Will Liability Waivers Protect You?

Here’s a transcript to my podcast, “Will Liability Waivers Protect You?”

Welcome! I’m Tom Copeland. Thanks for listening.

This show is about the business side of child care and is for family child care providers and those who work in child care centers.

Today, I’m talking about “Will Liability Waivers Protect You?”

Caring for children in your center or home can be a risky business.

You know how easy it is for a child to be injured –

A child can slip and fall and break an arm

A child can be hit in the face by another child

A child can be injured while in a car or on a field trip

Or a child can get sick after eating lunch

Yes, many bad things can happen.

To try to reduce the risks associated with caring for children, some child care programs try to put a liability waiver into their contract.

Such liability waivers may read, “The child care program is not responsible for medical expenses resulting from an injury to a child in our program.”

Will this work? Will a liability waiver prevent a parent from successfully suing you? The answer is no, it won’t.

Liability waivers are not enforceable in court. This is because your clients can’t give up their right to sue you. Even the children in your care can sue you years later (usually up to age 18 or 21).

A child care provider once told me about a three-year old child who was seriously injured while in her program. Fifteen years later a lawyer for this child sued the child care provider, claiming that the child (now 18) could not work.

The best way to protect yourself from liability risks is to buy adequate business liability insurance.

If you have an insurance policy that has what’s called “occurrence” coverage you will be covered as long as you were insured when the injury occurred, even if you have been out of business for years as a family child care provider. In the above case the child care provider did not have insurance and was faced with hiring a lawyer to defend herself.

To protect yourself against a child who may later sue you, keep copies of all your business liability insurance policies until your business closes and the last child in your program turns age 18 or 21. Check with your state attorney general’s office for the age cutoff.

For more information about protecting your program from the risks associated with caring for children and all other aspects of the business of child care, visit my blog at www.tomcopelandblog.com. There I’ve posted hundreds of articles and other resources to help you succeed as a business.

Thanks for listening. This is Tom Copeland hoping you will listen in for my next broadcast at the Child Care Bar and Grill.

Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com

Categories: Legal, Legal & Insurance

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