BY:Steven Beer, Jake Levy & Neil Rosini
This Q&A was originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Documentary magazine, a publication of the International Documentary Association, a nonprofit media arts organization based in Los Angeles.
Documentary producers obtain various types of insurance to mitigate the risks of their productions and general operations. These policies include general liability, automobile liability, workers compensation, excess liability, accidental death and dismemberment and E&O insurance. Some policies are available on a production-by-production basis, while others may be obtained for a term, such as twelve months, that covers multiple productions made during that term.
E&O insurance covers claims relating to “errors and omissions” made by the insured during the course of a production. These claims principally fall into the categories of defamation, privacy rights violations, and copyright and trademark infringement. For example, if a filmmaker believes she is properly licensing material from a third party to include in her film and it turns out that the licensor did not actually hold the appropriate rights to make that license, E&O insurance would cover defense and liability costs in the event of a claim.