As a filmmaker, you know the importance of protecting your work and your reputation. But when it comes to making sure that you’re covered in case of legal issues or unforeseen events that could arise during the process of creating a documentary, Errors & Omissions Insurance can be a vital tool in protecting you. In this article, we’ll explore what E&O insurance is and how it can help protect your documentary film from potential risks.

What is Errors and Omissions Insurance?

Documentaries are inherently risky endeavors. If you're going to make one, you need to be prepared for the possibility that something could go wrong. That's where errors and omissions insurance comes in.

Errors and omissions insurance (EOI), also known as professional liability insurance, protects filmmakers from the financial consequences of mistakes or omissions made during the production of their documentary. It can cover legal expenses, settlements, and judgments against the filmmaker.

EOI is an important part of any documentary filmmaker's risk management strategy. But it's not always easy to get.

Here are a few things you need to know about EOI for documentaries:

  1. EOI is not the same as general liability insurance.

General liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury or property damage arising from your business activities. It does not cover errors or omissions in your work. For that, you need EOI.

  1. EOI premiums can be expensive.

Because documentaries are high-risk ventures, EOI premiums can be quite costly. The premium will depend on factors such as the subject matter of your documentary, the expected distribution platform (e.g., TV vs. online), and whether you have any previous experience making documentaries.

  1. You may be able to get EOI through a production company or other entity involved in your project

Why Do Documentary Filmmakers Need E&O Insurance?

As a documentary filmmaker, you are constantly working to create informative and entertaining content that will engage your audience. However, because you are dealing with real people and events, there is always the potential for something to go wrong. If someone is featured in your film without their permission, or if you accidentally include copyrighted material, you could be sued for damages.

This is where errors and omissions (E&O) insurance comes in. This type of insurance protects you from financial damages if you are sued for negligence or any other legal issue arising from your documentary film. E&O insurance can cover your legal fees, settlement costs, and even punitive damages if you are found liable.

While E&O insurance is not required by law, it is strongly recommended for all documentary filmmakers. The cost of defending yourself in a lawsuit can be extremely expensive, and the risk is simply not worth it. With E&O insurance in place, you can rest assured that you are protected against any potential legal problems that may arise from your film.

What Kind of Coverage Does E&O Insurance Provide?

Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that provides protection for businesses against claims arising from errors or omissions in the performance of their professional services.

E&O insurance can cover a wide range of potential risks, including:

  • Claims of negligent advice or misrepresentation
  • Breach of contract
  • Infringement of copyright or trademark
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Violation of privacy rights
  • Libel or slander

Who Needs to be Covered By E&O Insurance?

As a documentary filmmaker, you are exposing yourself to potential litigation any time your film is screened. If your film makes any claims or assertions about people or events, you could be accused of defamation, invasion of privacy, or copyright infringement. Even if you are careful and do your best to verify the accuracy of your film, there is always the possibility that someone will take issue with something in it.

This is where Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance comes in. An E&O policy will protect you financially if you are sued over something in your film. It can cover the cost of your legal defense as well as any damages that may be awarded against you.

Not every documentary filmmaker needs an E&O policy, but it is something to consider if your film could potentially provoke controversy. If you are working with sensitive material or interviewing high-profile subjects, an E&O policy may give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected in case of a lawsuit.

How To Find the Right Errors & Omissions Insurance Provider for Your Documentary Film

As a documentary filmmaker, you know that your film is vulnerable to a variety of risks. From defamation and invasion of privacy claims to copyright infringement and errors in your facts and research, there are many ways that your film could end up costing you money.

That's why it's so important to have errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance), also known as media liability insurance. This type of insurance can protect you financially if someone sues you over your film.

But with so many different E&O insurance providers out there, how do you choose the right one for your documentary? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure the provider has experience insuring documentary films.
  2. Ask about the maximum amount of coverage the provider offers.
  3. Find out what types of claims are covered by the policy.
  4. Get quotes from multiple providers before making a decision.

By following these tips, you can find an E&O insurance provider that will give you the coverage you need to protect your documentary film - no matter what risks it faces.


Errors and Omissions Insurance is a critical component of the documentary filmmaker's toolkit. Not only does it provide legal protection if your film is ever challenged, but it can also give you peace of mind that you won't be held liable for any mistakes or oversights. Doing your research and selecting an insurance provider who understands the documentary production process will ensure that every aspect of your project is covered in case something goes wrong. Armed with this knowledge, filmmakers can create their projects without fear of costly litigation down the line.