Bigger and Bolder: Font Requirements for Service Contracts and Warranties

Sometimes it’s not just what you say, but how big you say it—at least when it comes to service contracts and warranties.  While most states’ service contract and vehicle protection products (VPP) warranty laws have similar language for required disclosures in the terms and conditions, some states require unique formatting or sizing for certain disclosures. Here are a few examples:

  • California’s vehicle service contract law requires that any exclusion for preexisting conditions in the contract must be provided in 12-point font.  Many other states require an express statement as to whether or not preexisting conditions are covered, but not with this same size requirement.
  • In similar fashion, Massachusetts’s VPP warranty law requires that a disclosure common to VPP warranty laws (“This Agreement is a Product Warranty and Is Not Insurance”) be provided in bold, all-caps, 10-point font.
  • An even more unique requirement is in Tennessee’s VPP warranty law, which requires that the entire contract be presented in at least 12-point font.
  • And it’s not just size, either—for example, California and Florida’s vehicle service contract laws require that certain provisions be provided in bold without specifying a minimum font size for those provisions.

These formatting requirements can create costly regulatory pitfalls for service contracts and VPP warranties that are otherwise substantively compliant.  And even where these provisions are correctly addressed in the drafting of a contract, inadvertent changes can be made by the vendor or department within your company responsible for design and formatting while making aesthetic changes to the contract before going to market.

Thus, it is important to carefully review and understand these disclosure requirements as you craft your product forms, or engage an experienced service contract and warranty attorney that can help you navigate these issues, and communicate these requirements clearly to all parties involved in the creation of the contract or warranty form.