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IPA Clarification

The following was provided by an independent film/television industry insurance expert
Point of Clarification - IPA Section A524 Commercial General Liability, Employer Liability, and Workers' Compensation and Accident on Set  Benefits.

As there has been some considerable confusion surrounding IPA Section A524, and what represents acceptable standards for Accident on Set insurance for performers, the following is ACTRA's position on the matter.

In addition, there appears to be some considerable confusion on insurance terminology, and to help address this confusion, this clarification includes a description of terms used to describe those forms of insurance which are typical to insurance programs for film and television production.

  1. Commercial General Liability (CGL) coverage will protect Producers from 3rd party lawsuits. If a 3rd party sued a Production for damages (bodily injury or property damage) as a result of a stunt or special effect, any ACTRA performer named in such a suit would be covered by the Production CGL policy.

    Commercial General Liability insurance is designed to protect the producer, and should not be misconstrued to provide a benefit for the performer.

    Most CGL policies sold to Producers as companion coverage to the Entertainment Package (EP), contain a rider called Employers Liability (EL). The EL will respond and defend the Production if any member of the cast or crew were to sue a production. It should be noted however, that any award to the plaintiff would only follow evidence of negligence on the part of the Production. Since negligence by the production represents a small part of overall stunt performer claims, this "coverage" is not only inadequate, it is inappropriate.

  2. While some Commercial General Liability policies have a medical expense provision, this is intended for 3rd parties, which would exclude employees. Furthermore, the limits applicable to this section would be inadequate for all but the smallest medical expense claims.

    As the Commercial General Liability policy is not an option, what does that leave?|

    As you know, the 2007-2009 IPA Section A524 states:
    'Where available, workers' compensation insurance coverage, or equivalent, shall be provided to all eligible Performers. Where such protection is not available, the Producer shall provide workplace accident / injury insurance coverage'.

The key word here is 'equivalent', and both ACTRA and the CMPA have agreed for the purpose of administering Section A524, the Accident on Set program provided through AFBS meets the equivalency test.

Any other programs must be carefully examined to determine that they as well meet a similar equivalency test.