SWG Secure: How Monitoring Services are Changing Commercial Security

Jun 2020

Unforeseen circumstances can put strain on resources in any industry, and the demands created by COVID-19 have put the security industry under considerable pressure.


Security guards are having to do more. From checking people’s temperatures to avoid sick people entering a building to patrolling empty buildings, security guards have stepped up in unusual ways to be the eyes and ears of commercial premises.


In late March of this year, Vancouver police report they are now seeing an average of four commercial break-ins a day compared to their normal average of one per day. With local police already too preoccupied to get more involved, security patrol and property crime detectives are being increasingly called upon to monitor the area. (1)


According to the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 333, there were 1,500 security jobs immediately available in Ontario, but many would-be applicants can’t take the licensing tests they need because government offices are closed. (2)


In this rapidly changing landscape, security organizations are taking advantage of the new technologies and increasingly IT-based products in the security alarm space.


Monitoring Security Overview and Trends


In the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, there has been an increasing demand for security systems monitoring in commercial buildings as heightened security measures become the standard. Monitoring and alarm services can track a probable crime in progress and dispatch appropriate security.


Live video monitoring allows a site to be monitored continuously, at designated times, from an offsite signal receiving facility. To help determine the best response protocol, video alarms are often verified by pairing real-time video data with an independent alarm signal. Most privacy laws require the organization conducting video surveillance to post a clear notice about the use of cameras on its premises before individuals enter the premises. This gives people the option of not entering the premises if they object to the surveillance. (3)


Increasingly, alarm communications have gone cyber, where the alarm system communicates with signal-receiving centres or subscribers via the internet through cellular alarms or voice over IP. This enables business owners to monitor their security systems themselves, through their smartphone or tablet. These wireless security systems are also beneficial for business owners who rent office space: no drilling is required, and all the equipment is easy to pack up and move.


Soon, security systems trends are expected to integrate formerly separate systems of a business – burglar alarms, fire alarms, lighting systems, HVAC, energy conservation systems, and employee records – into one cloud-based control centre.


Another growing trend in the security monitoring space is the popularity of biometric-based access control, which eliminates the risk of access card theft by using fingerprints, facial recognition, and retina scans instead.


As the coronavirus triggers significant changes in workplaces, whether it’s towards a working-from-home model or towards heightened premises surveillance, security risks and exposures continually evolve. New implications for employee and personal privacy, new cyber threats, and the possibility of system failures and other mishaps means that security businesses need a unique kind of protection


The SWG Secure Advantage


SWG SECURE Security Services Insurance provides coverage not normally offered by traditional insurers. Our program takes into account all factors relevant to your client’s situation, helping to avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. You can trust us to evaluate the complete risk picture, offering coverage for all potential exposures, including failure to perform, bodily injury, advertising liability, legal expenses, property damage, and a host of other circumstances.


You may have turned down this type of high-risk client in the past, but with South Western Group’s support, you can provide a wide range of coverage options at fair and competitive prices.


Coverage Highlights


Commercial General Liability (Occurrence Form):

● Failure to Perform

● Personal Injury

● Fire Extinguishing Agent Release

● Products & Completed Operations

● Legal Expense & Defense Cost Reimbursement – $25,000 Each Occurrence; $25,000 Annual Aggregate

● Bodily Injury and Property Damage – Broad Form

● Non-Owned Auto (including physical damage)

● Incidental Malpractice

● Contingent Employers Liability

● Employee Benefits Liability – Claims Made – $1,000,000 Limit

● Tenants Legal Liability – $250,000 Sub-Limit

● Lost Key Cover – $50,000 Sub-limit

● Blanket Additional Insured’s Clause

● Subcontractor Protocol

Other Coverage Available:

● Property Insurance

● Business Interruption – Profits/Gross Earnings/Extra Expense

● Crime Coverage – Employee Dishonesty – Form A

● Fidelity – third party feature

● Cyber Liability

● Employee Benefits Liability

● Employers Liability

● Mechanical Breakdown

● Errors and Omissions – Claims Made – $250,000 Limit Each Occurrence; $250,000 Annual Aggregate (higher limits available)

Visit our website for more details.


Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.



  1. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/break-ins-quadruple-in-vancouver-as-stores-shut-for-covid-19-1.4868855
  2. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/05/03/security-guards-in-high-demand-face-more-stress-on-job-during-covid-19-pandemic.html
  3. http://www.canasa.org/CANASA/Documents/Monitoring%20Station/MonitoringStationReferenceGuide_0317_EN.pdf