Even Small Productions Have Big Risks

pixa fre dsMany think that operating a small or short term production has little or no risk. The fact is, operating a small production has just about the same risks as any other operation.  Employees can still sue you, your production can become delayed, third parties can claim copyright issues, and more.   Entertainment liability risk is very real for small firms and it is important to have an entertainment insurance program that addresses these issues.

To protect a small production firm from potential lawsuits, entertainment liability insurance is necessary. Policies vary greatly, and they cover different classifications of risks for varying costs.

Entertainment Liability Insurance

  • Bodily Injury – Bodily injury to a third party.
  • Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).
  • Cast Insurance – Reimburses the production company for any extra expense necessary to complete principal photography of an insured production due to death, injury or sickness of any insured performer or director
  • Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
  • Products & Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products you sell or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.
  • Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.
  • Professional Liability – Covers legal liability and defense for the production company against lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of title, format, ideas, characters, plots, plagiarism, unfair competition or piracy. Also protects for alleged libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. This coverage will usually be required by a distributor prior to release of any theatrical or television production.
  • Umbrella – Provides excess liability over primary auto and commercial liability policies.

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..

We service the following states: California, Colorado, Arizona, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. If you do not see your state listed here, please inquire anyway – we are growing!

 

Regulatory Issues And The Entertainment Business

The regulatory climate is always changing for businesses.  Almost every month there is some new law, regulation, or statue that your business now must comply with. We want to share a few of the latest regulatory trends to help with your business planning.

  1. The Department of Labor (DOL) is cracking down on employers who misclassify independent contractors who really should be employees. If you are an employer who hires contractors, the DOL has issued new guidelines to help you.
  2. Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The federal definition of marriage has changed and employers must modify health insurance and benefits packages to comply with the law
  3. Healthcare is still an important issue for businesses. Open enrollment starts November 2015. Employers with more than 50 employees must offer full time employees an employer sponsored plan.
  4. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers. OSHA’s Sanitation standard requires that all employers under its jurisdiction provide employees with sanitary and available toilet facilities, so that employees will not suffer the adverse health effects that can result if toilets are not available when employees need them. Source OSHA
  5. The new workers’ compensation coding system goes into effect 10.1.15. All businesses covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will be required to use the International Classification Coding Systems (ICD-10) to report injuries and illnesses to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  6. Whistleblower investigations are on the rise. The SEC’s whistleblower program continues to have an impact on businesses. The single biggest issue has been “Corporate Disclosure and Financials,” which accounted for 18.2% of all submissions.
  7. In response to immigration reform, employers will need to monitor changes to the immigration system that may impact their hiring; particularly Form I-9 procedures and work authorization documentation.

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..

We service the following states:Alabama. Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you do not see your state listed here, please inquire anyway – we are growing!

These Days It Pays To Have Higher Liability Limits On Your Entertainment Business

xcdeEntertainment or production firms are not immune from large lawsuits. Large claims involve; injury or deaths on sets, copyright issues, cancelled events, talent contracts, and more.

Umbrella Insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. An Umbrella Insurance policy protects your production from losing the entirety of your resources and assets in the event of a large claim. Umbrella Insurance provides limits above your primary commercial insurance program.

Here is one example. While shooting an advertisement on a California highway an auto accident caused injury to two production members and a third party. The crew were covered under workers’ compensation but the by stander was not. The third party sued the production company for $2,500,000 in damages.

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. Productions “based” in the following states: Alabama. Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you do not see your state listed here, please inquire anyway – we are growing!

Entertainment Lability Trends

bigstock-Clapper-board-film-reel-and-f-45132883Today almost every production company, film distribution firm, or any business in the entertainment industry can find itself facing a liability lawsuit. A Professional Liability lawsuit can put assets at risk including business assets, resources, and in some cases the personal assets of owners. One simple mistake could cause financial devastation, as well as end a professional career. Some businesses mistakenly fail to realize that they have an exposure to professional loss.

The most important liability trends are involving intellectual property rights liability; such as copyright and trademark infringement. There is increased litigation around the unauthorized use of third party content; images, film, ant music without permission.

“Media companies are increasingly exposed to claims for copyright, right of publicity and misappropriation of ideas under implied contract. The exposure to these causes of action has increased as media companies try to generate content to keep up with the public’s consistent and growing appetite for news, information and entertainment. Internet exposures arising from third-party generated content are also a concern. These causes of action can give rise to large verdicts, settlements and defense costs. Moreover, a defendant in an intellectual property suit is less likely to prevail through motion practice or on appeal. Most intellectual property suits are likely to settle because they are economic disputes as compared to those involving claims for emotional distress and reputational damages.” P.Blake Keating, VP Media Claims, One Beacon Insurance.

Other Risk and Insurance Trends To Watch

  • Use of drones including safety and privacy
  • Suite involving social media
  • Hacking of entertainment firms form foreign countries
  • Development of internet products and copyright issues
  • Un authorized used of images in marketing or advertising

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

Why Special Event Insurance Is Needed

bf g65Every promoter or event organizer knows how important to keep the operation running right up to the very end. But bad thing happens, and that is why you need event cancellation insurance. In the event that you have to cancel or postpone your special event due to an unforeseen circumstance, John Hart Insurance can offer event cancellation protection will cover non-refundable deposits and non-reimbursable expenses.

Event Cancellation Insurance/Special Event Insurance from John Hart Insurance protects production companies from unforeseen circumstances that require the show to be canceled. It would provide funds to cover deposits and other costs that may have already been paid. Unforeseen circumstances could be related to any number of things including weather, construction at the venue, or illness of the featured speaker or entertainer. Policies can be created to protect revenues or expenses for those with insurable interests should an event be cancelled.

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..

Productions “based” in the following states: Alabama. Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you do not see your state listed here, please inquire anyway – we are growing!

We Do Stunt Insurance

MF stunt33Stunt Insurance

We can provide special stunt coverage for many of the productions you are involved in. Producers and production companies can attain coverage for the following… Stunts, aerial scenes, falls, fight scenes, recreational vehicles, water scenes, weapons, precision driving, and animals.

Many productions or even live events make use of stunts during productions. Most traditional film insurance packages will not cover these stunts as they are considered too risky

Here are a few if the stunts that should be insured:

  • Aerial Work – Includes scenic shots from private or commercial aircraft that do not involve aerial acrobatics or other hazardous maneuvers.
  • Fight Scenes – Fight scenes that are choreographed, structured, and sequenced. These scenes may involve physical contact between actors and the use of weapons
  • Animals – Scenes involving the use of animals, such as dogs, farm animals, household pets, and zoo animals
  • Special Driving – Controlled driving on public roads, race tracks, off-road (no racing, skidding, collisions).
  • Use of Weapons – Scenes that involve prop guns, squibs, blanks, knives or other similar weapon

Our mission is to serve filmmakers with the best policies their dollar can buy. Our diversified staff utilizes state-of-the-art technology to make your production insurance experience with us as effortless as possible. Simply put, we are “Independent Brokers/Agents” representing you the “client”. We are licensed professionals and bring a personal touch to the delicate relationship between you, the “client” and the “insurance company.” We can act as “brokers” or as “agents” depending on the product sold and/or our relationship with the actual film insurance carrier.

Check out our other sites

Eventinsure.net

Stuntinsure.com

Drone-liability.com

Best Practices for Entertainment Property Losses

Movie Insurance Update

Most every entertainment business owns business property, which may include the building in which you run your operations.  Property insurance protects the physical assets your business owns – such as computers, props, movie sets, camera equipment, office equipment, buildings, furniture, fixtures, and other property.  Every entertainment business should have a comprehensive property insurance portfolio to respond to the many risks associated with property ownership.

We hope to help you indemnify a proactive plan in the event of a fire, theft, storm, or some other kind of damage that might involve your entertainment insurance policy.  There are a number of actions you can do to help get the best possible settlement from the insurance company.

Pre-Loss Practices

  • Maintain vital records
  • Have photos of all buildings, major equipment, etc
  • Blueprints- keep complete sets
  • Property inventories
  • Financial records
  • Appoint key individuals as communicators
  • Have emergency response plan
  • Secondary locations identified

During The Loss

  • Notify the insurer
  • Protect the property
  • Track claim costs
  • Separate budget line items
  • Keep records of all internal and external costs
  • Make temporary repairs
  • Communicate with insurer as to the use of any consultants
  • Meet regularly with the agent and Insurer
  • List and address key issues and concerns
  • Note any changes from original design
  • Will you rebuild or not?
  • What might cause delays?

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

Check out our other sites

Eventinsure.net

Stuntinsure.com

Drone-liability.com

Heat Stress Prevention For The Entertainment Industry

As summer approaches, workers all over Los Angles and the rest of the country will experience the risk of heat stress.  Heat stress is especially prevalent in the summer months due to climate changes in July and August. Summer is the time when outside performances and other related work increases.

Heat stress is a signal that says the body is having difficulty maintaining its narrow temperature range. The heart pumps faster, blood is diverted from internal organs to the skin, breathing rate increases, and sweating increases, all in an attempt to transfer more heat to the outside air and cool the skin by the evaporation of sweat. If the body can’t keep up, then the person suffers effects ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion, and finally to heat stroke.

Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as set construction, stunt workers, outside theater productions, filming and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.  Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Prevention Tips

  • Drink water frequently and moderately.
  • Take breaks and rest periodically out of the sun and heat.
  • Eat lightly.
  • Do jobs that are more strenuous during the cooler morning hours.
  • Utilizing ventilation or fans in enclosed areas.
  • Remembering that it takes about 1-2 weeks for the body to adjust to the heat; this adaptation is quickly lost – so your body will need time to adjust after a vacation.
  • Avoiding alcohol consumption. Many cases have occurred the day after a “night on the town”.
  • Wear light-colored, cotton clothes, and keep your shirt on; desert nomads do not wear all those clothes for nothing.

Additional sources: CAN

We will review your entertainment insurance and compare them to your operations to make sure that you have the coverage that matches your risk.  Make sure your workers’ compensation coverage is designed to cover your legal obligations.

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

Check out our other sites

Eventinsure.net

Stuntinsure.com

Drone-liability.com

Does Your Entertainment Business Own Or Rent Automobiles?

.Do you operate a production company or other entertainment business that requires you to have a vehicle to deliver your goods and services to your clients?  Do you have a fleet of delivery trucks that are on the road 24/7?  Small firms who own or operate vehicles have the same risks as large firms.  You are at risk from losses arising out of accidents which can damage your vehicles and cause injury to third parties and employees.

Commercial Auto Insurance can provide your firm with security and protection from devastating liability claims arising from an accident involving your vehicle.  Commercial Auto Insurance is normally offered on vehicles owned by a commercial business, and can include:

Bodily Injury Liability – Coverage for damages that involve bodily injury to third parties for which you become legally liable under the law.

Property Damage Liability – Coverage for damage to the property of others.

Medical Payments – This is coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses for those who are accidentally injured while in your automobile, or while getting in or out of your automobile.

Personal Injury Protection – Coverage for medical, hospital, rehabilitation, loss of wages, or loss of services costs resulting from injury to you or any guest injured while in the vehicle.

Comprehensive – Protection for the loss of or damage to your vehicle and equipment from all causes, except collision, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.

Collision – Protection for the collision damage to your automobile and its equipment, subject to the deductible and terms of the policy.

Uninsured Motorist – This coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party does not have liability insurance, and is legally liable.

Under insured Motorist – Coverage allows you to recover bodily injury damages due to an accident where the other party is found legally liable and does not have adequate liability limits.

Hired Auto Liability Coverage – Covers liability for automobiles hired under contract on behalf of, or loaned to, the named insured.

Whether your company needs to purchase Commercial Auto Insurance on one vehicle or a fleet, there are solutions for you. We understand you may have questions regarding Commercial Automobile Insurance and we are ready to help you.

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..

We service the following states: California, Colorado, Arizona, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. If you do not see your state listed here, please inquire anyway – we are growing!

Other Sites

Eventinsure.net

Stuntinsure.com

Drone-liability.com

 

How Will the New Minimum Wage Impact The Entertainment Industry

business-894846__180Many states and cities are enacting new minimum wage laws, and all will feel the impact.  Not only will the cost of goods go up, but also every business will see an increase in workers’ compensation costs.  Those business with a high minimum wage work force will see an even higher premium increase.

In California for example, the wage increase affects 43% of the state’s workforce and makes California’s minimum wage the highest in the country.  Oregon Just passed a statewide minimum wage as well.  Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont also increased minimum wages in 2016.

The $15 per hour by 2020 may not seem like it would have much of an impact the entertainment industry, with its reliance on handsomely paid creative professionals and union presence. Caterers, prop houses, nurseries and numerous other businesses that support Hollywood productions pay many of their worker’s minimum wage or close to it, and an increase in their costs for workers would likely get passed along. (Variety.com)

Increased wages will mean increased payroll, and your workers’ compensation premiums are based on your payroll.  With increased payroll, come increased benefits, which lead to increased overall claims costs and experience mods.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance that provides lost income, medical benefits, disability benefits, and rehabilitative services for workers injured on the job or while performing work-related duties.

Why Your Business Needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance

When one of your employees gets hurt on the job or has a work-related illness, only workers’ compensation will cover them.  Health insurance benefits will not provide coverage for on the job injuries.

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