What it Means to Insure Financial Institutions

What it Means to Insure Financial Institutions

Financial institutions face unique risks in their daily operations – risks that many other business types simply do not experience. Because of intense regulatory scrutiny, financial institutions must have in place rigorous risk management protocols, including information security strategies as well as specialized liability insurance. Special risks insurance brokers work with these financial firms, helping them to develop insurance plans that protect assets from the losses associated with property damage, data breaches, negligence, and legal claims.

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The Most Common Occupational Hazards on Film Productions

The Most Common Occupational Hazards on Film Productions

Film and television production sets are often chaotic places, with dozens or even hundreds of people working together to create a memorable shot. Film sets typically include heavy set pieces and props; in a recent production for the iconic Star Wars franchise, a set piece dropped on actor Harrison Ford’s leg, breaking it and requiring him to sit out eight weeks of filming to recover. On-set injuries are unfortunately very common and can go under-reported or unreported altogether. Film production insurance is one way that filmmakers can protect the assets of their production companies as well as their staff and cast members against the losses resulting from injuries. We’ll take a look at common occupational hazards in the film production industry and illustrate how specialty insurance can help mitigate the risks in this dynamic and challenging field.

Occupational Hazards in Filmmaking

Injuries to film production crews are shockingly common. Staff members must often juggle heavy equipment and props to deliver the visual look and feel directors seek. Cast members can be at risk, too; Harrison Ford’s leg injury is only one of dozens of such on-set accidents. In the early days of Hollywood’s filmmaking period, injuries and deaths were extremely common. In fact, during a five-year period ending in 1930, 55 people were killed and almost 11,000 others were injured during film productions. Safety standards have dramatically lowered the instances of injuries or deaths since those days, but have not eliminated the risks.

While statistics on film production injuries in more recent years are hard to come by, it is estimated that between 20 and 40 people are severely injured or even killed each year during the production of a film. This figure is made even more alarming by the fact that annual mining accidents and injuries/deaths in the U.S. law enforcement community are lower than those in the filmmaking industry.

Common injuries in film production include:

  • Tripping hazards (cables, wiring, and ropes on sets)
  • Injuries from pyrotechnic effects, including explosives and incendiary devices
  • Vehicle crashes, particularly in the use of helicopters for filming sequences
  • Electrocution hazards
  • Falling equipment and props
  • Insufficient or non-existent safety equipment on-set

The filmmaking industry is saddled with tight production schedules and budgetary concerns, sometimes negating the safety and welfare concerns of those involved in the production. As movie-going audiences demand bigger thrills and bigger effects, production companies see an increase the potential for an on-set incident that results in a serious injury or death of one of the members of the production.

Film Production Insurance: A Risk Management Staple

Film and television production firms have long relied on some form of entertainment insurance to help protect against the losses arising from producing their works. Film production insurance covers the unusual and unique risks associated with filmmaking, helping production companies to protect their assets and personnel when an incident occurs. This specialized insurance has many components, which includes coverage for Cast, Negative & Faulty Film (HD Video included), Props, Sets, Wardrobe, Miscellaneous Rented Equipment & Owned Equipment, Extra Expense and Third Party Property Damage. Comprehensive insurance policies offered by leading specialty insurers like U.S. Risk often include third-party property damage coverage, commercial general liability protection, and errors and omissions coverage for producers, developers, and directors, the cornerstones of a successful film or television production. Workplace injuries remain common in all markets, but the added expenses of a serious injury or death during a film or TV production cannot be understated. With adequate insurance coverage in the form of film production insurance, production companies can ensure that their assets are protected from loss.

About U.S. Risk

U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. is a wholesale broker and specialty lines underwriting manager providing a wide range of specialty insurance products and services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operating 16 domestic and international branches, U.S. Risk and its affiliates help you access a world of new markets and products, including the entertainment industry through Take1 and L.A. Xcess. For more information, contact us today at (800) 232-5830.

How Film Productions Can Avoid Copyright and Other Suits

How Film Productions Can Avoid Copyright and Other Suits

The world of film production is a chaotic one, with millions of dollars in budgets for individual film projects, thousands of cast members and behind-the-scenes staff, and seemingly endless sources of liability. Movie and television producers have had to fight claims of copyright violation and many other types of lawsuits over the years, and the rate of these lawsuits is only increasing. As a risk management tool, entertainment industry veterans know the value of film production insurance, protecting the employees and assets of film production companies against the losses associated with liability claims. In this guide, the role of fair use and copyright in filmmaking will be illustrated, providing insurance agents with the information they need for their entertainment industry clients to make smart decisions and to avoid potential legal issues.

Copyrights, Trademarks, and Fair Use

To gain a better understanding of potential liabilities in the filmmaking industry, it is important to be clear about three of the major concepts in production: copyright, trademarks, and fair use.

  • Copyright is the legal protection for any created work (literary or artistic) and the creators of those works. Copyright covers movies, books, technical drawings, scripts, computer software, advertising copy, and nearly any other work imaginable.
  • Trademarks are those words or symbols established by a company or organization that identifies the products and services of the organization and helps differentiate the organization from others. Trademarks can be single or multiple words, distinctive coloring and design (“trade dress”), or unique symbols. These trademarks are protected by legal registration.
  • Fair Use is the concept of granting limited use of copyrighted material without first receiving permission from the copyright holder. For filmmakers, fair use covers aspects such as commentary, parody, and education under certain guidelines. Fair use law is complex and may or may not be used as an affirmative defense in cases of legal claims.

Regardless of the nature of a film or television production, due diligence is the key to avoiding legal claims of copyright or trademark violation. Fair use laws may not be sufficient in protecting the film production company from legal challenges; it is a good practice to consult with attorneys familiar with copyright and fair use laws when any questions arise about the use of potentially copyrighted material in a production.

Protecting Assets with Film Production Insurance

Specialized risk management protection in the form of film production insurance is available for filmmakers and the companies associated with these productions. The film industry is faced with many unique risks; providing coverage against those risks represents a significant but not insurmountable challenge. For filmmakers, professional liability insurance, sometimes referred to as media liability insurance, is a common solution. Film production insurance provides coverage for production companies, their personnel, and their assets, allowing them to continue operation even if required to defend against legal claims. This insurance is a valuable and critical investment for film and television producers.

About U.S. Risk

U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. is a wholesale broker and specialty lines underwriting manager providing a wide range of specialty insurance products and services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operating 16 domestic and international branches, U.S. Risk and its affiliates help you access a world of new markets and products, including the entertainment industry through Take1 and L.A. Xcess. For more information, contact us today at (800) 232-5830.

The Legalities of Temporary Staffing

The Legalities of Temporary Staffing

In the world of employment, there are many choices for workers and employers alike. Different classes of employees fill roles in a wide variety of occupations. For those looking for seasonal work or cannot commit to a long-term employment relationship with a company, temporary staffing is a viable option. Unfortunately, laws designed to protect employees and employers from liability issues do not often cover temporary employees and the firms used for temporary staffing services. U.S. Risk Underwriters has worked with temporary staffing agencies across the country, helping those companies mitigate their unique liability exposures with our StaffPak program, offering solutions custom-tailored to the needs of each client.

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Best Practices for Minimizing Risks at Large Events

Best Practices for Minimizing Risks at Large Events

Every year, millions of people attend large events ranging from music festivals to performance art shows, sporting events, fairs, and concerts. The overwhelming number of these events are conducted without issue, providing entertainment and enjoyment in a safe, welcoming environment. However, several highly-publicized incidents of violence at public events in recent years have highlighted the need for event planners and venue owners to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Much planning goes into providing security for large events, and to minimize the potential risks, event planners must make security considerations their primary focus. Entertainment insurance is one of several components that help to minimize the risks associated with events; coupled with strong security and careful planning, these events can continue to be enjoyed by millions of attendees.

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The Importance of Contingent Liability Insurance

The Importance of Contingent Liability Insurance

Business owners face many risks in the day-to-day operations of their companies. Risk management is a crucial part of any company’s operation, and liability issues can impact a company’s ability to continue doing business. Among general liability exposures faced by business owners, the concept of contingent liability is one that requires specialized risk management. Contingent liability insurance plans, including occupational insurance, are ways that companies can minimize their risk exposure.

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Who Stands Liable for Concert or Event Injuries?

Who Stands Liable for Concert or Event Injuries?

Around the world, millions of people attend events like concerts, music festivals, fairs, and theater performances. The overwhelming majority of these events take place without incident, but there have been times when tragedy makes an appearance. Highly-publicized incidents of violence, such as the music festival shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 and a concert suicide bombing in Manchester, United Kingdom the same year stand out in our minds. Concert and event goers have an expectation of safety when attending events, and when an incident occurs, there is often confusion as to which party is liable for the injuries or deaths sustained as a result of the incident. To minimize exposure for concert promoters, event venue owners, and performers, concert insurance represents a smart investment, protecting against financial burdens associated with liability issues.

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What to Know About Insuring Subcontractors

What to Know About Insuring Subcontractors

In the building and construction industry, general contractors often rely on the specialized services provided by subcontractors. Subcontractors typically handle aspects of construction projects like plumbing, electrical, and finish work, among many other components. General contractors carry the weight of liability in construction projects, and commercial liability insurance is a vital part of risk management.

What about the risks associated with subcontractors? Should subcontractors carry their own general liability insurance, or are they covered by the general contractor’s policy? In this guide, we present common concerns and aspects of insuring against risks, with information about U.S. agencies insurance policies designed to protect against liability claims for contractors and subcontractors alike.

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