Is this Legal? YES!!
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 particular, the law sates that a “signature, contract, or other record relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form; and a contract relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation” 15 U.S.C. § 7001 (a) (1) & (2).
But are there requirements in doing this?
Yes! And we make sure they are covered.
Section 101 of the ESIGN Act, sub-section (b), preserves the rights of individuals to NOT USE electronic signatures. Here the law provides that individuals reserve the right to use a paper signature. Sub-section (c) is in direct support of (b) by requiring a “Consumer Disclosure” that the signatory has consented to use an electronic format.
Section 101(c)(1)(C) states that the consumer also “consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the consumer can access information in the electronic form that will be used to provide the information that is the subject of the consent”
Retention of contracts and records
Section 101(d) provides that if a law requires that a business retain a record of a transaction, the business satisfies the requirement by retaining an electronic record, as long as the record “accurately reflects” the substance of the contract and is “accessible” to people who are entitled to access it “in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference, whether by transmission, printing or otherwise.”
Now we are not attorneys, or your insurance company, so I would tell you to make sure it’s ok with your insurance to use electronic waivers, but ours has no problem with it, and more and more people are using them in multiple industries. Heck, I signed a tax return electronically, I committed to a contract on a house with an electronic signature, I agreed to my field insurance with an electronic signature. It’s the digital age. And now it has come to your field!