By Blake Ng — 23 Aug 2018
Updated 28 May 2021 – No matter what type of action and adventure your company provides its customers with, it’s important to cover your ground legally. There is a certain amount of risk and liability associated with each type of tour and activity, and all tour operators should have their patrons sign liability release forms for protection.
A liability release form protects your business from being held liable in the event of an accident, injury or damage as a result of the tour or activity. It is common for travel-related businesses and tour operators to have their customers sign liability release waivers in order to reduce their business liability and protect their assets.
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The following tips can help you create a liability release form for your tour or activity:
You should start by researching the various types of liability releases and disclaimers that are usable in court. According to Travel Agent Central, there are two main types of disclaimers that can be used by people in the travel industry:
The most common disclaimer used by those in the tourism industry is the third party disclaimer, which states the services that will be provided by the company and informs the customer that the company is not responsible for any loss, theft, damage or personal injury that occurs during a particular tour or activity.
The negligence disclaimer can be more difficult to craft, and often must include other requirements before it can be considered legally valid. It might be best to avoid this type of disclaimer when creating a liability release form.
If you prefer to write your own liability release, contact a lawyer to complete the language for you. A legal professional can consult with you about the various activities you offer and your legal needs as a business.
The National Tour Association recommends that tour operators include an Assumption of Risk and a Liability Release portion of their form:
While it provides these recommendations, the NTA notes that all tour businesses should have their own legal counsel craft and review their legal documentation and forms.
Many tour companies use third-party contractors to provide their guests with a particular excursion. If that is the case for your company, contact the third-party supplier about their own liability release forms. You may be able to use their form for your guests.
If you do intend to use the same form as the third party supplier, make sure that all business parties are aware that the forms are being used by your customers. Have legal counsel from both your company and the third party contractor review the form and decide if it is the best choice for your business.
Some trade associations will provide members with liability release form waivers that can be used by members in their businesses.
For instance, the diving trade association PADI offers a liability release form that can be used by any business that offers PADI scuba diving experiences.
The form that is provided by PADI addresses several different issues throughout it:
Knowing that the form you use is a standard set by your industry association will give you (and your customers) more confidence that you haven’t left anything out.
A liability release form is an important part of any tour and activity business, as it protects you legally and helps to limit the amount of liability you take on. This can help with your insurance costs and ultimately allow you to increase your profit margin.
It’s important to inform your guests of the liability release form at the time of booking. Remind your customers that they should take the time to read over the form and agree to its terms and conditions before signing the paperwork. This is a legally-binding document, and your patrons should be aware of its significance.
Once you have a liability release crafted for your business, make sure you collect a signed copy from every single customer. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the process of providing your customers with the experience of a lifetime!
Liability release forms and waivers are extremely important to protecting your business. However, creating and using liability waivers can be extremely time-consuming. Rezdy is all about helping you save time.
That’s why we’ve got an exclusive offer for Rezdy customers. Wherewolf is the leading digital waiver solution, they’ll help you craft your waiver and manage them digitally! For any Rezdy customer that signs up for an annual contract with Wherewolf, the $1500 set up fee with WhereWolf will be waived. Click the link to redeem.
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