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Are insurers offering home owner coverage requiring video monitoring or offering more discount for that service
January 15, 2022
          Most of you are familiar with a customer’s request for a Certificate of Service.  This is a document you provide the customer so that the customer can present it to his insurance company in order to get coverage or get a discount in premium.  The form can also be used to confirm alarm coverage needed by a tenant for a landlord, an owner who has a mortgage, a commercial business needing theft and fire coverage and other situations.  
          The need for security or fire alarm protection in order to even get insurance is not uncommon.  This too has evolved over time, so that a simple burglar alarm or fire alarm is no longer acceptable to the insurance carrier [or other asking for the alarm coverage] unless there is also central station monitoring service.  Some carriers step it up by demanding UL central station coverage. 
          So the question is, are carriers now demanding video monitoring, either as primary protection or back-up verification of an emergency situation?  The answer seems to be that it’s not required.  Keep in mind that you will be asked for a Certificate of Service and there is a specific form for it; you need to be careful not to convey any rights to the carrier; your certificate needs to be informational only.
          I happen to think that video verification is valuable becoming popular, especially the video door bells.  Cameras offer a fairly reliable way to view in real time what’s going on at the subject premises to confirm a real or false alarm.  The added deterrent feature of visible cameras is also a significant addition to a security system.
          I asked the insurance experts on The Alarm Exchange and here are the responses I received.  You should support these insurance experts.

          I know that one carrier will offer credits for monitoring on fleet auto accounts. There are various credits that can be offered on auto fleets, and if filed with the state, an insurance company does have the option to offer that credit. Insurance companies also have other credits to offer and may do so in conjunction with a robust safety plan – to include video monitoring.
Tammy Rossi
Paris-Kirwan Associates, Inc
          I have not heard about any insurance carrier offering discount for video monitoring; could be beginning.
     Ralph A.Costa
     John T. Costa Agency,Inc 
     aka In California John T.Costa Insurance Agency,Inc
          That is a very vague question without specifics.  I will make some assumptions that the dealer is concerned the end users will not receive discounts on their home and business insurance policies without being video monitored?  And that the dealer uses that as one of his selling points to sign up new clients? 
          With more than 2000 insurance carriers offering property insurance in the USA, it is tough to say what each will do?  Most insurance carriers offer discounts in varying degrees.  For example:  a smoke detector, fire extinguisher, burglar alarm, fire alarm, fire suppression system, access control, video monitoring, etc.  Discounts typically can range from 1% up to 15% depending upon what degree of protection the end user has.  Some insurance carriers may stop offering one discount but will add another.  If the property owner isn’t happy with the discount or lack thereof, then I would recommend them reaching out to an independent agent that offers multiple options with multiple discounts. 
          If my assumptions are incorrect, then give us a better description and we can respond to the issues. 
  Talk to you soon.
Shawn Iverson, CIC
The Insurance Center        
          Most underwriters can justify rate discounts by a variety of “safer practices” being followed.  Sounds more like a sales line to me. 
Larry St John, CIC, CRM
Eclipse Marketing & Insurance Services
707.469.6776 x102
    I don’t have any carriers that require Video Monitoring in order to provide additional discounted rates.  It may go into the overall underwriting of risk which may play a factor in overall rates, however not directly tied to a % discount of any kind.    
Jeff Schulz, CIC, CRM
Managing Director, Commercial Division
J. Krug

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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