Written by Mr. Jim Hughes
Jim Hughes is a Board Member of the North Texas Crime Commission. He retired after 32 years with the Dallas Police Department and was Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration Narcotics Task Force at DFW Airport. Read more at Stealth Monitoring Welcomes Jim Hughes.
Technology and managed services today offer a great opportunity to both reduce crime and reduce losses incurred by the insurance industry. The insurance industry can be slow to change due to the multiple parties involved – the insurance company, the customer, and the service provider.
The solution is a team relationship among these parties that provides incentives to work together and ensures high standards. The customer pays for the technology and services. The security service provider implements the solution and continues as a partner to ensure protection is in place for the long term.
Insurance companies play a critical role. They can define standards and offer an incentive discount to the customer for implementing these standards. As a result, they can ensure they reduce their losses and everyone benefits.
Clearly the managed service security provider must have high standards and manage client expectations. All parties understand that a full solution will never stop all crimes. But appropriate standards will mitigate the losses. Experiences, success stories, testimonials and demos can be shared to understand the capabilities and limitations of the system so that all parties are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the system.
For example, the standards might be based on:
- Sufficient security cameras in and around the facility to cover all the blind and dark areas where the thief can gain access or vandalize. (businesses often install too few cameras to see all sides of the property.)
- Install rooftop cameras using infrared lighting to protect the HVAC, copper and rooftop access to tenants through skylights.
Power and Internet.
- Ensure redundant power and constant and reliable internet connectivity. Professional thieves can interrupt power sources or disable internet connectivity.
- Additional lighting will often deter criminal activity
High definition cameras.
- IP megapixel cameras are becoming more cost-effective and should replace older analog cameras that are not effective and often have blurry pictures.
New advanced technology is now available at lower prices to help achieve these standards. Still, many times the owner of a business will not spend the money to make this important security investment. Insurance companies can provide an incentive by offering a 10% discount for companies meeting these standards. As a result, the insurance industry will see the benefit of fewer losses.
Until one leader in the insurance industry steps forward, insurance losses will continue to rise. Professional criminals are always improving their methods. Incomplete security systems will always be penetrated. Criminals easily take advantage of gaps in coverage and inferior technology.
I had the opportunity to see a demonstration at Stealth Monitoring. I witnessed first hand their capabilities and examples of actual video footage captured and managed in real time. Stealth monitors over 20,000 video cameras real time for hundreds of customers across the US and Canada. They maintain high standards to deter and reduce crime with customized designs and applications and individual property protocols.
The insurance industry will never reduce their losses or see the benefits until they come to the table as a partner to help ensure high standards with the right incentives.