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 [link no longer available]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

The act puts technologies into three categories based on perceived effectiveness (outlined in the chart below) and the term of the protections changes based on each category: 



Hancock says it takes about 120 days for DHS to evaluate the product and determine the insurance amount before certifying product and more than 600 applications have been approved since 2002.

Insurance Premium Reduction

DHS says companies have reported insurance premium reductions after receiving a SAFETY Act label.

“If [the insurance companies] don’t have to make multimillion dollar payouts, then maybe they don’t need to charge the same premiums they charge,” he said.

A company, however, is not given protection for anything they do, but only suits arising out of a terrorist act and where that product played a role. Despite that, Hancock says some venues has said their efforts to get certified have also led to lower premiums or less claims against the company after implementing better video surveillance technology. For example, one company reported its premiums went down after it added more cameras in pursuit of a SAFETY Act designation because the cameras better protected it from slip and fall claims. 

Companies Approved

DHS has a chart showing the size of companies getting SAFETY Act labels and a webpage to search approved technologies and companies [link no longer available].

We searched for some of the more well-known video-related companies and we found:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Also, guard company AlliedBarton has all of its guards approved.

DHS outlines the whole application process in an 88-page guide [link no longer available]. Does knowing the SAFETY Act could reduce premiums make you interested in applying [link no longer available] or finding out more information?

Comments (1) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Wyze Fires Back at JCI - Your Patents Are Invalid, Pay All Of Our Costs on Nov 18, 2019
Goliath JCI targeted startup Wyze this summer alleging the fast-growing consumer startup was violating a slew of JCI's patents. Now, Wyze has...
France Declares School Facial Recognition Illegal Due to GDPR on Oct 31, 2019
France is the latest European country to effectively prohibit facial recognition as a school access control solution, even with the consent of...
UK Facewatch GDPR Compliance Questioned on Aug 27, 2019
Even as the GDPR strictly regulates biometrics, a UK company called Facewatch is selling anti-shoplifter facial recognition systems to hundreds of...
First GDPR Facial Recognition Fine For Sweden School on Aug 22, 2019
A school in Sweden has been fined $20,000 for using facial recognition to keep attendance in what is Sweden's first GDPR fine. Notably, the fine is...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
San Francisco Face Recognition Ban And Surveillance Regulation Details Examined on May 14, 2019
San Francisco passed the legislation 8-1 today. While the face recognition 'ban' has already received significant attention over the past few...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
UK Camera Commissioner Calls for Regulating Facial Recognition on Apr 15, 2019
IPVM interviewed Tony Porter, the UK’s surveillance camera commissioner after he recently called for regulations on facial recognition in the...
UK Installer CCTV Aware - Flat Pricing, No Salespeople on Apr 10, 2019
This is a different kind of company. They do flat pricing, they do not have any salespeople and 50% of their sales are sold and booked...

Most Recent Industry Reports

FLIR New Coronavirus Prioritized Temperature Screening Camera Examined on Apr 03, 2020
FLIR has announced a new series of thermal cameras "prioritized for entities working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus", the A400/A700...
ADI Branch Burglary on Apr 03, 2020
A security systems distributor branch is an odd target for burglary but that happened this week at ADI's Memphis location. Vehicle Smash &...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to be "Your 24/7 Watchman" with advanced analytics and object...
Free IPVM Memberships For The Unemployed on Apr 02, 2020
IPVM is giving 3-month free memberships (regular price $99) for the unemployed, no questions asked. To get it, just contact us, your request...
Dahua Faked Coronavirus Camera Marketing on Apr 01, 2020
Dahua has conducted a coronavirus camera global marketing campaign centered around a faked detection. Now, Dahua has expanded this to the USA,...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video surveillance in the next 5 - 10 years. This is part of our Video...
USA's Seek Scan Thermal Temperature System Examined on Apr 01, 2020
This US company, Seek, located down the road from FLIR and founded by former FLIR employees is offering a thermal temperature system for the...
Terrible Convergint Coronavirus Thermal Camera Recommendation on Apr 01, 2020
A week after Convergint disclosed falling revenue, pay and job cuts, Convergint is touting 'extensive research' that is either grossly incompetent...
The IPVM New Products Online Show April 2020 Opens With 40+ Manufacturers on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce the first New Products Online show, with 40+ manufacturers, to be held April 14 to the 16th, free to IPVM members,...