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Old 05-03-04, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
Jeff Hathaway
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
Age: 46
Posts: 460
Hey BW,

Great release form, and thanks for posting it. I hope that some of the people out there doing programs without insurance will make use of it.

Having said that, a couple of further thoughts:

1) Minors (under 18) cannot legally waive their rights. However, generally their parents cannot either (though some very specific waivers signed by parents have been considered to be acceptable to the courts if they clearly show that the benefit to the child was worth the theoretical risk). This creates a difficult situation regarding children at programs.

2) "control of the animal... ...shall not be compromised" If there is ever a bite, scratch, etc., it would be reasonably argued that "control" must have been compromised for it to occur. I would remove this phrase, and suggest that minor bites, scratches, etc., while unlikely, are part of the risk that participants willingly accept. Also, with respect to this sentence, how could you teach someone to handle a snake without relinquishing control? I'm thinking here especially of training programs for animal control staff, etc.

3) At public events, where access isn't specifically controlled, there is rarely a chance that either party could enforce handwashing (or washing of any contact area?). In many cases, for us, handwashing facilities are non-existent (outdoor festivals, parks, etc.).

4) In the corporate world, I doubt that this waiver would be sufficient to convince them to hire someone. Virtually all of the shopping malls, resorts, etc. now not only require you to have insurance, they also require you to have your underwriter issue a certificate stating it and adding their venue as an 'additional named insured' on your own insurance for the dates of the programs. I'm even seeing these requests now from conservation areas! Typically $1M coverage is enough, though many are now asking for $2M. This year, I got our first request (from a large resort) for $10M liability coverage- needless to say I told them we couldn't provide that!

Our insurance went up again this year by about $500- it's now around $4000 per year:-(

Jeff Hathaway
Sciensational Sssnakes!!
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