What Is a Waiver?

A waiver is a legal agreement where one party in a contract gives up a claim without the other party being responsible. Waivers are often used in settlements, where one party might offer a higher award if the other person agrees to sign a waiver giving up their right to sue.

Learn more about it

A waiver is when someone gives up a legal right or claim, usually in writing. It’s important to remember that this decision is made willingly and can be used in different legal scenarios.

A waiver removes a real or potential liability for the other party in the agreement. For instance, in a settlement between two parties, one party can give up their right to take any more legal action after the settlement is completed by using a waiver.

Waivers can either be in written form or some form of action. A waiver carried out by an action might be based on whether a party in an agreement acts on a right, such as the right to terminate the deal in the first year of the contract. If it does not terminate the deal, which would be the act of “absence of action,” before the first year, that party waives its right to do so in the future.

Pros and Cons

The advantages and disadvantages of signing a waiver are usually clear, depending on which side you are on. For example, if someone is the claimant in a car accident, the insurance company may ask them to sign a waiver as part of their settlement offer. By signing the waiver, the claimant agrees to accept the settlement and gives up their right to take legal action against the insurance company.


  • Finalizes the arrangement
  • Can lower insurance requirements for certain businesses that require waivers


  • Removes possibility of future legal action
  • Sometimes things require additional attention, but a waiver forbids necessary action


It’s a useful tool to conclude an agreement between two parties, bringing their relationship to an end and reducing potential future risks. Nevertheless, waivers have notable disadvantages, particularly when there are valid legal claims that might arise later on. Waivers are commonly used, for instance, in negotiations for construction contracts, and typically serve to safeguard the interests of both parties involved. The usefulness or necessity of a waiver varies depending on the specific circumstances of each situation.