What are disclaimers? Why are they so important when it comes to protecting your business? What should a disclaimer say?
In this post, we explain the importance of disclaimers and give you some practical examples.
Disclaimers are statements that can help protect you and your business. They help you limit your responsibility, define the conditions under which you may be held liable, or protect your content from misuse.
Disclaimers are pretty important because they, along with a solid set of terms and conditions, can act as your first layer of legal protection: if you clearly define your conditions and rules (within applicable law, of course), it may help reduce your responsibility, in case something bad would happen.
For example, if you’ve ever looked up your symptoms on the internet (yes, we know you did), you’ve most certainly seen that every website or blog about health has a disclaimer in place where they state that the information they provide can’t be taken as a diagnosis. In this way, they are limiting their responsibility.
That’s how disclaimers work.
The first thing you should know is that there are lots of different disclaimers for different purposes: the limitation of liability clause defines the conditions under which you may be held liable; the disclaimer of warranty protects business owners from the malfunction of their product or service; disclaimers on content limit your responsibility in relation to your content, etc.
So, a good way to start may be asking yourself: “What could possibly go wrong?”.
The answer to this question will vary from individual to individual, from business to business; that’s why disclaimers are so specific!
Once you’ve identified what could cause a problem for your business, you’ll be able to select the right disclaimers for your situation.
Writing a legally sound disclaimer may be difficult if you don’t have legal expertise.
However, here’s a general rule of thumb:
Now that you have your disclaimers, the next question would be: where do you put them on your website?
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to ensure that your disclaimers are seen as legally valid is to ensure that users can actually see and access them.
In general, best practice is to:
Terms and Conditions are a legally binding document, a contract between you and your users. They’re the perfect place to add your disclaimers because terms usually define your website or app’s rules. This is how we’ve done it!
You can learn more about Terms and Conditions here.
Now let’s look at some examples of the most common types of disclaimers, to have a clearer idea of what we’ve described so far.
The limitation of liability clause defines the conditions under which you may be held liable.
The disclaimer of warranty protects business owners from the malfunction of their product or service, releasing them from legal liabilities.
If you share information that could be misinterpreted, misused or could potentially cause harm, you can add disclaimers that limit your responsibility in relation to your content. Take, for example, this excerpt taken from the web:
“The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the WebMD Site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.”
iubenda can help you protect your business through disclaimers.
Our Terms and Conditions Generator allows you to easily generate professional, lawyer written disclaimers for every scenario.
If you’re not sure what disclaimers you need, the built-in quiz and tool tips will guide you to ensure a professional setup tailor-made for you. Try it risk-free for 14 days.
The solution to draft, update and maintain your Terms and Conditions. Optimised for eCommerce, marketplace, SaaS, apps & more.