Update 8/10/15: This position has been filled.
Exciting times here at Smartwaiver headquarters. We've seen explosive growth over the past few years and are now hoping to accelerate our success with the addition of an Outbound Sales Manager. We're looking for a passionate, customer-focused sales pro who is excited to spread the good Smartwaiver word and help companies from all industries ditch their old, archaic waiver-managing ways.
Because this is a new position, the person in this role will have the unique opportunity to directly shape the growth of an exciting SaaS tech company. And bonus: they'll get to do it in beautiful Bend, Oregon!
If you or someone you know would like to join our smart, dedicated team please visit our Jobs Page to apply.
One of the most useful features of Smartwaiver is the ability to view and manage your smart waivers across multiple devices. Whether you're on a desktop computer, tablet or your smartphone using the Waiver Console app, you’re never more than a click away from your signed waivers.
And now, thanks to wearable technology, you can even be notified when a smart waiver is signed from your smartwatch! This is welcome news for those who like to keep tabs on their business away from the office or when a smartphone might be out of reach.
All you need to do to make the magic happen is download the Waiver Console app to your smartphone or tablet, and enable Notifications in the Settings. With Notifications enabled and your smartwatch and smartphone/tablet synced, you’ll start receiving a pop-up message on your Apple Watch or Android Wear device, alerting you each time a participant signs and submits a smart waiver. That’s a whole lot of smart!
As a professor of sports law at Syracuse University and a lead editor of the book, “Law for Recreation and Sports Managers”, attorney John Wolohan knows a thing or two about release of liability waivers. Below, Mr. Wolohan briefly explains some of the basics of waiver law and the benefits of using digital smart waivers.
The Waiver Basics
John Wolohan, J.D.
While it is undeniable that electronic waivers, signed by an adult, can be an effective tool in protecting sport and recreation providers from negligence liability, some organizations may still have questions about what a waiver is and the benefits of going digital.
Before considering electronic waivers, it is important to understand how the courts have traditionally viewed waivers. Basically, a waiver is a contract in which a person agrees to relinquish his or her right to sue the service provider in any event the participant is injured due to the provider’s simple negligence.
When reviewing the legality of waivers, therefore, the courts will apply fundamental contract principals. As such, it should be noted that depending on the jurisdiction and how well the waiver is written, the majority of courts will uphold the legality of the electronic waiver. In addition to contract law, it should be noted that electronic waivers and other electronic contracts are also governed by two additional laws: the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN), at the national level, and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) at the state level.
E-SIGN, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000, is designed to give legal protection to online or electronic contracts and give them the same weight as paper transactions. In addition to clarifying the legality of online or electronic contracts, E-SIGN also clarifies what constitutes an electronic signature. Under E-SIGN “the term “electronic signature” means an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record”
And while clicking on or checking a box to accept the terms of the waiver may be protected by the courts, the “smart waiver,” by allowing the user/participant to actually sign the form electronically provides even stronger legal protection in the courts' eyes. With the user/participant’s signature as evidence, it is clear that the individual signed the document and understood what he or she was signing.
Another benefit of digital smart waivers is that the waivers make it simple to include a statement concerning which jurisdiction or state laws will apply in the case of a lawsuit. The reason this is so important with online or electronic waivers is because you do not want to be defending a lawsuit in an out of state court. A real possibility in today’s electronic age, since most state courts are willing to exercise jurisdiction over out-of state and international businesses if they believe that the business, by purposely soliciting commercial activity from out of state participants, has sufficient commercial activity within the state to make jurisdiction reasonable.
ONLINE WAIVER CHECKLIST
The following checklist is designed specifically for sport and recreation administrators, but should be followed when writing any type of waiver. Important to note: when drafting your waiver the language should always be reviewed by an attorney familiar with your industry and state laws.
Again, if you have any questions about the legal language in your waiver, be sure to consult your legal adviser. If you have any questions about formatting your waiver and converting it into a smart waiver, contact the Smartwaiver Team.
- Attorney John T. Wolohan (email@example.com) is a professor of sports law at Syracuse University.
One of the most frequent comments we hear from our users is: “We love using Smartwaiver, but we would love it even more if it were integrated with our CRM.”
Well, we would love it if Smartwaiver were integrated with your CRM too! That’s why we developed an extensive API; a set of code rules that programmers can use to create a direct integration between Smartwaiver and other web-based software programs.
Several software companies have done some pretty great things with the Smartwaiver API, like:
Our friends over at Burble Software, a dropzone management solution for skydiving facilities, have been using Smartwaiver’s API and webhooks to streamline the online reservation process for both jumpers and businesses.
The set up for the business couldn't be easier. Dropzones need to simply copy the unique API key from their Smartwaiver account and paste it into their Burble account settings.
Once the two are set up to talk to each other, the information from Smartwaiver is immediately sent to Burble after a waiver is signed and then attached to a current or future reservation. The dropzone can then view the status of the jumper’s waiver in their Burble account.
The integration provides a seamless experience for the customer signing the waiver and makes it easier for the staff to keep track of the waiver in their reservation system.
You Too Can Have a Direct Integration
If you use a web-based CRM or POS that you think could be enhanced with a direct Smartwaiver integration, take a couple minutes to contact your software company. Email, call, tweet, post your request and simply let them know that having your smart waivers directly integrated with their software would make your life a whole lot better. Feel free to copy and paste the language below.
"Hi. Our company uses Smartwaiver for online digital waivers. It would greatly benefit our company to see a direct integration between you and Smartwaiver. Please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an integration started."
If you are a software company wanting to use our RESTful API and need some help setting it up, shoot us an email to let us know. We’re happy to help in any way we can.
For any business that’s had to deal with paper waivers, the decision to move to Smartwaiver is pretty obvious. Ditching the paper and using Smartwaiver saves time and frustration for both the business and their customers while providing valuable business insights. For smart, forward-thinking insurance companies the benefits are just as clear: secure, online storage, security features like Certificate of Authenticity and Auto Photo Capture on every waiver, required fields, and so on...
One of our smart, forward-thinking insurance partners, Affiliate Guard Insurance, wanted to share their thoughts on why they recommend Smartwaiver and going digital.
Digital Smart Waivers Versus Paper: Why It Matters
By: Vaughn Vernon, Owner, Affiliate Guard Insurance
Affiliate Guard provides insurance for over 20 percent of the 10,000 CrossFit gyms worldwide. And while the experience at every box is different, one thing most athletes can expect at the front door is the same: they must sign a waiver before stepping foot on the rubberized floor.
Today my clients can choose between offering paper or digital waivers to their athletes. Right now, more than half of our clients use digital waivers, and we are working toward increasing that to 100 percent for a number of reasons.
The first reason why is also the most obvious: you never have to physically look for an online waiver in the event you get drawn into suit. Most CrossFit owners are community-builders and athletes, not file clerks. It’s easy to misplace a piece of paper when space, time and personnel resources are tight.
Storage is an issue for so many box owners, and digital smart waivers are stored in the cloud. If you move your location, you won’t have to worry about moving files, cabinets, or papers. Smart waivers are safely kept in your online storage system and easily found in the event you should need them.
And you may need them. Most states require that waivers be kept for a minimum of three years after they’re filled out. If you live in the sunshine state of Florida, you need to keep them for five years. That adds up!
A small box sees hundreds of clients in a year, and a larger box could see thousands through competitions and trials. If you sell your business, you are still personally responsible for anyone that draws said box into suit for a minimum of two years afterward, and more in some states.
Even if your organization is dissolved, the box changes name, and you have a whole new life, YOU still need to be in possession of your former athletes’ waivers. It’s not wise to trust anyone who buys your box to keep these important papers. Go digital and they’ll always be a click away.
Here’s some advice that I tell my clients: Every single person that walks through your doors needs a waiver. I don’t care how busy you are, if your printer ran out of toner, or your head coach forgot to get the copies made. You must protect yourself. Athletes can get hurt doing CrossFit, spectators can get hurt watching CrossFit, and if there’s no signed waiver, you are on the hook for their injuries.
Less than ten times in my career I have seen a box owner drawn into suit without a waiver in hand. The reason why matters not. It could have been misplaced or damaged in a fire. The box dog could have swallowed it whole. Whatever the reason is, if you enter court without a waiver, you are going into a gunfight with a butter knife.
Not on my watch! Transfer to a digital platform like Smartwaiver, and you will be good to go. It takes only a few minutes to train your team on how to digitally sign someone in. You will thank yourself in the long run.