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which insurance and contract needed for DIY video customer / sharing programming codes April 6, 2018

KEN KIRSCHENBAUM, ESQ
ALARM - SECURITY INDUSTRY LEGAL EMAIL NEWSLETTER / THE ALARM EXCHANGE
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which insurance and contract needed for DIY video customer / sharing programming codes
April 6, 2018
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which insurance and contract needed for DIY video customer
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Ken
    We offer DIY equipment and professional monitoring.  I would like to find out what insurance policy we should carry?  Also, one of our customers wants his cameras viewed under our monitoring station's Platform. This platform will have one camera to be viewed when in alarm or motion by a human operator at the monitoring station who will do two things: First, contact the customer and second, dispatch the local authorities if they view a break-in or other cause of activation that requires a response.  We purchased the 
Residential All in One agreement and Disclaimer Notice.  Will this be enough for the customer to sign to avoid liability?
    Thank you,
AO
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Response
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    Though you aren't going to be entering any customer's premises for installation you will still need a General Liability Policy with alarm industry Errors and Omission coverage.  Check 
The Alarm Exchange for a list of alarm industry insurance carriers and brokers.  Be sure to call SARRG.
    The 
Residential All in One could be the appropriate contract, but not likely for a DIY business model; I'd have to have more information.  The Residential All in One can be used for DIY systems when you are selling the system and monitoring services in a traditional way, ie, face to face, as you would a system to be installed.
    But the DIY model lends itself to nationwide marketing and sales, usually over the Internet or telephone solicitation, or both, or distribution through national chains.  The customer buys the equipment, self installs, and then signs an Agreement for monitoring the system.  The monitoring agreement can be for self-monitoring when you are charging the customer for the monitoring platform [when signal goes through a third vendor receiver and then directly to the customer's cell phone] or when the system is to be professionally monitored.  The appropriate contract for this model is the 
Nationwide DIY form [there is also a Nationwide PERS form] because your sales and monitoring agreements are going to be with customers from all over the country, not limited to your local geographical areas.  
    Because your customers are going to be residential consumers, for the most part, and because the consumer laws are not uniform, we have a Nationwide Agreement that addresses the consumer laws in all the jurisdictions.  You [and your insurance carrier] don't want to find out that the "protective" provisions in your contract that you rely on to defend a claim won't be enforced because of some failure to comply with a consumer law.  While you always run that risk, you want to try and stay ahead of that problem.  Use the 
Nationwide Agreement [DIY or PERS] and carry alarm industry E&O insurance.
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sharing programming codes
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Ken
    For many years we have been servicing a group of commercial locations that have their own remote central station. Recently they have told us they have acquired remote programming software and want to begin to program their own keypad combinations. The software they claim to have would give them full access to the entire program. 
    They claim they want both of us to have full access to the panel programs. Of course this means divulging lockout codes. We would retain the customer for installation, repair and updates. We are entertaining this mutual full access to the program but we want to make sure our liability is protected. What specific wording in the 
Standard Form Agreement does this? If it does not address the issue can you recommended some terminology
name withheld
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Response
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    You are wise to be concerned, but you can adequately address this issue in the 
Commercial All in One by describing the system and relationship in the Schedule of Equipment and Services.  You will want to use a unique code for this system and not one used by you for most or all of your systems.  Full access to programming may require the manufacturer's authorization if you have been licensed to use the programming codes.  I am not talking about programming a panel, but source codes to change the programming.  
    The 
Commercial All in One has the necessary terminology to protect you.  You will have to describe the services in the Schedule of Equipment and Services.  You can also add a provision in the Disclaimer Notice that you will not be responsible for the customer's system once it does any self-programming.  You can agree to Repair Service on a per call basis, and that would include any corrected programming you have to perform.  
    Self monitoring systems in a commercial complex is not that unusual.  Often a security central is on-site and performing the monitoring.  If you're adding to this arrangement the self-programming feature I don't see any additional exposure once you include specific language that you have programmed the system, it works, and once the subscriber programs it you will not be responsible for its operation.  
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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
ken@kirschenbaumesq.com
516 747 6700
www.KirschenbaumEsq.com