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La Playa: Insurance with Intelligence®

Film Errors and Omissions Insurance

Why do Production Companies need Film Errors and Omissions Insurance?

As a producer, you are susceptible to a number of risks as soon as your production is launched. Broadcasters, distributors, and financiers of film and television projects expect you to insure against these risks as the producer.

The solution is to acquire film errors & omissions (E&O) insurance (also known as media E&O insurance) prior to distributing your work, which will help cover the costs of investigation, settlements, and defense if a claim is brought against you.

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Film Errors and Omissions insurance protects your organization from the financial impact of professional mistakes - either negligence or breach of contract.

What if...

  • You’re accused of copyright infringement?
  • You’ve unintentionally misused information in a documentary or other form of non-fictional media?
  • The work you’ve produced is considered libelous and you’re required to pay damages?

At La Playa, we understand that mistakes made in a professional capacity can and do happen. That’s why our Film E&O insurance policies are tailored to your needs as a producer.

What’s covered in our film E&O insurance policy?

Film E&O Insurance does not cover you for costs arising from criminal charges or any deliberate wrong doing. But professional mistakes do happen, and E&O insurance can help with:

  • Infringement of intellectual property rights – including copyright, music rights, patent, trademark; infringement of title, broadcasting cable or satellite rights, moral rights; or acts of passing off
  • Misuse of information – be it confidential or subject to any statutory restrictions
  • Defamation, libel, slander
  • Breach of confidence or infringement of privacy rights
  • Title cover is an optional extension - we can help on title searches

Despite slick production management and strict legal clearances, a producer could still face legal action from an error or omission. For example, the script of your production may be slightly similar to another film or programme, or even a published novel. This could lead to a claim that you’ve committed plagiarism i.e. copied someone else’s idea, and defending yourself at court can be very costly.

The first step in arranging your Film E&O Insurance is to speak with an experienced insurance broker as their advice will be invaluable. They’ll ensure you get the right levels of cover, at the right premium. For example, you’ll need guidance around your “delivery requirement”, which dictates the length of the policy period. This could be 1, 3 or maybe 5 years and will be clearly stated in your distributor’s contract.

When is the best time to take out film E&O insurance?

Many producers choose to wait until delivery to the broadcaster or distributor before taking out a policy. However, if a claim arises prior to delivery, the producer is liable for any costs associated with defending the claim as well as any financial penalties imposed. That’s why we would strongly recommend taking out film E&O insurance during the planning stages of your production.

As with any insurance, the best time to buy it is before the risk has been taken.

What about deductibles?

Typically there is a deductible on film E&O claims, but these have the potential to be considerably higher than other commercial policies. Deductible levels may also influence the policy premium, so ask your broker for some options in order to find a solution that works best for you and any other involved parties.

Remember, the level of deductible you choose will be the amount that hits ‘you’, the production company, financially.

What obligations do I have?

Before coverage can begin, you are required to complete an application form. As a policyholder, it is your obligation to provide information that is complete, correct and not misleading in any way.

The application form includes a list of requirements and clearance procedures, which must be strictly adhered to (alongside the clearance advice you receive from your attorney). If at any point an insurer determines that you haven’t followed the required procedures, your cover can be voided, which may affect future insurance purchases.

Film errors and omissions insurance is essential for any distribution contract – if you aren’t protected, the outcome could be financially crippling. The La Playa team is happy to offer all levels of E&O insurance, with premiums from $2,500. Feel free to get in touch for advice and to get the best defense against legal action relating to your production.

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La Playa's specialist Mediatech team can help you protect your business with smart, flexible, high-performance insurance - with a friendly human UI. We understand the risks and pressures you face - and we speak your language. We’ll support you with great advice - helping you make good decisions for your organization. Our specialist policies can help streamline costs, and we’ll always help you stay ahead of the game in managing risk.

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