This Is What You Need to Do to Reduce Liability

Posted by Chris O' Rourke on August 12, 2019

Businesses may not worry about liability because they think insurance will take care of it. However, general liability insurance doesn't always cover it. Liability can greatly affect companies in many ways.

Even if the insurance company approves of a claim, it can take a while. This could hurt your business because you'll be at a standstill waiting for payment to move forward with repairs or a replacement. That's why it's essential for businesses to take steps to limit liability.

Liability Insurance

General liability insurance or business liability insurance can protect you from claims such as property damage and personal injury that occur on your property. Moreover, the insurance also takes care of any medical and legal costs should someone sue your company for damages.

If you can't determine and prove who is responsible for the incident, then it's not an easy case to win. It will send insurance premiums soaring when a company loses the court case. Implementing the right security solution can help resolve these challenges.

Liability in Shopping Centers, Apartments, and Offices

Any accidents and injuries that occur on the property can turn into a liability issue. Building managers have a responsibility to keep the property safe for employees, tenants, visitors, and vendors.

Parking is one of the greatest areas of commercial property and apartment liability. The Bureau of Justice reports that more than 10 percent of property crimes took place in parking lots or garages over a four-year period.

It may surprise you that accidents and injuries are one of the more common problems affecting commercial buildings and apartments. People tend to sit for long periods and rarely run into safety hazards. Except buildings contain a lot of electronics, which means lots of long cables and wire strewn everywhere. This and furniture can increase fall risk.

According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 260,000 employees missed at least one day of work due to injuries from a fall. The National Safety Council says these preventable injuries cost employers and the government $696 billion every year.

Construction Liability and Fraud

The construction industry deals with a unique set of liability situations. That's why many construction managers spend much of their time managing liability and minimizing risk. They need to make sure that the company follows the many required processes and procedures. Management works to execute the construction process in accordance with code and abide environmental requirements.

Construction managers rely on their sub-trades to perform their duties as specified. However, if they fail to maintain compliance, the general contractor could be at risk. Further, the industry also deals with billing fraud, which is when a contractor exaggerates the amount of labor, materials, or equipment needed for a project.

Regardless of what protocols and processes your company has in place, construction sites have dangerous equipment and materials. Employees make mistakes. They can forget to adhere to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines working in extreme temperatures or feeling fatigued. Fortunately, there's a solution to limit property liability in construction.

How to Cut Liability Risk

You might think the best way to protect liability is with security guards, but security guards can increase liability for your property. Yes, guards patrolling your property stand ready to react and respond to an emergency. They can also ensure everyone's safety by escorting people to their vehicles.

Nonetheless, guards cannot be in multiple locations at the same time. Even if management posts the security guards in the high-risk areas, they can miss something. And one security guard rarely suffices. The more guards you hire, the higher the cost will rise exponentially.

Besides, news stories reveal that security guards end up creating bigger and more expensive problems. It happens more than you think. In Montreal, two security guards working opposite 12-hour shifts overlooked an open window in a building's daycare. This led to the pipes freezing and bursting, thereby flooding the building. The damages exceeded $1 million.

A licensed security guard in Nevada shot an employee by accident while targeting the robber. You can easily find more stories like these. In short, security guards are not police officers. They don't have the same training and requirements for the job. Some don't have the license to carry a weapon.

One very effective way to mitigate liability is with remote video monitoring. The very presence of security cameras can make incidents less likely to occur and they can help prove liability. If an incident happens outside of monitoring hours, a video review team can analyze recorded footage. This can be used as evidence in property damage liability cases. Security camera footage can also help with your defense against false claims.

Proactive video monitoring does more than mitigate liability and fraud. It can deter crime. During monitoring hours, a trained operator watches for unusual activity on the property in real-time. Upon spotting a problem, trained operators contact the police to provide real-time reports. Often, the police appear on the scene and arrest the suspects before they do damage.

How Live Video Monitoring Saves on Insurance Premiums

Simply put, the higher the risk you present to your insurance company, the higher the premium you pay. The presence of a video surveillance system can lower the risk of your company becoming a victim of criminal activity.

Implementing a video security system communicates to your insurance provider that you're taking steps to protect your business. That can make you less of a liability. Some security companies can help you work with your insurance provider to lower your premiums.

Video surveillance helps protect liability by recording the activity and providing proof. It shows that your company did not intentionally violate safety protocols. It provides you with support in a potential lawsuit.

Important Considerations for Live Video Surveillance

In mitigating liability, the first thing to do is to find an experienced company that has the right tools and equipment for the job. That's because some security companies end up jeopardizing the safety of the commercial property they're trying to protect. This happens when they do not follow safety and health protocols in installing equipment.

You want to hire a security provider that can record and store evidence for a minimum timeframe. The longer they store video footage, the better. Occasionally, a company may find out about an event that happened weeks afterward. In this situation, you want a security specialist who knows how to search and analyze hours and hours of footage.

Is video surveillance a liability? No. Video monitoring decreases liability. And there are court cases that bolster this argument.

Some businesses install cameras but have no one watching the cameras. They believe the sight of cameras alone can send potential criminals scurrying away. Pairing cameras with "area under video surveillance " signs, can decrease your risk, but not enough.

Depending on cameras without video monitoring lulls employees, clients, and visitors into a false sense of security. In seeing the cameras and signs, they think someone is watching or recording. This turns unmanned cameras into a liability. What's the point of installing cameras if no one is watching them?

Benefits of Remote Video Surveillance

Injuries and theft aren't the only challenges found in commercial properties. They also deal with trespassing, vandalism, arson, and inclement weather. With remote video surveillance, someone can safely watch your property no matter what happens on the site. Trained operating monitors watch your cameras in a safe location away from the site.

See videos of what this looks like and how it impacts liability:

Another option is to integrate an audio deterrent with live video monitoring. The operator uses the audio speaker to talk to the suspect. This often sends suspects running off without committing a crime. Even without the audio feature, the operator will contact the police and stay on the line until they catch the suspect.

Proactive remote video security combines video analytics and human intelligence to deliver the highest level of security 24/7. In implementing a live video monitoring solution, you gain many benefits.

Here are some benefits of video surveillance:

  • Liability protection: Provides evidence of incidents related to accidents and injuries for insurance claims and lawsuits.
  • Faster response times: Trained operators can catch something before and when it happens. They contact the police to provide real-time updates.
  • 24/7 monitoring: During the day, you want to make sure everyone is safe and working efficiently. At night, monitoring can deter trespassers and prevent damage.
  • Complete site coverage: Cameras can see more at once including areas where security guards can't see.

The system delivers savings in multiple ways. It can reduce theft, increase productivity, cut risk, and save on insurance premiums. With a video system, companies can reduce or skip the use of security guards. Investing in video monitoring will result in a quick ROI and perhaps increase revenues.

Management gains peace of mind knowing that someone always has eyes on the property and the system records all suspicious activity. You can't put a price on that.

You have many security options available when you work with Stealth Monitoring. You get a customized security plan that fits your needs. To learn more about remote video monitoring, please contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Monitoring