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who handles your collections - now we will if you qualify / primer on additional insureds
July 6,  2017
who handles your collections - now we will if you qualify
    I'm prompted to write today's article on collections because a client who just asked me to handle a collection matter for him let me know that he was told a few years ago by my office that we couldn't help him. 
    Collection matters are not the most important item on your agenda, but sometimes a subscriber who defaults just rubs you the wrong way and you don't want to let the sub get away with breaching the contract. We also know that the attrition rate in the alarm industry can run from 3 to 14 percent. That's a lot of subscribers dropping off; many of them are breaching their contract and owe the balance of the term and possibly for value of installed equipment.  The numbers can add up if your company has contracts with fixed terms as opposed to month to month relationship that can be canceled any time.
    Who best to pursue your defaulting subscriber than the who wrote the contract?  Who best than a law firm that specializes in the alarm industry and understands the industry from contracts, collections, defense of claims, transactional matters from buying to selling?  A dedicated staff of lawyers and paralegals assigned to do nothing but alarm law all day every day.  But how can a NY based law firm help you when you're in a different state?  The arbitration clause in the Standard Form Agreement enables Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum to initiate an arbitration proceeding against your defaulting subscriber.  So what qualifies you as one of our collection clients?  You have to be using the Standard Form Agreement with the arbitration clause in it.  
    What's our charges?  You pay out of pocket expenses and we receive one-third of what we collect.  If we salvage your subscriber [which my staff is trained to do] we do get our fee [which will be based on what we would have gotten in the case or how much work we have done before a reinstatement is accepted] but usually get it from the subscriber who wants to reinstate.  
    To become a collection client of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum contact our head paralegal Kathleen Lampert at 516 747 6700 x 319 or email her at   You can also contact me to discuss the process in more detail.
primer on additional insureds - comment on June 20, 2017 article
    You’re right: not all additional insureds are equal.  And we’re regularly seeing that when a dealer works with larger commercial customers, i.e. large home builders or property management firms, those customers’ Additional Insured requirements are getting more onerous because those large commercial firms are trying to transfer as much of their exposure back to their vendors (including the alarm companies) as possible.
    The good news is that most of these items are negotiable: alarm companies may be able to get their large commercial customers to waive some of those requirements, and those that can’t be waived can often be built into an alarm company’s liability policy at renewal (IF they’re working with a knowledgeable broker) so they don’t get nickeled and dimed throughout the year.
    Here’s a quick list of the most commonly requested Additional Insured forms and what they do:

  • Blanket Additional Insured endorsement (i.e. CG 20 10 04/13 edition): provides standard Additional Insured status to all entities to whom you are contractually obligated while you are on their premises for your ongoing operations.  This is considered the “normal” endorsement to have on your policy.  All of the following are considered expansions beyond that.
  • Additional Insured endorsement with Products/Completed Operations coverage (i.e. CG 20 37 04/13 edition): extends the Additional Insured status offered above to also include Completed Operations (=you’re covering your customer for life)
  • Primary/Non-Contributory wording: for claims involving mixed negligence where your customer might also have some fault/responsibility, your policy agrees to pay out first (=be the first target in the firing line) until its policy limits are exhausted.
  • Waiver of Subrogation: in claims involving mixed negligence where your customer might have some fault/responsibility, and your policy pays out first, your policy agrees to waive any rights of recovery against your customer.
  • Per-Project Aggregate: your policy agrees that it’s Aggregate is completely replenished and 100% available with respects to any claims on this particular project, even in cases where your policy has already paid out on a claim related to another project during that same policy-term (which would otherwise reduce your remaining available Aggregate limit).

    If an alarm company discovers that one of their customers accepted a certain level of coverage previously, and now is trying to require a higher level, there’s usually a good opportunity to negotiate to get the new requirement waived again, or else adjust the bid/contract to include any additional insurance cost the new requirement is creating.
Larry St John, CIC
Eclipse Marketing & Insurance Services
707.469.6776 x102 
    Look, alarm guys are not supposed to be insurance experts [or legal experts].  You [and I am talking to the alarm guys] need a knowledgeable insurance broker who understands your business, your industry and especially the kind of contractual demands that are regularly made by your customers,subscribers and vendors.  
    You should be using a broker on The Alarm Exchange.  If you happen to have a great broker who knows the industry, then ask him or her to get on The Alarm Exchange.  It's a free listing.  Getting listed isn't hard and you get to stay on as long as I don't get complaints from alarm dealers about your services that can't be corrected.  
    Thanks to all the brokers who offered input to clarify this particularly vexing issue, especially Larry who went above and beyond to explain the nuances of the various provisions.


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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
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