they need to. Most surcharges come from increases in the experience modification factor (mod).

The experience mod is a factor unique to each employer. In simple terms, this formula is designed to compare a specific employer’s historical claim and payroll data, to other employers with similar business operations. An individual employer’s experience mod is calculated using claims data compared to premiums from the three most recently completed years, excluding the expiring term.

Key points to consider

  • If your losses are increasing, your mod most likely will go up even if your payroll goes down.
  • The frequency of losses hurt you more than the severity of losses.
  • It is important to check the calculations on the experience modification worksheet each year.
  • The most common errors are incorrect or incomplete payroll data.
  • Your workers’ compensation mod is the single most important factor insurers use to identify your risk.
  • Your mod can be reduced through effective safety and loss control programs.

How to reduce your mod?

  • Develop a safety program.
  • Reward safety in the workplace.
  • Start a return to work program.
  • Complete regular safety inspections.
  • Investigate every accident and make corrective actions if needed.
  • If you suspect fraud, immediately inform the insurance company.
  • A disciplinary program also should be incorporated into the safety program; it should hold employees accountable for breaking the rules.

We are proud to offer specialized coverage for production and event insurance of all types. MovieInsure.com offers a wide variety of A-rated, Admitted and Non-Admitted insurance companies for our clients to choose from. We only deal with companies that are on the Insurance Commissioner’s approved list.

 

Employee vs. Independent Contractor For The Entertainment Industry

bigstock-Lighting-The-Director-38194939Entertainment firms have many decisions to make regarding how their companies are run; whether to lease or buy a building, how to manage accounting functions, and human resource management just to name a few. One big decision is deciding between the option of hiring employees or using subcontracted professionals to manage work flow. There are pros and cons to each one. Our hope in this article is to provide you with information to help you through the process.

Many times entertainment firms need to hire independent contractors as jobs are only for the period of the production or event. Your entertainment insurance and workers’ compensation should address these coverage issues.

Advantages of hiring an employee

  • Employees can sometimes take on multiple roles within the firm.
  • Work flow and managing projects can be more effective with an employee.
  • Employees will have strong loyalty to the business which can result in increased productivity.
  • It is easier to manage employees, as the business has more control. Independent contractors will have other clients to report to and manage.
  • With employees, your costs can be fixed to some degree. Independent contractor rates will vary depending on market demands.

Advantage of using an independent contractor

  • No health benefits need to be paid to a contractor. Health costs can add over $5,000 annually to the per employee cost.
  • Your cost tends to be focused on specific tasks or projects.
  • Ability to have work on demand. Many small businesses may have seasonal needs or business work flow that is better suited to an independent contractor rather than another full time employee.
  • Reduced overhead. With a contracted employee, businesses don’t have the added costs of phones, workers’ compensation, computers, training, benefits, and payroll.
  • You will have less management responsibility with an independent contractor.
  • Depending on the functions, independent contractors may have more skills and training giving you the same advantages as larger firms.

As you consider this topic remember that there are tax and legal issues you should consider. We recommend you consult with professionals for specific information. A few final thoughts:

  • If you hire an independent contractor just to get around benefits and legal issues and the contractor works exclusively for your firm, they may not be considered truly independent.
  • Under workers’ compensation laws, if you control the person and work to a large degree, you may not be able to avoid responsibility. Check with your insurance agent.
  • Depending on the function, you may want the independent contractor to have professional liability insurance.
  • We recommend you have a written agreement with the independent contractor which should outline all legal issues.
  • The IRS uses 20 factors to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. However, it is their interpretation (although it could be challenged). Not all factors apply in each case or carry the same weight. http://www.uncsa.edu/formsprocedures/IRS.htm

We are proud to offer specialized coverage for production and event insurance of all types. MovieInsure.com offers a wide variety of A-rated, Admitted and Non-Admitted insurance companies for our clients to choose from. We only deal with companies that are on the Insurance Commissioner’s approved list.