Errors and Omissions Insurance for Film and Media Productions: Review of CPD Session

  • May 21, 2019
  • Lisa Macklem

Last fall, the OBA Entertainment, Media, and Communications Law Section hosted an informative and well-attended CPD session entitled “Errors and Omissions Insurance for Film and Media Productions.” Current Chair of the Section, Katarina Germani (legal counsel, CBC/Radio-Canada) and Section Executive Ryan Keller (associate, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP) co-hosted the event. Ryan helped to provide his own expertise and acted as interviewer for program speaker Brian Wynn (partner, Gardiner Roberts LLP), who brought the wealth of 30 years of experience. This provided attendees with information from both the insured’s (Ryan) perspective and the insurer’s (Brian) perspective. 

The discussion began with considerations of the unique landscape presented by Canada as opposed to the US and the need for a Canadian risk profile. There are two main policies: a general one that deals with things like bombs and car crashes and then the more specific policy that deals with items such as trademark, infringement, privacy, etc. Many of the forms are similar, so it’s important to make sure that you are paying attention when filling them out. The point of contact is a broker rather than the insurance company, and there are four or five specialty brokers in Canada who know the risks. It’s important to shop the market to get your client the best deal. 

There is a continuum of risk that runs from low-risk, like a cooking show, to high-risk like a documentary that may contain a large number of clips or satirical references to politics, which will all need to be cleared. The producer of a production should work with their counsel to produce a detailed binder on all releases. As soon as an application for insurance is filed, the production lawyer should be talking to the clearance lawyer to ensure that the binder is complete, the premium is paid, and the application is signed.