It’s tempting to skip the formality of a signature when you know you have an agreement. But land trusts that allow other organizations on their property without getting complete paperwork could be putting themselves in jeopardy.
In Selective Insurance Co. v. Boy Scouts of America, a judge decided that, because the school failed to sign a confirmation letter allowing it to use the Boy Scout campground, the insurance company didn’t have to pay for injuries suffered by a student during an event held at the site—potentially leaving the Boy Scouts on the hook. The school’s insurance policy had extended coverage for contractors but without a signed contract, the judge ruled that the extended coverage didn’t apply. If you’re planning on working with a contractor or letting another organization use your property, make sure the person you’re arranging things with puts their John Hancock on the line so you can get all the benefits of a bona fide contractor.