Insurance Law

New Publication - New Appleman Sports and Entertainment Insurance Law & Practice Guide to Release in December 2010

   By Kirk A. Pasich, Cassandra Franklin, Sandra Smith Thayer, Shaun H. Crosner, and Julia K. Holt, Dickstein Shapiro LLP

New Appleman Sports and Entertainment Insurance Law & Practice is written by Kirk A. Pasich the leader of Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Practice and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He has been named by The Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the Top 10 Litigators in Los Angeles; Cassandra Franklin, a partner in Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Practice, serves as Deputy Practice Leader and co-leader of the firm’s Entertainment and Sports Insurance Coverage Initiative; Sandra Smith Thayer a partner in Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Practice. She also is the national co-leader of the Firm’s Insurance Coverage Initiatives and chairs its Insurance Broker E&O and Political Risk Insurance Initiatives and is a member of the Entertainment and Sports Insurance Coverage Initiative; Shaun H. Crosner is an associate in Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Practice, and he is the co-leader of the firm’s Entertainment and Sports Insurance Coverage Initiative; and Julia K. Holt was formerly an associate in Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Practice. Ms. Holt represented insureds and reinsureds, including Fortune 500 companies and individual talent in the entertainment and sports industries, in complex insurance coverage and other disputes.

This new practice guide provides practitioners with guidance on the wide variety of claims and lawsuits that individuals and entities in the entertainment and sports industries are faced with.  These groups suffer from a wide range of losses because of natural events and the actions of others, ranging from earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes to civil unrest, riots strikes, and terrorist attacks.  The economic consequences vary, but can reach millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, and can involve everything from paying lawyers and experts to defend against lawsuits, to paying to repair or rebuild property, to suffering losses from cancellations, delays, or closures and loss of business during periods of rebuilding or repairing property.

Fortunately, most individuals and companies have some form of insurance that may cover them for all or a substantial part of their expenses and losses—if they know where to look, and how to obtain the value of this asset, for which they already have paid.  This new publication is designed to provide practical guidance in dealing with the types of insurance that may be available, as well as the nuances of the insurance, requirements in insurance policies that may need to be honored to obtain coverage, and overlooked sources of coverage.

Chapters 1 and 2 provide an overview of the liabilities and potential losses that those in the entertainment and sports industries may face.

Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6 discuss topics that relate to all types of insurance, providing an overview of insurance, insurance policy conditions, insurer duties, and insurers’ duty of good faith and fair dealing.

Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 discuss various types of liability insurance—that is, insurance that protects insureds when claims are made against them or when they are sued—and the breadth of this coverage.  Specific coverage types discussed include commercial general liability insurance and its variants (which may provide coverage for claims by spectators and participants), errors and omissions and media liability (which typically covers claims alleging intellectual property violations, idea submission, privacy rights, and defamation), directors and officers liability, employment practices liability, and workers’ compensation and employers’ liability.

Chapter 12 discusses coverage after mergers and acquisitions, an often murky area involving the reconstruction of historic insurance coverages and ensuring the insurance coverage is available after a merger or acquisition.

Chapters 13 through 18 discuss the full range of first-party insurance—that is, insurance coverage for losses that an insured suffers.  Chapter 13 provides an overview of first-party insurance.  Chapter 14 discusses property and “time element” insurance—that is, insurance for damage to or loss of property and insurance for non-physical losses, such as business interruption, losses flowing from curfews and other orders from “civil authorities” such as government agencies, losses when ingress or egress from a location is prevented (such as by a road collapse, floods, or landslides)—as well as exclusions from coverage.  Chapter 15 discusses production insurance for motion picture and televisions shows, including “cast” insurance.  Chapter 16 discusses event cancellation insurance, which is designed to cover losses from cancellations or postponements of concerts, sporting events, trade shows, and other events.  Chapter 17 discusses other forms of first-party insurance of particular interest in the entertainment and sports industries, including athlete disability insurance, disability insurance for student-athletes, contractual bonus insurance, non-appearance insurance, rain insurance, prize indemnity insurance, kidnap and ransom insurance, political risk insurance (when a foreign government interferes in some way with activities in another country), crime and fidelity insurance, death and disgrace insurance, and insurance for celebrity body parts and characteristics.  Chapter 18 discusses how individuals and small businesses can maximize insurance coverage for catastrophic loss—that is, obtain the full value of the insurance for which they have paid.

Chapter 19 discusses considerations in insurance coverage disputes, including litigation and arbitrations and defending against actions commenced by insurers.

Chapter 20 discusses the potential claims against insurance agents and brokers and the rights that an insured may have not only when the agent or broker fails to obtain the promised coverage, but when an insurer disputes coverage, even if it turns out that the insurance policy actually provides the promised coverage.

With the goal of enhancing the reader’s understanding of insurance coverage in the sports and entertainment arena, this publication also contains practice insights, strategic guidance, comments and warnings, plus appendices of key decisions and sample forms.