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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old December 27th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #1
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Media Perils Insurance---where do I get it?

Okay, I know I'm a newbie here, but not a newbie to video production. I have two clients that want half-hour television shows that they want to broadcast on the local cable outlet, but don't want to pay their prices for production. The cable outlet (I won't say who they are, because I'm their direct competition), says I have to purchase media perils insurance. I contacted a company that has shows on the same cable outlet, and they say that they were not told they needed this insurance to put their show on. Is this cable outlet trying to keep my work from being shown on tv? I contacted the Florida Governor's office of film and television and asked them about where to look to find the legalities about media perils insurance, and also did a Google search, and still no luck. The Governor's office has not called me back about this. Meantime, I have clients saying, "When can we get this going?"
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Old December 27th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #2
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Why does the cable company have a say if all you're doing is delivering them a finished program tape? Are you planning on taping in their production facilities or renting their equipment? Or are they asking you for some policy that indemnifies them in the event something is said during the programs that run afoul of some FCC regulation, an insurance policy on the content that guarantees you're not another Howard Stern? <ROFL>. It certainly seems if they're requiring a policy they should be able to tell you exactly what they want you (or more likely them) to be insured against. If you've gone to them and said "I've never heard of such a policy - what is it?" what do they say?

...

A Google of "media perils insurance" (including the quotes) turns up lots of references - apparently it's mainly for writers and publishers to protect them in the event of claims for libel or slander or copyright infringment. I'd never heard of it before - learn something new every day!
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Last edited by Steve House; December 27th, 2006 at 06:19 AM. Reason: Added Google Info
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Old December 27th, 2006, 06:21 AM   #3
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It sounds like they are trying just to keep you out, because they want to produce. If what they want is general liability coverage, that is not very expensive. As I have said here before, if I try to get a video business license here in Port St. Lucie, or get a permit to shoot even a short movie, I am required by the city to get a one million dollar insurance policy that holds the city harmless!

Check with the station, calmly for now, and ask the purpose, type, and amount of the insurance they want. That way you will know exactly what is needed and can politely ask them why company "Z" is not required to have it.

If they truely do want this insurance and have a valid reason for it, then you can proceed from there and find the coverage. One Million is general liability coverage is not much, last I heard about $300 to $400 per year.

If you have further problems let me know. I'm nobody, but I have friends here who are very connected in this states film commission etc., maybe contacting them could help.

Good luck-------Mike
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Old December 27th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #4
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Steve, the cable outlet, it seems, wants to make sure they are not held accountable for anything on the shows I produce. The media perils insurance, as it turns out, is listed --- or something like it --- on the website for the company I get my auto insurance with. I called them, and they verified that the insurance I saw on the website was indeed for publishing companies and they referred me to a company in LA for the media perils insurance. I called the LA-based company and they've pointed me to their website. I have yet to check that out. I let you all know something more when I get more info. In the meantime, still no word from the Governor's office---and I voted for that guy! (Hello, Reform Party!)

Mike, yes, it seems they are trying to keep me out of their "club". I need to get more info from the program schedule they sent me, and contact some more producers in Florida that have dealt with them about the media perils insurance thing, then contact the cable outlet and find out why I'm being singled out.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #5
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Okay, here's an update:
After reviewing the Requirements Policy from the cable outlet again, I found this:

Insurance.

(a) Lessee, at Lessee’s sole expense, shall obtain and keep in force throughout the term of this Agreement, with a reputable insurance company approved by Lessor and authorized to do business in the state in which the System is located, insurances with coverages and limits as follows:

(i) If required by statute, a policy (or policies) of Workers’ Compensation insurance covering Lessee’s employees in the state in which the System is located. Each such policy shall be on a form approved for use in such state, and shall provide, at a minimum, statutory Workers’ Compensation coverage, and Employer’s Liability at limits of not less than $100,000 each accident for Bodily Injury by Accident, $300,000 policy limit for Bodily Injury by Disease, and $100,000 each employee for Bodily Injury by Disease.
(ii) If Lessee shall conduct any program production on Lessor’s premises as indicated in Exhibit A, Commercial General Liability Insurance on current standard forms as promulgated by the Insurance Services Office (“ISO”) that covers at least Premises and Operations, Products and Completed Operations, Blanket Contractual Liability for both Oral and Written Contracts and Broad Form Property Damage. The limits of liability for such insurance shall be no less than $1,000,000 per Occurrence for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, all as defined in the ISO form, and no less than $1,000,000 per Occurrence and $1,000,000 in the aggregate for Products-Completed Operations, and $1,000,000 policy General Aggregate.
(iii) Media Perils Liability Insurance (Broadcasters’ Liability/Errors and Omissions) to cover Lessee’s media activities as described in this Agreement, including but not limited to, production of programming and all programming cablecast under the terms of this Agreement (including but not limited to original programming, marketing activities, sales promotions, and other activities). Such insurance shall cover, at a minimum, the “offenses” of defamation of character or reputation; invasion of privacy; infringement of trademark, title, slogan, trade name or service mark; and infringement of copyright or misappropriation of ideas. The limit of liability for such insurance shall be no less than $1,000,000 in any one policy period. The maximum self-insured retention under such insurance shall be $5,000, unless Lessee obtains the prior written consent of Lessor to increase such self-insured retention, which consent may be withheld by Lessor in its sole discretion.
(b) Both the Commercial General Liability policy, if required, and the Broadcaster’s (Media Perils) Liability policy shall be endorsed to provide that (i) with respect to the activities and obligations of Lessee under this Agreement, Lessor shall be included as an Additional Insured, with the added provision that Lessee’s policies shall provide primary and non-contributory coverage to Lessor, irrespective of any insurance carried by Lessor, whether it be primary, excess, contingent or on any other basis; (ii) the insurer waives any rights of subrogation it may have against Lessor; and (iii) the policy shall provide coverage on an “Occurrence” basis; a “Claims-Made” policy is not acceptable.

Mike, maybe your contacts at the Film and Television office can help. I can't find anything else I can do about this except get the insurance. The head of production at the cable outlet says he doesn't know what the terms 'General Liability' insurance means, as well as 'media perils' insurance, but it's in there in their Channel Lease Agreement. Shouldn't he know that if he was the one who sent me the Agreement (and he was)?
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Old December 27th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #6
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Did you check on what the other company was required to provide? This sounds excessive to me. General liability yes, the other no!

Mike
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Old December 28th, 2006, 06:51 AM   #7
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Lessor, lessee, etc it sure sounds like they are assuming you're going to be producing and editing while physically on their property and using their equipment. Is that your plan, to shoot in their studio? Or are you simply going to deliver them a finished program master tape produced elsewhere and ready for loading into their playback system?
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Old December 28th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #8
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Rick,

What kind of show is it you are doing and where is it being shot? It does sound like they are thinking that you will be using their studio. I don't see why you just don't shoot it and then present the finished produce to your client and them to the station.

If in fact you are going to be using their studio and any of they're equipment, then the insurance makes sense.

Mike
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Old December 29th, 2006, 05:33 AM   #9
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Steve,
According to the Channel Lease Agreement, the Lessor is the cable outlet itself, and the Lesee is me, trying to lease a 30 minute time slot on the channel (which is public access, by the way). I am going to contact the local community college, which puts its educational videos on that channel, to see if they had to purchase all the insurance. And, no, I am not using any of the cable outlet's equipment or film on their property or use their studio in any way.

Mike,
The two shows are for a local used car dealership and a home decorating show a local home furnishing store wants to put on. I think I'm just going to find the basic liability insurance, get the legal people at the cable outlet on the phone, tell them what I got, and get the shows made.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Shorrock
Steve,
According to the Channel Lease Agreement, the Lessor is the cable outlet itself, and the Lesee is me, trying to lease a 30 minute time slot on the channel (which is public access, by the way). ...

Ahhhh - so you're paying them for the time slot to put in whatever programming you want rather than you selling them them show so that they are paying you for the rights to broadcast it. Their requirements are starting to make a bit more sense.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #11
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Funny how these things work out. I guess God's got his Big 'Ole Hand smack dab in the middle of this one. The lady who was running the pre-production on the home remodeling show has a huuuuuuggge flu and the advertising guy who talked about the car show now says he wants to do a commercial first, before doing a full show. Maybe by the time everyone's ready to make a show, I can find out where to get the General Liability and Media Perils insurance, and figure the costs into the productions. I have some other productions on the back burner to pay for the rest.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #12
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Go figure, now you have some time to get it all straight!

Mike
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Old December 31st, 2006, 07:10 AM   #13
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I Googled broadcaster's liability insurance and found an interesting flyer from Chubb . . . at http://www.chubb.com/businesses/cci/chubb1723.pdf

It looks like broadcaster's liability policies are a kind of package deal for TV and cable stations that cover a number of potential problems including, business income, special event liability, general liability and errors and omissions. If it's standard practice for stations to take out this kind of coverage, it's reasonable that their agreement would appear to mix up a bunch of different issues.

If you are producing a program for a client, or the client is producing the program, it's the errors and omissions that's going to be the tricky bit. Errors and ommissions insurance covers you if you or your client infringes accidently on copyright, slanders someone or a trademark, invades someone's privacy etc. and a lawsuit arises from any of these acts. The cable station does not, for obvious reasons, want to assume liability for your negligence if they put the proposed program on the air/wire. The purchase of E&O insurance is standard practice for any film or video released to the public. It can be very expensive and the deductables can be high.

You won't get E&O unless you keep careful records of the permissions from the people in the program and clearances for all music and visual elements that may pose trademark or copyright isues. You and your potential client should consult an experienced entertainment atty. ASAP if they are serious about producing a program for broadcast.

It would be best for you to have your own atty.

Last edited by Peter Wiley; December 31st, 2006 at 12:42 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 07:35 AM   #14
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Another tactic...

As it appears you are only the videographer, so list the client as the executive producer in your credits. Don't put your name on any credit that might be part of content (writer, etc). May even want to put a disclaimer in the credits absolving your production firm of content issues.

Set the client against the cable company. To put it another way, your client should pit Cable's sales dept against their own production dept. Put a revenue opportunity in peril (we will simply go local broadcast instead of cable, which usually ends up on cable anyway). They will probably take the money and shutup. Some money is better than no money.

I will bet the cable company will make them (client) sign a wavier and probably run a disclaimer, but they won't say no to money... you just keep out of it. Make sure your role is limited to "hired hand". This also protects you in the event there is some civil issue.

Regardless, you do need a legal opinion, as the laws very from state to state.
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