Comment On Disclaimer Notice
    Recently one of the 800+ alarm companies insured by Security America Risk Retention Group (SARRG) ask me to review a set of contracts that you provided and I was pleasantly surprised that you have an agreement that I have never seen or heard of before. It is the “ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, SYSTEMS AND SERVICE DISCLAIMER NOTICE”.  I know now you refer to it often in your articles as the Disclaimer Notice.
    Additionally surprising is that the cost of this agreement is peanuts compared to the benefit it provides.  Cost is $175.00 which you informed me is the same price originally charged almost 10 years ago.
    The Disclaimer Notice is not a replacement for the Standard All-in-One contract forms that you make available to the low voltage electronic industry, but this is an absolute essential when an alarm company does a TAKE OVER of any system installed by another company or person.
    In today’s business environment many traditional service companies are presented with the opportunity to take over an existing system on a regular basis, and they should take them! However existing installations create special liability risks for the new company.  There can be installation mistakes buried in the walls or in the system programming that may not be obvious to the technician. 
    Additionally, the new customer may not be willing to pay the acquiring company for a comprehensive inspection and I know someone will reply that they won’t take a customer without a pre-inspection, but consider this, 1) the system may be large and the time to inspect without charging the customer may be prohibitive, 2) a complete inspection may require temporally removing items like keypads for connection quality from a painted wall which paint may be damaged, or 3) simply the customer may not allow you the time to do an inspection. 
    There are many more variables, but most importantly before the inspection starts there must be an All-in-One agreement in place, and then after the inspection this Disclaimer Notice which sets forth a method to list any and all deficiencies and allows the customer the opportunity to accept the responsibility not to repair.
    The other point of brilliance of this Disclaimer is that it discusses other technologies and services that are available from the service provider and sets forth a manner in which the consumer first acknowledges the discussion and then declines the same and accepts ALL of the responsibility of their decision.
    As the Executive Claims Manager for SARRG, I would be very happy to defend a claim that had both the All-in-One and this Disclaimer, whether a new installation or if the account was a takeover. I recommend that all dealers start using this Disclaimer Notice, it's important! 
Bart A. Didden
Executive Claims Manager
Security America Risk Retention Group – SARRG

    Thanks for the endorsement.  The Disclaimer Notice is not an Agreement, but an acknowledgment from the subscriber that additional equipment and services were discussed and available, and declined.  Additionally the Disclaimer Notice addresses take over situations where the subscriber does not want inspection, acknowledges that inspection has revealed system deficiencies and the subscriber either wants to system repaired or left as is.
    Even though the All in One Agreements adequately cover the additional equipment and services issues I believe it's prudent to have the Disclaimer Notice signed by the subscriber.  The reason is that too often subscribers try to circumvent or have the contract declared void or unenforceable for a variety or reasons, often claims of fraudulent inducement or lack of understanding or clarity of terms.  The Disclaimer Notice reinforces some very important defense issues and will be useful when defending a claim for a loss or dealing with subscriber dissatisfaction in system design or function.  
    Use the Disclaimer Notice in conjunction with the Standard All in One Agreements, make sure you have your E&O insurance in place, and sleep easy knowing you have protected yourself as best you can.

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Alarm Association of Greater St. Louis.   September 16, 2014.  at Tech Electronics HQs office at 6437 Manchester  Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139.  Meeting is from 11:45 – 1:30  Video conference presentation starting at 12:15 CST.  For more information or to register contact Tony Drago adrago@tyco.com  www.alarmstl.org
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