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trouble finding E& O insurance / do you need signed paper to use electronic contracts / no contract but owed money January 16, 2018

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trouble finding E& O insurance / do you need signed paper to use electronic contracts / no contract but owed money
January 16, 2018
trouble finding E& O insurance
    We have been using Traveler's Insurance for General Liability and E&O insurance for a few years.  Now that we are installing alarm systems, they are dropping us and we are having difficulty finding an insurance carrier.  We have never had a claim against us.
    Can you give me a short list of insurance providers that you would recommend that would provide General Liability for us?  We are an Information Technology (IT), Voice Communications and Security System service provider.
    The alarm - security - fire alarm business does have its unique issues from an insurance perspective, and you are best off using an insurance company that has an "alarm program"; a company that understands the alarm industry, the importance of contracts and the significance of properly defending claims beyond the exposure in that one claim.  
    The Alarm Exchange has a category for insurance brokers and companies, and everyone listed there knows this business.  There are two that stand out.  SARRG is a nationwide alarm industry owned insurance company and Florida has a program that the Florida Alarm Association promotes [I'm not sure whether the association has any financial interest in the insurance program].  Since you're not in Florida, I suggest you first contact SARRG.  You next stop would be Costanza Insurance Agency which is the agent for Zurich.  If you contact the brokers listed on The Alarm Exchange I suggest you ask that they try and place you with Philadelphia Insurance.  I will not at this time recommend First Mercury or Hartford.  
do you need signed paper to use electronic contracts?
    Do we have to get clients to sign a paper copy of the consent for electronic communications agreement or can it be signed digitally?
    Good question.  You don't.  The subscriber's consent to use electronic contracts can be given electronically.  That is actually what the Disclosure and Consent to Electronic Communication is for, and it's approved electronically.  Be sure to use it with your electronic contracts.
no contract but owed money
    We have a customer that we did some Fire repair work for that does not want to pay the full amount of the repairs, he has offered to pay a little more than half.  We do not have anything in writing but do have an email acknowledgement that he owes for the repairs.  We made him a counter offer accepting 75% of the total invoice and he is refusing to pay.
    This job originally started out as a signed quoted job for a panel replacement and the customer paid a 50% deposit and we have not received the remaining 50%
    Since he is not paying the remaining 50% or the wire repair bill, we have given him a 10-day disconnect notice and he now has a new Company coming in to take over monitoring.   They are asking us for our Master code so they can get in to programming.    We do not give out our Master code and the Monitoring agreement he signed with us states that the programming is our property.
    How do you suggest we proceed with legal action and can you recommend someone in our area?
    I recommend that you accept the half offer and run.  Run to the bank with the check.  Then run back to the office and order the appropriate Standard Form Agreements, and next time, don't leave home without them.  In other words, do not do any security or fire work without a proper contract.  Here is where you get a proper contract: 
    I am curious because you say you have no contract but you do refer to a Monitoring Contract.  Not sure where you got that, but it covers only monitoring.  Since I my Standard Form Agreements came up with the idea of the alarm company retaining ownership of programming, you may have one of my contracts, hopefully obtained from me.  In any event, you need to get updated contracts and you need to understand that they do you little good if you don't use them.  I still say take the half and move on.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
516 747 6700