You also provide contracts for central stations that have the dealer indemnify the central station even when a central is clearly at fault.  I have read your articles stating reasons as to the indemnification from customers to the dealers but are you advising dealers to sign a central station contract as is?  You are the lawyer for Saarg, which is my insurance provider, my central has another carrier.
Thank You
    Interesting issue.  First hurdle is, do you have the clout to get your central station - or any central station - to omit the indemnity provision from its contract.  If you do then by all means get rid of it.  Both you and the central carry insurance so the indemnity is not essential to either of you, especially you, since you're the one providing the indemnity.  Your argument to your subscriber is "why should I assume all this liability when I am charging such a small amount for my services?"  Your central station can make the same argument.  Why should it assume liability for its charges?  Too often it's impossible to figure out who made the mistake, but regardless, parties can always agree to shift liability by entering into an agreement requiring insurance and indemnity; which is exactly what is done in the alarm contracts.
    Should you agree to indemnify your central?  That's a decision you have to make.  All I can say is that it's common practice for the dealer to indemify the central station.  You can and should (when possible) name the central as an additional insured on your E&O policy so that your carrier covers the central.  Here are a few things you should do regarding the indemnity:

  • Name your central station on your E&O policy as an additional insured.
  • Use the same carrier as your central station.
  • Limit your indemnity to your available insurance coverage.

    Indemnity is just one issue you have when negotiating with your central station.  If your central station uses the Dealer Agreement then critical issues are itemized on the front of the contract rather than hidden in small print.  Insist that your central use the Dealer Agreement, and if they don't then look for a central station on The Alarm Exchange that does use that agreement.  They are committed to treating you fairly or they get the boot.
    Regarding listed hard wired smoke alarms with aux contacts, I would like to reply to the few comments I read. A few manufacturers of smoke alarms have contacts built into the unit, labeled as auxiliary alarm contacts.  But there aren’t many of them. One just has to ensure that the model they install is compatible and listed with the remaining devices. In fact, the smoke alarms may already have them in there, just check. The Gentex 9000 series is an example, possibly the one “Ray Y” was thinking of. I think Kidde also has a model, but I don’t remember the model offhand. Most other manufacturers have wired relay modules for use by the device. Just make sure they are listed for use with the device. Listing would include being tested by UL with the smoke alarm and having a means to monitor the relay coil for integrity. Usually this means fail safe operation.
    For those that think both line voltage and low voltage wiring can’t exist in the same device: I suggest reading the NEC (NFPA 70) and NFPA 72, as well as learning how a relay isolates circuits of different potential. Every power supply and every line voltage device with a battery has low voltage and line voltage together in the same device. That include the power supplies used by all security professionals. I won’t get into how to isolate the two circuits or things like minimum distances and wire insulation. It should be a non-issue for anyone in this business. Just remember 2 things: UL listing for the intended purpose and installations to code. And have fun…
    Oh, one more thing. Make sure you use proper contracts. Even if you did everything right, when there’s a loss guess who’s getting an invitation to court?
Mitch Cohen
Port Washington, NY