Why do production companies need film errors and omissions insurance?
As a producer you’re exposed to a variety of risks as soon as your film is distributed. 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.
With the meteoric rise in video content, it’s not just film production companies who need film errors and omissions insurance. Video content for marketing and advertising is subject to the same scrutiny and risk exposures – and podcast producers also need errors and omissions insurance.
Broadcasters, distributors and financiers of film and television productions expect you as the producer to insure against these risks. The solution is to take out errors and omissions (E&O) insurance prior to the distribution of your work, to cover the costs of investigation, settlements and defence if a claim is made against you.
Errors and omissions insurance doesn’t cover costs arising from criminal charges or any deliberate wrongdoing. But professional mistakes do happen, and E&O insurance can help with:
- Infringement of intellectual property rights – copyright, music rights, patents, trademarks; 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.
The first step in arranging your errors and omissions 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.