Reading the Fine Print

We’ve discussed Terms of Service agreements in the past but a recent article in Smart Money magazine highlights some of the difficulties these and other fine print type agreements impose on the user.  Just a few interesting statistics from the article:

—The number of words in software licenses contracts has increased by 40 percent in the past 7 years.

—Transparency Labs (which is starting a web-based service designed to translate America’s largest corporate contracts into easier to understand text for free) estimates the cost of info not readily seen inside disclosures costs each household in the U.S. at least $2,000 a year.

—In a study related to research  conducted by John Marshall Law School and DePaul University regarding if the fine print is actually read prior to agreeing to it, over 90 percent of participants signed a contract saying they would do push-ups on demand and give other participants electric shocks.

While the article does not touch on fine print used in the professional liability insurance world, it certainly must exist.  In fact, we have some at the bottom of this blog.