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Necessary to provide rental agreement for insurance?

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#1 Dan Coplan

Dan Coplan

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 05:17 PM

Someone just told me that an insurance certificate isn't worth the paper it's printed on if you don't have a rental agreement with production. Yes? No? Sort of? What's the skinny on this?

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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 06:55 PM

Someone just told me that an insurance certificate isn't worth the paper it's printed on if you don't have a rental agreement with production. Yes? No? Sort of? What's the skinny on this?

If the gear is with me, it goes on my short-form Deal Memo as a line item as Rented Equipment along with the requirement for a Certificate of Insurance.

If the gear goes without me, I use a long-form Rental Agreement that goes into much more detail on terms and conditions the same as any rental house requires. Obviously my rig does not go out without me but things like my Preston, camera packages, audio, lighting do go out on rental.

The Certificate of Insurance, assuming that its a valid policy covers you for THE SAME LOSSES AND CONDITIONS as the policy holder has in the policy. That may or may not cover loss of use and cost to rent replacement gear. Adding your name as the Loss Payee and Additionally Insured extends the policy out to cover your gear as if it is theirs and of course makes sure in the case of a COVERED LOSS that you get the check. I know you understand that point Dan but I'm posting it for the new kids on the block too.

What if there is a claim and the client refuses to file it? That's where Subrogation kicks in and you file the claim with your insurer; they'll cover your loss (assuming it is a covered loss on your policy) and then file a claim against the client's insurance. Therein the importance of maintaining your own insurance. Car insurance companies do this every day for simplicity. You rear-end me, it's your fault but my insurance repairs my vehicle and then Subrogates back to your company. The two insurance companies fight out whose fault it was.

What about the Producer or Risk Manager who doesn't want to give you a Certificate because "what if you break your own rig" therefore rudely implying that you'd do it to get a new rig? Again, Subrogation kicks in; you file against Production's insurance and then based on the circumstances they could / would Subrogate back to your insurer if they had a reasonable cause of NEGLIGENCE on your behalf.

Let's say you are goofing around or playing, maybe doing something unsafe and fall / break your rig or you are careless and leave your $3200 Preston motor sitting on the sidewalk along Hollywood Blvd? Production's insurance would have every right to say you did not act responsibly and would either deny the claim or Subrogate to your insurer. Thus the reason a lot of Producers / insurers want to see that we have our own insurance. Therefore when I'm presented with that position of "what if you...", I simply tell them if I'm negligent then their insurance company is going to subrogate against my insurer anyway so they have no basis.

NEVER sign a Waiver of Subrogation because you basically throw away that right and weaken your position if there is a problem.

And let me say for the record that I'm not a lawyer, nor am I an insurance professional and it's been a almost seven months since I've stayed at a Holiday Inn Express!

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