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comment on should alarm contracts permit assignment / Honeywell Shake-up
November 5, 2018
comment on should alarm contracts permit assignment from October 25, 2018
    In your October 25, 2018 newsletters you pose the question: “Why does the alarm company really care if the contract gets assigned, and in most instances wouldn't the alarm company consent to the assignment if the alternative was the loss of the account, to be pursued in collection.”
    Respectfully I do not want my subscriber to assign his obligations AND RIGHTS contained the contract to his insurer in the event of a loss. While my agreement prohibits subrogation could it not be argued that if the subscriber were to “assign” the contract to his insurer they would achieve the same effect as subrogation? (And in our contract we do permit subrogation and assignment with our prior written consent.)
 Dave Currie
 Damar Security Systems
Ken ​
 Great topic
    Assignable agreement for the customer? I’d say it’s just not clear enough for an alarm company operator to allow the customer to assign their long term agreement to another person if they should vacate their company in some way without having the new customer resign a new agreement, (and if you follow you’re logic, why not the same in a residential setting too?).
    We take people to court all the time for unpaid remainder of term of the agreements. Judges aren’t always concerned with the law but wish to ‘make nice’ on outstanding payments between parties so everyone can move forward. It further confuses the parties involved (including the small claims arbitrator or judge) when they have to ‘follow the bouncing ball’ with a clear, well thought out argument. I fully understand the judges are trying their best to keep up with the amount of cases they see in a day and want everyone to move forward but in our case, creating clear documentation of who is responsible for what appears to give us the edge in small claims court (and probably the same in a larger lawsuit, God forbid!)
 Yours for better security,
 Steve Sopkin, President
 Mijac Alarm
    Good points, but they miss the bulls eye. An assignment of contract is not a way to circumvent a waiver of subrogation provision. You had to think long time to connect those two provisions in that way. The Standard Form Agreement waives subrogation for the subscriber and the insurance company. An assignment to the carrier would accomplish exactly nothing because of the waiver, not to mention all the other protective provisions. Don't forget, an assignee takes only what the assignor can give, nothing more. 
    Let's get real. Your subscriber says they are moving or sold the business. They offer to get the occupant to assume the alarm contract or sign a new one. Your response is no? Then you sue the subscriber? In small claims court yet? In small claims court you may as well through a dart at a target. If you hit the bull's eye, or maybe the next circle, you win; otherwise you lose. That's not a 50/50 risk. And if you win, your chances of collecting against someone who left their house [or was foreclosed or died] or someone who sold their business [or lost it to taxing authorities, or creditors like the landlord] is slim. 
    Why wouldn't it make more sense to permit the assignment to the new occupant; they are willing to pay you. Sure, you should have a few conditions. That's why the new change in the 2019 updated contracts will permit assignment only on your consent, which you can't unreasonably withhold. So you will be able to impose conditions if you decide to permit assignment.
    Keep in mind that the no assignment provision applies to the subscriber and it follows just after, or right before, the provisions that permits the alarm company to assign the contract. The alarm company assignment is without consent and it let's the assignor alarm company off the hook on the contract. The 2019 Standard Form Agreements change that provisions too, adding that the alarm company can assign to a license alarm company.
    The purpose of the alarm contract is to protect you from liability, but also to build equity in your business so you can sell the company one day. You need to be able to assign the contract and get off the hook for future responsibility. While I have advised that you can always assign without a specific provision, unless there is a provision that prohibits assignment, but you can't get off future responsibility without the assignment clause specifically providing for that.
    You can order the 2019 updated contracts now. They are ready for you. Contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 to see if you need an upgrade in your contracts, or if you want to buy the Standard Form Agreements. You can order on line at
Honeywell Shake-up
    It appears that Honeywell is/has spinning off some/most of the alarm portions of its business.
RESIDIO (rolls right off the tongue, yes?) - will apparently include:
ADI distribution
AlarmNet - communication pathway service
TotalConnect - communication pathway and clearing house service
VISTA - alarm panels for burglary/fire
A variety of I.O.T. (internet of things) stuff
anything else?
    Can anyone opine where these other parts of the Honeywell empire will end up?
RSI - Videofied - video verification equipment
System Sensor - sensors
    And, of course, they already killed the 'DragonFly' Self-Monitored-Videofied product & service.
Thank You, 
    You had to remind of of dragonfly? I had 16 cameras. To show you how annoyed I was, when I threw them out I didn't save the batteries. 

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
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