One of the greatest concerns for a company deploying a homeland security product or service is the large liability faced should an act of terrorism occur, despite the use of anti-terrorism technologies. Legal precedence has shown the liability exposure is large enough to cripple an entire enterprise. To incentivize the creation and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies and provide liability protection, Congress enacted the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 – SAFETY Act.
HOW IT WORKS
Once a company submits an application for a technology they have or wish to bring to market, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate evaluates it for coverage. The Department’s review process first determines the effectiveness of a technology’s anti-terrorism capability and then its potential liability exposure. If the application is approved, SAFETY Act protections limit the liability against damage or injury claims that allege failure of the technology or service.
TYPES OF COVERAGE
There are two levels of coverage provided to companies that manufacture, sell, or deploy SAFETY Act-approved technologies:
Designation: SAFETY Act Designation caps a company’s liability to a specific dollar amount, which the Department determines during the evaluation process. A subset of this category is Developmental Test and Evaluation Designation, designed for promising anti-terrorism technologies that are undergoing operational testing and evaluation.
Certification: SAFETY Act Certification grants companies the equivalent of the Government Contractor’s Defense, which is immunity from suit.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU’RE APPROVED
If approved for any level of SAFETY Act, your company and a non-proprietary description of your technology is listed on the Department’s SAFETY Act website. The Department also provides approved companies with the official SAFETY Act seal, which can be used for website advertising, conference exhibition booths and other marketing materials. This third-party validation by the Department provides a tremendous marketing advantage.
Another powerful benefit of certification is the flow down liability protection your customers receive. By choosing your SAFETY Act approved technology over an uncertified competitor, an end-user receives immunity from claims that attempt to place liability on them, providing a compelling market differentiation for your business.
OUR SAFETY ACT SERVICES
Catalyst Partners offers support with every step of the SAFETY Act application process. For many businesses, handling an application directly can be time consuming and burdensome. Catalyst’s experts hold the technical background, legal expertise, and federal and industry know-how to help your application succeed.
Our services are tailored to your specific needs. We provide a “turn-key” solution by crafting the entire application from step one, and we can also support an application that is moving slowly or has been stalled. What is more, Catalyst provides expert advice on structuring your insurance policies and refer you to trusted insurance brokers who understand SAFETY Act.