Faced with a premium hike of 200 percent on one of her client’s workers’ compensation policies due to increased exposures and added classifications, Brooke Barnett managed to halve the premium after talking to the insurer.
She obtained an agreement to change the policy to a more appropriate classification and secured an alternative option for her client to cover its volunteers under a separate personal accident policy rather than the main workers’ compensation program, saving an additional $100,000.
For the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, she brought in an expert to work with the IT department to analyze the risks of the organization’s online credit card payment portal and to implement the necessary internal controls.
“She’s been incredible for us,” said Kim Tamny, senior manager of operations and awards logistics at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“We often have unique acts that we need cover for such as Cirque Du Soleil performers breathing fire or doing high-wire stunts, but we can throw anything at her and she gets it done.”
Another events organizer said: “Brooke was always very responsive to any of our requests and was helpful in answering questions related to the various lines of insurance that we need for our organization. She’s very knowledgeable about the products she is selling and there is never any question about her experience.”
Challenging doesn’t even come close to describing the work Konrad Dowling does on a daily basis.
He obtained coverage for a movie with a long shooting schedule, filmed in several countries and starring an A-list actor and director, both of whom were to pilot aircraft on camera.
Unfortunately one of the planes used in the filming crashed in South America, resulting in a number of fatalities. Dowling spent several hours on the phone that night talking to underwriters, lawyers, producers and claims personnel to coordinate an immediate response.
“Konrad made us priority No. 1 – he was super proactive in getting everything taken care of and making sure that everybody was covered,” said Ray Angelic, an independent producer.
“I would put Konrad right at the top of the list as far as customer service is concerned.”
Dave Pomier, another independent producer, said: “When the [****] hits the fan you need someone like Konrad to help you through it.
“This year we did a film where we had an unprecedented amount of rain and it destroyed all of our set.
“We had five claims and Konrad got on the plane right away with the adjuster and went through everything with us, suffice to say we have now settled four of those claims.”
Keeper of the Kardashians
No job is too tricky for Lorrie McNaught.
Tasked with finding coverage for charter flights for Bunim Murray Productions, the company that produces “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” she reviewed previous programs and negotiated one blanket aircraft policy for a reduced overall price.
The policy covered all of the show’s charter flights, providing unlimited charter usage as well as the ability to declare sky diving flights – something that insurers wouldn’t previously cover.
She also negotiated coverage for hot air balloon stunts, bungee jumping and rope swings at a competitive price, often in a short timeframe.
“Lorrie is hands down the easiest to work with and the best broker I have encountered,” said Margaret Morales, head of production at Bunim Murray Productions. “Lorrie understands that when shooting reality shows, we don’t have much notice, but she always helps us get the coverage we need during the short time periods we have to get it done.”
Scott Putman, a producer at Angela Drive Pictures, said: “Lorrie is absolutely phenomenal at her job. She’s helped me to craft coverages for projects across all platforms and has been extremely helpful on both low budget projects and those with substantial budgets.”
Another producer said: “Lorrie has an extensive knowledge of the entertainment industry and I have found her to be an invaluable resource.”
A Breath of Fresh Air
Production company Wise Entertainment reduced its premium by more than $15,000 this year thanks to the diligence and persistence of Daniel R’bibo.
The producer of “East Los High,” one of the hottest shows on Hulu, only started working with R’bibo last January.
However, after a review of its policies and discussions with the underwriter, R’bibo was able to get the client the best policy available, with new coverages, increased limits, and a reduced overall premium.
“Daniel goes above and beyond our expectation level and is always responsive and attentive to our production needs,” said Troy Combs, vice president of production and finance at Wise Entertainment.
“His ability to communicate the information to someone who is not knowledgeable about insurance policies is a great asset to have, especially for my younger management teams that are still learning the process.”
Gretchen Stockdale, COO and general counsel at Pilgrim Studios, said: “We could not expect or ask for better customer service than that which we receive from Daniel.
“His key selling points are his work ethic, dedication, passion for the business and his willingness to tackle any problem head on.”
Beau Marks, producer at the UCLA’s School of Theatre Film and Television, said: “For me, Daniel is a breath of fresh air – his problem-solving skills are second to none.”
A High-Wire Act
Coming up with innovative solutions to everyday problems is second nature to Lori Shaw, Lockton’s practice leader for gaming, advertising, media, entertainment and sports.
Over the past year, she developed a state-of-the-art policy to protect event promoters against loss of revenue from reduced ticket sales.
She also wrote a policy form and placed bespoke transmission breakdown coverage for a client who was broadcasting a pay-per-view event over its own internet subscription channel.
Shaw also helped Cirque du Soleil to completely re-evaluate its approach to event cancellation coverage and carried out extensive financial modeling of its operations and exposures from cancelled events, securing in excess of 20 different insurance options.
“I have never dealt with an insurance executive that looks after their clients to the level that Lori does,” said Stephen Duval, co-managing partner at XXIII Capital Partners.
Michel Rodrigue, risk manager at the Cirque du Soleil, said: “We always felt that she outperformed in every aspect of the work that she was doing for us.
“She always made us feel as if we were her only client, totally dedicated to our account and always helping us.
“The way she handles complicated claims was amazing and she was able to get us a much better settlement than what was initially offered because of her negotiation skills.”
As a pioneer of new insurance products in Canada, Susan Wallis obtained the first coverage for drones used for filming there.
Despite insurers being unwilling to provide cover for drones or the actual filming scenes, Wallis did some research into their regulations in order to determine exposures.
She then approached the underwriters and was able to give them a proper working knowledge of how the drones operate and the exposures, enabling her to secure the appropriate coverage for her clients.
“She’s always been there for us when we needed it,” said Janina Barrett, CFO at Whizbang Films.
“She answers questions for us above and beyond what’s required.
“In this ever changing world, it’s great to know that you can rely on someone for all your insurance needs and if we have a claim she is on top of it right away.”
Sam Slattery, a director of legal and risk management for Republic Live Inc, said: “She’s been brilliant. Her turnaround time has been really quick when I have a question or a problem.
“From helping on everything from arranging contracts to extending liquor licenses, she’s really extended herself beyond a traditional broker in terms of her insight and resources.”
Lynne Pepper, country manager, entertainment Canada at Allianz, said: “She must work extremely long hours because her clients extend from Los Angeles and Vancouver in the west all the way to the East Coast.”