For your best business protection and savings, we recommend bundling GL with some other important coverages on one Business Owners Policy!
Even though your business is covered by insurance, it’s best not to face third-party claims head on. Your carrier will always help so long as the claim is covered. However, shouldering claims again and again increases premiums and makes the carrier think twice about reinsuring you. Not to mention, it’s not good for business reputation too.
Did you know that you can prevent your business from facing liabilities if something bad happens to a client? This is what hold harmless agreement, also named a hold harmless contract, allows you to do. This discussion will tell you what a hold-harmless agreement is and how hold harmless agreements work in different businesses and states.
Let’s take a look into how different organizations define hold harmless agreement. By doing so, we can come up with our own explanation about what is hold harmless agreement.
A hold harmless provision in business contracts requires party A to not sue party B for any covered incidents mentioned. Here’s a hold harmless provision example:
I (party A) agree to indemnify and hold the other party harmless, signing this contract with me, from any legal and financial liabilities resulting from personal injuries, property damage, or other types of harm to third parties and including myself.
California PTA’s meaning of hold harmless agreement states that this is an express written consent where the signer assumes legal liability for any injuries, damage, or loss incurred by the use of a business facility owned by another person. Upon signing, the owner is “hold harmless” meaning that he or she is not suable by third parties using the facility.
This is the hold harmless meaning from the International Facility Management Association : “ An agreement in which one party consents to protecting the other from loss and to paying for the other party’s losses. Also called indemnification agreement.”
So in a nutshell, what does hold harmless agreement mean for IFMA? The organization states that:
Hold harmless agreement requires one party to protect the other party from legal liabilities arising out of business operations
A hold harmless agreement can be called indemnity agreement
A hold-harmless (indemnity) agreement is a contract entered into between two parties wherein one expressly agrees not to hold the other legally and financially accountable should injuries, losses, and damages be incurred.
So what is a hold harmless clause? A hold harmless clause is a phrase or sentence included in a contract so that it has the nature of a hold harmless agreement. All contracts having a hold harmless agreement clause automatically put the signees into a hold harmless agreement.
The following are the different types of hold harmless agreement:
Generic hold harmless agreement
Property use hold harmless agreement
Services hold harmless agreement
A generic hold harmless agreement makes it possible for a business not to have legal liability for any injuries, property damage, or loss during an event. Here’s an example of hold harmless agreement type we’re discussing right now:
Suppose your craft business is invited to sell merchandise during a kids fair and someone chokes on the items you’re selling. Now, your hold harmless agreement or hold-harmless clause states that the event organizers will shoulder all liabilities for injuries, property damage, or losses your business allegedly caused. Since the event organizers signed the hold harmless statement and its conditions, claims filed on your business will instead be faced by the signees.
Before we delve into the other types, you should know that generic hold harmless agreement is also known as general hold harmless agreement. Usually, generic hold harmless agreement wording includes the following:
Type of event covered
The other party's name
Specific incidents/situations where you're held harmless
A property use standard hold harmless agreement negates your legal and financial liability whenever your rental property causes injuries, property damage, or losses to a client. Here’s a hold harmless example situation for you to understand.
You're running a pool business. Another business asks to rent your poor facility for its founding anniversary. In the contract, you included a property use standard hold harmless clause which states that the client should assume responsibility for any injuries, property damage, and losses participants experience while using the pool or while in the premises of the pool facility.
Usually, the property use hold harmless wording includes the following:
Your business’s name
The client’s business’s name
Type of property to be rented
Perils regarding the use of the property to be rented
A paragraph or phrase stating that any liabilities will not be faced by you
This removes financial and legal liability should something bad occur while you’re providing service to a client or a client’s customers. Here’s a service hold harmless agreement example situation so that you understand.
You’re an independent massage therapist hired by a clinic to stand in for a sick employee. A regular client came in and asked you for a massage. Since the client didn’t know that you were new, he didn’t tell you about an old fracture at his lower back. Unaware of this, you gave the client a forceful massage on the back which caused severe pain. The client wants to sue you for what happened. However, since you asked the business owner to include a simple hold harmless clause in the contract, the client has to file the claim on the business instead.
The following are what you’ll commonly see in a service hold harmless clause wording:
Your name or business name
The client’s name or business name
The type of service provided to the client
The nature of the service provided
Perils associated with the service provided
A simple hold harmless agreement paragraph or phrase stating that any liabilities will not be faced by you but the client instead
Contract hold harmless clause is enforceable. This means that you can take things to court in case the other party won’t honor the efficacy of the hold harmless settlement agreement. Usually, things will be settled in a civil lawsuit.
And so, try to get a copy of hold harmless agreement that was signed by you and the client - photocopy it or take a picture of it. That way, you'll have something to give if the judge wants to see the copy of the basic hold harmless agreement signed by you and the other party.
Hold harmless release of liability
Hold harmless indemnification agreement (sometimes disputed)
If you’re the business, definitely sign a hold harmless agreement because it does the following:
Helps you avoid liability when clients or third-parties become injured or experience property damage/losses
Ensures that in case something happens, you don’t see your business defending itself in a court of law
Safeguards your business’s reputation
Allows you to do business with more confidence.
On the other hand, if you’re a client, do not sign if the business proposes a hold harmless agreement because:
A hold harmless agreement, once signed, greatly hinders you from filing a claim against the business’s insurance
A hold harmless agreement clause makes you shoulder the cost of your injuries, property damage, or losses if something bad happens
A hold harmless agreement makes the business more confident to not provide the adequate service you need
In a nutshell, if you’re a business, sign a hold harmless agreement because it offers protection. On the other hand, if you’re just a client or a customer, never sign a hold harmless agreement because you’ll get nothing should the business be liable.
Not all businesses sign a hold harmless affidavit with their clients. Actually, this is only for businesses that provide a particular service (e.g. catering), rent a business property or equipment (e.g. car rental or venue rental), and host events (e.g. a disco, a gaming hub). With that said, if you do not associate your business as similar or related to what we mentioned, then there’s no need to sign a hold harmless agreement.
It’s okay to download and use a free hold harmless agreement form you’ll find online. However, know one thing; Hold harmless agreements language is tailored to a particular business and the ones you’ll find online are written generally. So, there might be loopholes. With that said, upon downloading, read the hold harmless template and edit it as you see fit.
Let’s say your business gets a service or product from another business for an event and vice versa; Will it be possible for you and the other business not to sue each other in case something bad happens? The answer to this is yes. One way to do so is through a mutual hold harmless clause.
A mutual hold harmless clause is just a variation of the usual hold harmless clause. The one defining characteristic is that once signed, both parties agree not to sue each other if injuries, property damage, or losses happen while a service is being delivered or a product or property is being used.
So how do you know if the hold harmless agreement is mutual? While reading a contract, always look for a mutual hold harmless language that looks like this:
Both PARTY A and PARTY B expressly agree that, should injuries, property damage, or losses arise from the use of each other’s products, neither will file a claim or sue the other to get compensation for the costs incurred.
There is no mutual hold harmless agreement template for you to download online. And so, it’s best to find an attorney that will draft the document for you.
There’s also mutual indemnification agreement too. In this agreement, both parties agree to reimburse the other should liabilities arise. Usually, mutual indemnification and hold harmless agreement go hand in hand to ensure that both parties get comprehensive protection against liabilities.
Sometimes, the wording of mutual indemnification and hold harmless agreement are fused into one clause and is called a mutual hold harmless indemnity agreement. The same is also true for mutual release and hold harmless agreement clauses.
Many say that liability waiver and hold harmless agreement are one and the same. However, this isn’t the case. A liability waiver is a legal document that, once signed, makes the signer acknowledge that the other party doesn’t have any obligation for anything that might happen to them during the business activity.
If we dive deeper into the etymology, hold harmless agreement is a type of waiver of liability or release of liability together with the following:
Event liability waiver
General liability waiver
Accident liability waiver
Participation liability waiver
Property liability waiver
Personal injury liability waiver
With that said, hold harmless agreement is already a waiver of liability in itself. And so, the following use of words is erroneous in an etymological sense:
Hold harmless liability waiver
Waiver hold harmless agreement
Waiver hold harmless
Waiver of liability hold harmless agreement
Release of liability hold harmless agreement
Also, be clear that waiver release and hold harmless agreement is also a poor choice of words even though it sounds right. “Waiver” and “release” already pertain to the same thing - waiver of liability. And so, using them next to each other is very ambiguous. Not to mention, that hold harmless agreement is already a waiver in itself.
With that said, when looking for some sample waiver of liability and hold harmless agreement forms online, be sure not to use the following term to or you will not find what you’re looking for:
“Waiver hold harmless agreement sample” - Using this term will bring out documents that renounce the effectivity of a hold harmless agreement clause
Before we proceed, allow us to give you some recommendations on where to get a free waiver of liability and hold harmless agreement forms:
A hold harmless letter is just another variation of the usual hold harmless agreement documents that businesses use. You can download and view any of the following sample hold harmless letter to see for yourself:
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Farmers market organizers often require vendors to sign a hold harmless agreement. Through this, vendors who get injured or experience losses can’t go after the organizers. Furthermore, vendors have to face claims from customers which should be rightfully filed to the farmers' market organizers. Below is an example of hold harmless agreement clause for farmers' market.
This hold harmless agreement sample wording uses very simple English. Notice the different elements we’ve included to ensure that the agreement is as legally binding as possible:
By signing this hold harmless agreement, the vendor expressly agrees not to hold the farmers' market organizers liable for any injuries, property damage, or losses that happen. This also provides that any liability faced by the vendor is his or her own responsibility and the event organizers will not be compelled to defend on the vendor’s behalf.
In connection, below are the most useful hold harmless agreement example documents stored in different sources online:
Farmers Market Coalition’s sample hold harmless agreement template
Farmers market hold harmless agreement sample from Texas A&M Agrilife
ALISAL Certified Farmers Market sample of hold harmless agreement
Unfortunately, we haven’t found downloadable free hold harmless agreement form in word format for farmers market. Still, it’s worth trying places such as Formswift and Free Legal Document.
Artisans are required to sign a hold harmless agreement aside from showing their proof of insurance to the event organizers of festivals and craft fairs.
In connection, if you’re an artisan, don’t accept gigs from clients if they don’t sign a harmless agreement with you. A hold harmless agreement is important so that you don’t face liability if third parties get injured because of your products.
We’ve made a simple hold harmless language sample as shown below. Notice the important pieces of information we included.
By signing this agreement, CLIENT agrees to hold harmless and indemnify ARTISAN JAKE COLLINS for any injuries, property damage, and other types of losses that arise from the use of product or provision of service. The terms of this agreement shall take effect until the event for which the ARTISAN, whose name is mentioned herein, is being hired for, ends.
In connection, here are some downloadable hold harmless indemnity agreement sample for artisans from different sources online:
Nevada City Chamber hold harmless agreement example document for artisans
Freehold NJ hold harmless agreement sample for artisans
City of Sonora sample release and hold harmless agreement for artisans
Note that the following links lead you to PDF copies. If you’re looking for free hold harmless forms in word format for artisans, we suggest you try:
Template Net printable free hold harmless agreement word doc
Rocket Lawyer hold harmless agreement word document generator
Yoga teachers and yoga students usually sign a hold harmless agreement with the yoga studio. This allows the yoga studio to remove any liability should the teacher or the student be injured while in the business premises. In the same way, yoga teachers can also ask students to sign a hold harmless agreement to remove their liability for injuries caused by negligence or omission.
Here’s a hold harmless language example for yoga teachers:
This agreement is signed by YOGA INSTRUCTOR Jake Collins and YOGA STUDIO Yoga Hub on April 10, 2021. With this document, YOGA INSTRUCTOR expressly agrees to indemnify and hold harmless YOGA STUDIO for any injuries, property damage, or loss happening to him/her or students.
Here’s a hold harmless statement example for yoga students:
I, YOGA STUDENT Jake Collins, agree to hold harmless and indemnify YOGA STUDIO Yoga Hub for any damages, personal injuries, or losses while attending their session. Such an express agreement also extends to the YOGA STUDIO’s teachers, contractors, and other staff.
There are no basic hold harmless agreement sample documents for yoga online. However, there are many sample statements. Examples are:
Renters can file a claim should a car rental business provide a car that’s defective, which in turn causes injuries, property damage, or losses. Car rental businesses often ask clients to sign a hold harmless form to negate their liability should the client experience something bad while using a rented car.
But note that, no hold harmless agreement is forced to be signed by the renter. Meaning that car rental businesses can’t deny a customer a rental service in case they don’t want to sign. Usually, the language of a car rental hold harmless template goes like this:
RENTER agrees to indemnify and hold harmless CAR RENTAL BUSINESS for any damages, personal injuries, or losses arising from the use of the rented car. Furthermore, should there be costs, RENTER also agrees to shoulder them. This includes attorney fees, medical costs, and debris cleanup.
It’s easy to find a free hold harmless agreement template for car rental business online. We’ve compiled the best ones as shown in the bullet below:
Expedition Holdings car rental hold harmless agreement template
Accidents can easily happen within the premises of bounce house businesses. Most of the time, kids are the ones getting injured. And so, bounce house businesses can face costly and lengthy legal battles with parents.
Some bounce house businesses use hold harmless agreements to reduce risks. It’s legal for bounce house businesses to ask parents to sign a hold harmless agreement so long as they’re informed. The wording of bounce house hold harmless agreement will look like this:
I, THE CLIENT, am aware of the risks and injuries my children face while playing in a bounce house. In effect, I do hereby expressly agree, upon signing this contract, to indemnify and hold harmless BOUNCE HOUSE BUSINESS for any injuries, property damage, or losses incurred while my children are within the business premises and are using its bounce house facilities.
If you’re looking for bounce house blank hold harmless form, follow the links provided below:
The Party Store free printable hold harmless agreement for bounce house services
Rosenberg downloadable free hold harmless form for bounce house
Joplin House of Bounce printable hold harmless agreement template
Bounce house hold harmless rental agreement sample from Picnic Table Factory
You might have heard businesses providing inspection services or selling houses asking clients to sign a mold hold harmless form. So what is a hold harmless form for mold anyway?
A mold hold harmless form removes liabilities to the seller of a house, a home inspector, or any other related profession if the client suffers from mold allergies after buying a house or receiving an erroneous mold inspection service.
Lawyers usually make mold hold harmless agreements. However, if you can’t afford legal services right now, you can just download a printable hold harmless agreement for mold and edit it. To save you the time, we’ve compiled some of the best resources as listed below:
Louisiana home builders blank hold harmless agreement template
PDF Filler generic hold harmless agreement form for mold extermination service
KW simple hold harmless agreement template for mold extermination
Parking lot businesses can be sued by their clients if cars parked get damaged because of theft, vandalism, and weather. And so, most ask their clients to sign a hold harmless agreement, especially customers who’ll be accessing the parking lot for months. The wording of a parking lot hold harmless agreement goes like this:
I, the CLIENT, agree to indemnify and hold harmless PARKING LOT BUSINESS for any liability or claim should my car be damaged while it’s being parked on the premises of the parking lot owned by the PARKING LOT BUSINESS stated herein.
Transportation service businesses such as buses or passenger vans, when hired, often asked clients to sign a hold harmless agreement. When a hold harmless agreement is signed, transportation service businesses don’t have liability should accidents happen and incur injuries or property damage to the passengers. Here’s a sample passenger hold harmless wording:
I, the PASSENGER, am fully aware of the risks involved while commuting the said vehicle owned by TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the owner, driver, or any other persons operating the vehicle should accidents arise and incur property damage or physical injuries.
Some employers ask their employees to sign a hold harmless agreement. Why you ask? A hold harmless clause in employment agreement contracts, if signed, allows the employer not to have liability should the employee get injured while on the job. In simple terms, it voids the responsibility of the employer to provide workers' compensation benefits. Otherwise called a workers compensation hold harmless agreement, the legality employee hold harmless agreement is still subject to debate.
A vendor hold harmless agreement is signed so that event organizers don’t face liabilities should the vendor get injured or experience property damage while participating in an event. Furthermore, it ensures that should the vendor have liabilities, the event organizers won’t be involved in the fray.
A hunting hold harmless agreement ensures that the owner or administrator of a hunting ground has no liability should a hunter get injured or experience property damage while hunting. Not having liability also extends to other perils that might happen due to the presence of the hunter in the hunting ground. For example, if the hunter causes a wildfire, the owner or administrator of the hunting ground will not have liability for such an incident if hunting hold harmless agreement is signed.
Landlord tenant hold harmless agreement protects the landlord from any liabilities connected to the tenant’s use of a leased property. Stadiums, gyms, swimming pools, villas, and other businesses renting out property ask clients to sign landlord tenant hold harmless agreement.
Tenant landlord hold harmless agreement is made as a separate document attached to the lease agreement. However, there are also cases where some include a hold harmless clause in lease agreement or rent agreement. No matter which is which, the function is still the same.
Volunteer hold harmless agreement, once signed, prevents a volunteer from suing the organization should work related injuries happen. Furthermore, if the volunteer commits negligence or omissions and causes losses, he or she alone will have to face the consequences and the organization is free from defending him or her. In a way, hold harmless of volunteers works similarly to an employee hold harmless agreement.
Food sellers ask clients to sign a hold harmless for avoiding liabilities should issues arise regarding food poisoning or improper food preparation practices. If signed as a mutual contract, the food seller also agrees not to sue clients should issues arise.
A bank hold harmless agreement, once signed, makes the borrower acknowledge that the bank has no liability should issues arise during or after the transaction. A legal hold harmless agreement between bank and borrower is often crafted by attorneys to avoid confusion and inaccuracies.
Heavy equipment businesses include a lease hold harmless clause in their contracts with different clients. When a hold harmless lease agreement for heavy equipment is signed, the lessee can’t sue the lessor should property damage or personal injuries be incurred.
A hold harmless agreement for property owner allows the owner to be immune from liabilities should damage be incurred to a rented property. If signed mutually, property hold harmless agreement also prevents the renters from suing the owner.
Automotive shops might be liable for the damage of their clients' car or injuries to the clients themselves as caused by errors and omissions. And so, most craft a hold harmless agreement auto repair contract. Once signed, the automotive shop becomes immune from liabilities that arise during the service and after the service.
Golf courses often ask clients, who rent golf carts, to sign a hold harmless agreement. If signed, the golf course becomes immune from any liability when the client suffers from injuries or property damage while using a golf cart. Furthermore, immunity extends to the personal injuries and property damage of other third parties as caused by the golf cart’s use.
Swimming pool facility use and an indemnity and hold harmless agreement, if signed, makes the swimming pool business free from any liability for incidents such as slips and falls, drowning, and more. A hold harmless agreement for swimming pool also negates liability should employees commit errors and omissions.
A church hold harmless agreement gives immunity to church administrators, organizers, staff, or employees from liabilities in connection to church use. Usually, this is signed when another party asks to hire a church building for a religious event.
A martial arts hold harmless agreement allows a martial art studio to be free should students get injured during tutorial sessions or sparring sessions. Immunity from liability also extends to the death of the student.
A hold harmless agreement protects a trustee from liability should issues arise during the performance of his or her duties. Note that immunity from liability only applies to situations where there is no willful or gross negligence or misconduct.
A hold harmless agreement frees a mortgagee from any legal liability should issues be experienced by the mortgagor.
A towing hold harmless agreement prevents a client from filing a claim against a towing company. Immunity from liabilities includes personal injuries, property damage, and errors and omissions. Below are some downloadable examples:
Car dealerships can get sued if clients bought a defective car. And so, they request clients to sign a hold harmless agreement that provide protection from the following:
In connection, here are some downloadable vehicle hold harmless contracts you can use:
If you’re paid by someone to fetch a car on their behalf, then ask that person to sign a hold harmless vehicle release letter. If signed, a hold harmless letter for vehicle release, will free you from any liability should an accident happen and damage the car that you’re driving on someone’s behalf.
Real estate hold harmless agreement makes a real estate company, agent, or seller immune from liabilities should a client find issues in the real property before occupancy, during occupancy, and after occupancy.
A standard hold harmless agreement real estate only provides immunity to the real estate company, agent, or seller. But note that hold harmless real estate can also be made as a mutual/reciprocal hold harmless agreement which protects both the real estate agent/company and buyer from liabilities.
So what perils can real estate property hold harmless agreement take care of? The bullet below shows some situations where real estate hold harmless agreement becomes useful:
Release and hold harmless agreement real estate provides protection when there’s mold and causes injuries to the buyer
Hold harmless agreement in real estate prevents the buyer from suing if there's unintentional misrepresentation on part of the company or agent
Hold harmless agreement real estate transaction prevents the buyer from suing the real estate agent or company in the event of negligence or omission
Note that a real estate hold harmless clause isn't an absolute protection against litigation as it doesn’t provide legal immunity to intentionally fraudulent acts.
So how is hold harmless clause real estate drafted? There are many variations as to how this is done. But to give you a quick reference, here’s a simple real estate hold harmless clause example:
The BUYER agrees to hold harmless and indemnify REAL ESTATE AGENT/COMPANY for any injuries, property damage, or losses arising from any issues with the BUYER’s use or occupancy of the purchased real estate property.
Note that hold harmless language real estate is very different if the parties decide to enter into a mutual agreement. It will look like this reciprocal hold harmless clause real estate sample:
Both BUYER and SELLER agree to indemnify and hold harmless each other should injuries, property damage, and losses arise from the use or occupancy of the property. Both parties also accept not to sue each other in the event of unintentional misrepresentation or errors and omissions.
Note that the buyer can also be immune from liability if a real estate hold harmless agreement is signed. Take a look at this real estate indemnification clause sample from Law Insider:
The Seller shall protect, defend, indemnify and hold the Purchaser and the Issuer and their respective assigns and their attorneys, accountants, employees, officers, and directors harmless from and against all losses, costs, liabilities, claims, damages and expenses of every kind and character
Lawyers are the ones who draft a real estate hold harmless agreement form. This ensures that the clauses contained do not violate public policy. However, hold harmless agreement real estate sample documents can be downloaded online and used. Here are some:
What if the transaction only involves real estate repair such as roofing bathroom, or guest room renovation? In this case, what will be needed is a hold harmless agreement real estate repairs.
Hold harmless agreements are generally valid when purchasing a real estate in Florida. However, a broad form hold harmless agreement is prohibited. With that said, all provisions of the contract must state what specific situations or conditions will there be immunity from liability.
The term hold in real estate doesn’t pertain to a hold harmless agreement. In real estate, hold is a condition where the property owner isn’t selling the property even though it’s currently listed.
A hold harmless agreement for early occupancy provides immunity to the seller of the real estate should the new owner decide to move in even if the property is not fit to be used yet.
A hold harmless clause in construction contract is very common. It's used in different building projects such as roads, buildings, bridges, and more.
Construction hold harmless agreement protects the construction company from liabilities should there be an accident that causes injuries or property damage to the client. Furthermore, hold harmless clause construction prevents lawsuits if errors and omissions are committed.
In connection, clients can also benefit from a hold harmless construction agreement if it’s drafted as a mutual contract. This is because they won’t have liability for any accident or property damage the construction company causes to members of the public.
You can easily find a sample of hold harmless construction agreement online. Below is an example:
Note that sample hold harmless agreement construction need to be edited to avoid loopholes. The provisions are tailored to the needs of a company. With that said, know that some clauses might not apply to you.
Contractors use a hold harmless agreement to avoid having liability over the actions of their subcontractors and other related third parties. Follow the links below to download a sample hold harmless agreement for contractors:
Small contractor hold harmless agreement template from Diocese of Charlotte
Contractor hold harmless agreement can be classified as:
Subcontractor hold harmless agreement
General contractor hold harmless agreement
Independent contractor hold harmless agreement
Hold harmless agreement between contractor and owner
This type of hold harmless agreement makes a subcontractor assume liability for his or her actions. Once signed, the contractor that hired the subcontractor isn’t obligated to pay for injuries nor defend the subcontractor in court. Majority of contractors prepare a subcontractor agreement with hold harmless clause when working on big projects. Below are some downloadable subcontractor hold harmless agreements:
Central Conveyor subcontractor hold harmless agreement template
Brentmako sample subcontractor agreement with hold harmless clause
A hold harmless agreement between contractor and homeowner requires both not to sue each other for personal injuries, property damage, or losses during the provision or commencement of a building or renovation project. The agreement includes errors and omissions but doesn’t provide immunity to fraudulent or malicious actions.
A general contractor hold harmless agreement makes a subcontractor immune from liabilities if ever the general contractor causes issues. At the same time, this requires the general contractor to indemnify the subcontractor for their losses if ever liabilities are impossible to avoid. Note that independent contractor hold harmless agreements function the same.
So what does indemnify and hold harmless mean? Many say that indemnify and hold harmless meaning is the same to the point that they use the term hold harmless indemnification agreement. This is might be correct. Allow us to discuss why.
Hold harmless and indemnity agreement serve the same function. That is, once a party agrees to indemnify and hold harmless, they accept that the other party isn’t liable for any injuries, property damage, and losses arising from a service, use of property, or delivery of a particular product.
If both terms are similar, what does it mean to indemnify and hold harmless? Clauses that include the terms “to indemnify” and “hold harmless” explicitly states that party A agrees to reimburse party B for actual damages or losses and at the same time, also agrees not to sue for potential damages or losses.
But for others, the term hold harmless indemnification agreement is wrong. Hold harmless indemnity agreement is but a one big erroneous term as there’s a difference between indemnify and hold harmless.
Indemnification vs hold harmless agreement, the bullet below summarizes the main difference:
Hold harmless agreement provides protection from actual liability and potential liability to losses of another party
Indemnification agreement only provides protection from actual liability to the losses of the other party
In a nutshell, as per the statements above, the main difference between hold harmless and indemnify is that the former has a broader scope than the latter. But note that indemnification and hold harmless agreement have other contrasting points if we take a closer look such as:
Hold harmless and indemnification clause aren’t the same because the latter makes the signer responsible for damages or losses arising from omissions and other specified acts in the contract; whereas the former makes the signer responsible for any damage or losses and prevents lawsuits from being filed to the other party
Indemnify and hold harmless clause aren’t the same because the latter reimburses the other party for their losses should a lawsuit be filed. On the other hand, in the case of the former, there’s no need to reimburse the losses of the other party since the one who signs will be the one responsible for costs.
How about indemnify defend and hold harmless? What’s the difference? We’ve already explained how release indemnification and hold harmless agreement differ. And so, we only have to explain what “defend” is. Unlike indemnification and hold harmless clause, a defend clause doesn’t remove liability from the other party. Instead, the one who signs it, agrees to pay for costs or provide a defense if the other party faces claims.
Understand that, indemnity and hold harmless agreement are the same or not the same depending on location. For example, in states like Ohio, Colorado, Louisiana, and Delaware, the term indemnification hold harmless agreement is correct. As for other areas where the opposite is true, to indemnify and hold harmless, aren’t the same.
In this section, we’ll take a look into how different businesses can benefit from indemnity and hold harmless clause.
Your bakery can benefit from indemnity and hold harmless clauses if:
Someone hires the bakery to provide desserts, pastries, and other types of related products to a large event
Event organizers invite your bakery to take part in a baking-related event
Someone hires your bakery to provide bread, pastries, and desserts to their newly opened business
Hold harmless indemnity clause for bakery shops often include the following information:
The business name or name of the client
Your business name or your name
Address of the client
Date when the release hold harmless and indemnity agreement expires
And so, here’s an indemnification hold harmless clause example:
This indemnity hold harmless clause is entered into by CLIENT Joan Collins of Milwaukee and BUSINESS Better Bakeries Incorporated of Arizona on April 1st, 2021. Whereas, upon the signing of this hold harmless indemnity agreement, CLIENT as stated herein expressly agrees not hold BUSINESS liable for injury or damage dealt to them during the course of service and further agrees to reimburse BUSINESS for cost of liabilities to third parties.
Where can you get indemnity and hold harmless agreement sample documents for bakery shops? The internet has a lot of indemnification and hold harmless agreement sample forms. Places we strongly recommend are:
Again, online indemnification and hold harmless agreement form you’ll find online for bakers should be always edited. Hold harmless and indemnity agreement sample forms might be already filled up so you’ll have to use a PDF editor to customize the details. Another reason is that the hold harmless and indemnity agreement template might have clauses which don’t apply to your dealings with the client.
Are you a disco jockey ? Always ask your clients to sign a contract with a hold harmless clause because it will help you:
Not face liability if someone suffers from seizures, dizziness, and other related after effects that loud music can bring
Not face liability if the client finds your service inadequate
Not face liability if someone gets injured with your sound system
For it to be legal, DJ’s indemnification and hold harmless affidavit or agreement must show the following essential pieces of information to be enforceable:
Date of the agreement
Expiry of the agreement
Your address and the client’s address
Here’s an indemnify and hold harmless example affidavit for you to get an idea:
I CLIENT Joan Collins a resident of Montana do hereby affirm, through this affidavit that DISCO JOCKEY Jake Davidson located in Milwaukee be held harmless and indemnified from any injury or property damage arising from the services that I’ll receive. This agreement signed on April 1st, 2021 will be effective until such day that CLIENT mentioned herein receives the service in its full completion.
Are you a face painter? If so, ask your clients to sign a letter of indemnification and hold harmless and get it notarized. Doing so will be helpful when:
You’re hired for events such as birthday parties, festivals, and more
You’re hired as one of the production staff of a movie or play
You’re hired at conferences
The language of indemnification and hold harmless agreement for face painters is very straightforward. Here’s an indemnify and hold harmless clause sample for you to see why:
I CLIENT Joan Collins agrees to hold harmless and indemnify FACE PAINTER Marc Ribbons against any liability he may have while providing face painting services in the event or activity which I’m hiring him for.
In connection, click here to get a hold harmless release and indemnification agreement sample for face painters that you can use.
Indemnification hold harmless agreement and insurance agreement are not the same. An insurance agreement is a contract between the policyholder and carrier, wherein the carrier and policyholder expressly agree to satisfy the obligations mandated by the insurance terms.
Also, note that indemnification and hold harmless isn’t an insurance either. Again, this is a clause, a contract, or a document that prevents a business from facing claims or shouldering the cost of claims.
Release and hold harmless clause go together in contracts and will be stated as, ” CLIENT agree to release and hold harmless BUSINESS from personal injuries, property damage, or losses”.
Anyway, what does it mean if there’s a release of all claims and hold harmless agreement? Though both clauses go hand in hand, they mean one thing - party A cannot sue party B. And in the case of a mutual hold harmless release agreement both parties cannot sue each other.
Release and hold harmless meaning is the same. That said, when the contract says a party is released, it already denotes that such party is hold harmless from claims. But even if this is the case, lawyers include the two terms when making either a release waiver of liability and hold harmless agreement.
Follow the links below to download a release and hold harmless form, letter, or template:
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Hold harmless agreements work differently in each state. For instance, some treat generic waiver of liability and hold harmless agreement as the same thing while others don’t. Let’s learn how a hold harmless agreement works in different states such as California, Maryland, Texas, and more.
Release of liability and hold harmless agreement are treated as the same thing in California. That said, if you’re selling a house in the state, you can use a release of liability form or hold harmless agreement form to protect yourself from lawsuits after the client purchased the house.
Note that in California, school vendors’ hold harmless agreements might conflict with state laws. This is because the California Education Code requires school districts to be responsible for the care and maintenance of their property. This means that hold harmless clause California can’t prevent vendors from suing if ever they experience property damage, personal injuries, or losses while on a school’s premises.
In Maryland, hold harmless agreements are legal and responsible. However, the state also has exceptions. A hold harmless rental agreement as well as other agreements are not legal when:
There’s a use of ambiguous language
There’s willful and reckless negligence resulting in the claim
There’s unequal bargaining power
The hold harmless agreement conflicts with public interests
There’s a hold harmless addendum
Hold harmless agreement Texas provides immunity to one party only or both parties. Unlike Maryland, Texas doesn’t put exclusions on the legality of hold harmless agreements. When it comes to terminology. Hold harmless agreement is also called waiver of liability, hold harmless letter, hold harmless release, and release of liability in Texas. Download Texas hold harmless agreements through these links:
Wharton Independent School District Texas release and hold harmless agreement form
Arizona hold harmless agreement is perfectly legal. However, it doesn't provide absolute protection. The effectiveness of hold harmless agreements for business in Arizona depends on how it is drafted. Conditions that make hold harmless agreements disputable in Arizona are:
The provisions of the hold harmless agreement conflict with an existing public policy
The hold harmless agreement was negotiated not bargained
The parties signing the hold harmless agreement aren’t on equal footing
In Virginia, hold harmless agreement personal injury aren’t enforceable - meaning that even if signed, the business isn’t protected. Virginia is one of the few states that adopt this. Why are personal injury hold harmless agreements not legal in Virginia? This is because it’s unfair to customers according to experts.
Hold harmless agreements are valid in Florida. They can be signed as a unilateral hold harmless agreement or mutual hold harmless agreement. Though generally valid, the language used is important in determining who will win in case of disputes. For instance, even if hold harmless agreements in Florida includes negligence, but if such an act is excluded in the wording, then the business is still liable for losses or damages.
In Wisconsin, indemnification agreements and hold harmless agreements aren’t the same. However, indemnification clauses and hold harmless clauses are placed next to each other in Wisconsin contracts.
In Oklahoma, hold harmless agreements are generally valid. However, they can be disputed if the wording goes against public policies.
In Colorado, employee hold harmless agreements that remove the liability of the employer for work-related injuries is not legal. Also, business hold harmless agreements that conflict with consumer laws are not valid.
In Oregon, hold harmless agreements are generally valid. However, they can be easily disputed. With that said, ambiguous or broad hold harmless wordings can be held illegal and not enforceable.
In Colorado, hold harmless agreements are only enforceable to an extent as specified by the language used. For instance, a hold harmless agreement contractor subcontractor won’t have any legal grounds if the subcontractor got injured due to the fault of the contractor.
Hold harmless agreement Michigan is generally valid. However, businesses should see to it the language used is very specific.
Hold harmless agreement NY is legal. However, New York state’s provisions only allow so to some extent. For example, hold harmless agreements in construction are void under New York’s General Obligations Law § 5-322.1.
Hold harmless agreements are generally legal. However, employee hold harmless agreements voiding the liability of an employer for workers comp isn’t allowed.
No hold harmless agreement documents are out of reach with the help of the internet. During the course of our discussion, we’ve provided you with links to some resources. But if you’re looking for websites that allow you to customize a hold harmless liability template easily, then we recommend:
Legal zoom allows you to buy indemnification, release, and hold harmless agreements easily. All you have to do is search its database to find what you’re looking for.
This website has legal forms hold harmless agreement, borrowing agreements, lending agreements, and more. Be prepared for some work because this website’s design isn’t very intuitive.
HUD hold harmless policy pertains to the move implemented by the US Department of Housing and Urban development to prevent rent and income limits from declining and allowed nonprofit and for-profit developers to thrive. Note that HUD's harmless policy is no longer in force.
The HOA hold harmless agreement is specifically crafted for homeowner’s association members. The photo below shows its description ( source ):
AIA doesn’t provide hold harmless agreements for architects right now. This is understandable since the organization tells architects to be wary of hold harmless and indemnification clauses.
A BSA hold harmless agreement, once signed, mandates participants of scouting events not to sue the organization as well as related parties. A copy can be obtained here .
Navy hold harmless agreement voids the liability of the U.S. navy for any personal injuries, property damage, or losses that might happen in any sponsored training or events. A copy can be obtained here .
The United States and its states don't have any hold harmless acts. The legality of hold harmless agreements is left for the court’s interpretation.
You should always ask the renter to sign a hold harmless clause rental agreement with you. By doing so, it’s less likely for you to face risk if your rented property injures someone. Ask an attorney to draft you a hold harmless agreement rental property. Alternatively, you can also download a generic hold harmless agreement for use of property. Here are the links:
In insurance requirements, a hold harmless agreement is a provision or contract that requires one party or both parties to refrain from filing claims should personal injuries, property, or damage arise.
Note that, as we said earlie r, hold harmless agreement isn’t an insurance policy . It is a contract or a clause that’s entered into between two parties. And so, there’s no such thing as a hold harmless insurance coverage.
But note that there are hold harmless agreement insurance endorsements. The bullet below shows what this does:
A hold harmless insurance endorsement can require the adding of additional insureds
Hold harmless agreement insurance endorsement can require both or one party to get the minimum amount of coverage to shoulder the liabilities associated with a project
Hold harmless clause insurance endorsement can require one or both parties to get insured to satisfy the terms of a contract
If you search for the term hold harmless agreement insurance sample in any search engines, you’ll find hold harmless agreements also containing insurance requirements clauses. Here are some examples:
East Windsor Township insurance hold harmless agreement template
Hold harmless is also called save harmless. There’s no distinction between the two.
A hold harmless clause helps businesses avoid liabilities. And so, we can say that a hold-harmless clause is an example of risk management strategy that can help keep insurance premiums stable. But still, note that carriers do not offer discounts to businesses who implement hold harmless clauses in their dealings.
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