Question - can you or should you offer to pay for sub's claims 



    ADT and other companies are offering to pay up to $500 to customers that have a break in to pay for their deductible.  Sonitrol is offering over $1000.  What do you think and how do they do it and not pay for claims that they didn’t screw up.

Robert Hanley

Certified Security & Sound

Spokane Valley, WA 




There are typically two circumstances in which the alarm company agrees, in advance pursuant to contract, to pay for part of or the entire claim suffered by a subscriber.  The first instance, and the one suggested in the question above, is a sales gimmick, and the second, a negotiated limitation of liability, or full liability, provision.  Agreeing to a nominal payment is really a marketing decision.  Agreeing to pay a substantial limitation of liability or assume full liability for a loss is usually the consequence of agreeing to a subscriber's unreasonable demand in order to get the job.  

    The premise of a properly drafted alarm contract is that the alarm company is exculpated from liability, even for its negligence or non performance of the contract.  When that clause doesn't work the limitation of liability clause limits the alarm company's liability to the designated amount.  Most alarm contracts use the traditional amount of $250.00.  There is really no rhyme or reason to depart from this standard limitation amount.  Offering less is acceptable and offering more will not, or should not, expose the alarm company to liability exceeding the stipulated amount.

    Offering to pay $500 or any amount if the subscriber suffers a loss, irregardless of fault, alarm system failure or alarm service negligence, is tantamount to offering a guarantee against loss, but even so, the guarantee is limited to the amount offered, $500 or whatever the number is agreed upon in advance in the contract.  

    Offering a higher than traditional limitation of liability in the event of negligence or breach of contract by the alarm company may be a selling tool, or may be demanded by the subscriber.  In this case the subscriber will still have to prove some wrongdoing; this is distinguished from a "guarantee" payment if there is a loss.  

    From a purely legal standpoint there is no reason to depart from the traditional and "standard" exculpatory and limitation of liability provisions.  Increasing your exposure only shows your reluctance to accept the enforceability of your contract terms and accept the underlying justification of the provisions in the Standard From Contracts.  When you do decide to make changes to your contract terms I suggest you give me a call to discuss the change.  


comment on can application ask if you've been arrested from January 4, 2014


Ken -

    State Boards can ask an applicant if they have prior convictions, to include those convictions that have been expunged. An applicant has the right to plead the 5th on this portion of the application. The Board then can obtain a court order demanding the applicant provides information, if the court will allow such an order. 

    The Arizona Board of Technical Registration has been denying applicants for arrests taking place as far back as 1966. Although the applicant is required to pay for a DPS background check, the Board also demands the applicant supplies self incrimination on the application, listing all convictions. Applicants who over provide information, by providing arrest, have found themselves being denied and then asked to further incriminate themselves by bringing forth more information. I suggest that if an applicant is not an attorney, the applicant pleads the 5th. If the Board does obtain a court order, then the applicant should retain an attorney. Every applicant should keep in mind that Boards are intended to deny applications, not to approve applications. Also, the Boards constantly seek legal advice from the State's attorney. Alarm employees, who do not seek legal advice, are at a huge disadvantage to a Board that has an attorney.  

    Municipalities and States disregard many laws applying to them. State Boards and elected officials usually have immunity from being sued for their actions. These powers know that most citizens either cannot afford to sue Government, or lack the will to sue Government. Without knowing the laws and by not seeking legal representation, alarm installers become door mats for these Government agencies. 

    Thanks again,

Roger D. Score, President

Arizona Alarm Dealers Association, Inc.



    Regarding a Felony.. There are programs, such as Alabama pre trial release, that if completed the Felony is wiped off the record.   

Greg in Alabama




    In New York and elsewhere, I am sure, a convicted felon is barred from getting an alarm license or working for a licensed alarm company unless the applicant has secured a Certificate of Relief which essentially restores the felon's civil rights, including the right to apply for jobs where a felony conviction would otherwise bar employment or license.


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