FILM & MEDIA
ERRORS and OMISSIONS
What is Film and Media Errors & Omissions Insurance?
More often than not when our agency places media professional liability we do so just before the piece is purchased or distributed. If you plan on selling and/or distributing your film, web series, or whatever it is you are doing or did, chances are you will need or be required to purchase film and media distribution errors and omissions insurance.
Other Types of Entertainment and Production Related Professional Insuranc :
Media Liability coverage that usually lasts 12 months and is renewed year after year as appropriate. D.I.C.E. based media E &O is not specific to any one project, as it ‘blankets’ the production companies portfolio of projects throughout the policy term.
Consisting usually of a 12 month insurance term, this type of errors and omissions coverage can be more ‘blanketed’ in nature. Certainly not 100% of the time, but often this type of coverage can extend to multiple projects and multiple types of medium.
What happens when your production company accidentally captures a major household brand in a filming scene? What if the brand is being used in the film in a disparaging manner unbecoming to the brand?
Did you have contracts signed to allow your production to use that name brand? Errors and Omissions Insurance for Producers will cover against lawsuits that are a result of wrongfully using other company brands, even if it’s accidental. Other coverages that are usually included in Professional Liability Insurance are invasion of privacy, defamation, and claims like ‘that was my idea, not yours.’ Libel and Slander are also common coverages that are built into the Errors and Omissions Coverage Programs.
We should include the term ‘Media Liability’ within the spectrum of Entertainment and Production Errors and Omissions. For those in the creative space, coming up with original content, scripts, costumes, sets, films, etc are paramount to the success of the artist. These so-called ‘original ideas’ could get you into trouble if you have not properly cleared the concept. The insurance industry language that discusses these types of coverages is referred to as patent infringement, intellectual property,
What happens when your production company accidentally captures a major household brand in a filming scene? Did you have contracts signed to allow your production to use that name brand?
We find that most film companies require a 3 year term as it relates to the media professional liability coverage. Although a 3 year term, the premium shown on the declarations page is the applicable premium for the entire 3 year term. Meaning, you only pay the premium shown on the policy once, not once per year for 3 years. At minimum, if the film e.o. is required, you will need a 1 year term. Although only 1 year, the premium for this coverage is not usually 66% less, unfortunately.
Additional Coverage Considerations:
This coverage is generally purchased prior to commencement of any filming or production activity for the project. Although this is not a typical coverage selection, many times you can find such coverage under a professional lines type of policy such as Errors and Omissions or Directors and Officers Insurance. The need or desire to bind this type of coverage has been highlighted over the past few years due to the malfeasance of many film production executives and network heads. Although we would rather not think about such pathetic behavior, the fact remains that the problem is real and the problem needs to be addressed and remedied. Until the problem is dealt with and the sickos are removed, you may need to think about adding this type of coverage to your film production portfolio.
Fortunately there are many circumstances that can be free and clear of any legal culpability due to the implementation of Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Presently, you are able to use, without license, the encyclopedia of copyright protected material in special circumstances. One of the key features of Section 7 is based upon the manner in which the material, or protected property, is used.
Let’s pretend you used a leading soft drink manufacturer as a brand in your feature film. During the climax of the movie, the protagonist decides to use the respective brand’s material in a way that degrades the nature of the brand. Just to make things interesting let us imagine the same protagonist using the can of soft drink as a weapon or means to injure or hurt someone or something. Such an example would be in stark contrast to what is acceptable under Section 7 of the Copyright Act. In this case you would be ripe for a lawsuit or civil complaint from the brand you disparaged, that’s all but guaranteed. Be smart, hire an attorney that can help you navigate some of these waters up front. Plus you should call a great group of insurance agents @ (412) 212-8577, we are licensed in most states. A complete explanation of the Copyright Law can be found here.
Examples of Certificate Requirements for Producers Liability Insurance (Media Distribution Errors and Omissions):
Many insurance carriers will not be able to provide some of the required contractual endorsements relative to your specific distribution agreement. If you need e and o insurance for a multitude of projects, or on a blanket basis, it may be less expensive but it may not be the right option in the event of distribution. Take a look at some of our certificate requests (changed of course for generalization). As always, we urge you to call or text us, we are happy to help.
__________will purchase at their own cost; and maintain in effect during the term a producer’s or media type Professional Liability Insurance Policy (Errors and Omissions) underwritten by at least an a B+ rated Insurance Company approved by ______________________ willl provide __________ with a Certificate of Insurance from the Underwriting Company requiring that ______________ receive at least ____________’ advance written notice of any adverse circumstances involving the policy such as cancellation for whatever reason, claims or reports of any claims of any kind, and any endorsements or policy documents released. Further, any change in the policy whether or not material must be reported to _________________. Such coverage coverage must be primary and non contributory in nature in favor of the Distributor. Where applicable, waivers of subrogation must also be in place in favor of the Distributor.
Kelly Insurance Group issued its first entertainment insurance policy in the 1970’s. Now, over 50 years later, our boutique approach to solving your insurance buying pursuits still exists with gusto. Although our headquarters is located in Pittsburgh proper, we have offices in Los Angeles and Detroit. Text us today!