The use of electronic waivers has become more prevalent within the Tour, Activity and Rental industry. While using electronic waivers will eliminate your need for paper waivers, solve your storage issues and save you time and money, you need to be aware of a concern about their use.
The largest issue you need to be concerned with is proving who actually signed your electronic waiver offsite from your facility. For example, when a customer arrives for their Tour, Activity or Rental reservation, how can you be certain that the person standing in front of you was the one who actually read the online waiver and signed it? With the majority of online waiver signing software only requiring someone to type in their name on the waiver, it is easy for a person to claim that they were not the one to sign the waiver and they had no idea there was risk involved with their Tour, Activity, or Rental. This situation opens you up to higher settlement amounts due to your not being able to prove the person was aware of the risks involved with your Tour, Activity, or Rental.
The perils of not knowing who signed waivers are being argued in courts today. According to the American Bar Association, electronic signatures present unique issues in litigation. For example, an electronic signer can more easily deny that he signed the document or didn’t have the authority to sign the document.
Mark and Barbara Fox, the founders of Indexic, a tour, activity, and rental reservation software company, and tour operators themselves wanted a better way of managing waivers. They knew the current method of handling offsite electronic signatures left them vulnerable to claims of “I didn’t sign that” and the corresponding legal actions that follow. Before developing their own method of signing waivers electronically, they reached out to The Rietz Law Firm, which was leading the charge on using electronic signatures in the tour industry. At one time, they were the legal counsel for the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), and the Stand-Up Paddle Industry Association (SUPIA).
The law firm advised that to be defendable in court, an at-home signed waiver needs to prove who signed the waiver but how you do that was unknown. This problem became Mark’s puzzle to solve, and he did it by introducing a video recording element to the offsite signing process. This process is unique to Indexic and when reviewed by The Rietz Law Firm, it was declared better than a wet signature for proving who signed the waiver. Thus, aWaiver was born.
aWaiver has two modes of use:
- Onsite Kiosk – an app downloaded on any current Apple or Android tablet. Customers use to sign your waiver onsite at your facility.
- Sign at Home link– captures the identity of the person signing the waiver via a videotaped statement.
Hear what Michael Fiem and Mike Malley of Tidal Wave Watersports have to say about their experience using aWaiver Click Here
In deciding on using electronic waivers for your Tour, Activity or Rental Company, be sure your electronic waiver signing software has the proper level of protection for you and your company against claims of “I didn’t sign that.” Your goal is to protect yourself and your company from unjustified litigation.