How Government Certified Video Surveillance Can Reduce Insurance Premiums

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Nov 15, 2013

If you can convince the Department of Homeland Security that your technology or plan can save lives in a terrorist attack, you may be able to get lower insurance premiums, according to a DHS official on a Security Industry Association webinar.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has been pushing the SAFETY Act as an incentive for companies and manufacturers to develop and use anti-terrorism technology. In return, it provides legal liability protection to organizations that manufacture or implement “technologies and services that could save lives in the event of a terrorist attack.”

These liability protections only apply to claims that result from a terrorist attack but limit the amount a company can be held responsible for if someone decides to sue later. Once a product is SAFETY Act certified, it can assert a government contract defense in court, whether or not it is actually a contractor.

“What we do is a complete analysis of the insurance industry related to the product or technology and we determine what a fair amount of insurance is that company should carry,” said Stephen Hancock, one of Homeland Security’s security industry liaisons. “The company is absolved of anything above that insurance limit.”

These protections also extend to end users.

SAFETY Act Categories

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Comments (1)

SAFETY act can be used to certify a product, or a process. So you can develop a system that is not based on specfic brands of products.

As I recall, SAFETY act caps liability at $10m under certain circumstances (consult your lawyer, not me) so I would certainly expect lower liability premiums since you'll need less coverage.

For quite a few years, there were specs requirements for SAFETY act, since it also limits the owner's liability. Most DOD contractors and many security integrators I know obtained certification/registration for some part of a security system, and as you note many manufacturer/vendors do as well. Since the process isn't that difficult- many companies I knew used an experienced lawyer, but others did it themselves, I would consider it a no-brainer from a business point of view.

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