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Hold Harmless Claus


A Hold Harmless Clause is a legal agreement that transfers risk from one party to another and protects them from liability or harm. In financial context, it is often included in contracts to prevent one party from suing another for any losses or damages incurred. The specifics of this protection can vary according to the exact terms of the agreement.


The phonetics for your keyword are: Hold: /hoʊld/Harmless: /ˈhɑːrmləs/Clause: /klɔːz/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Hold Harmless Clause, also known as an indemnity agreement or indemnification clause, is a statement in a contract that absolves one or both parties in a contract of legal liability for injuries or damage suffered during the execution of a contract.</li> <li>It can protect one or both parties depending on the specific terms of the agreement. However, it can’t protect against losses caused by negligence or violation of the law.</li> <li>Although this clause can provide significant legal protection, it’s necessary to understand that the effectiveness of a Hold Harmless Clause will often depend on the laws of a specific state. In some cases, these clauses may be ruled unenforceable if they are too broad or vague, or if they are seen as against public policy.</li></ol>


A Hold Harmless Clause is crucial in business/finance as it significantly minimizes financial risk in contracts or agreements. This provision helps protect one party from legal or financial liabilities, damages, or losses that may arise from a given business transaction or activity. By using this clause, one party agrees not to hold the other party responsible for any legal claims or demands. It provides a safety net to address unforeseen issues that may occur in the business relationship. Therefore, it promotes more secure and confident transactions, fostering trust between stakeholders. Ensuring a Hold Harmless Clause is appropriately drafted and included in agreements can be a strategic risk management tool for businesses.


The main purpose of a Hold Harmless Clause, often inserted in a contract or agreement, is to mitigate risk and potentially shield, or “hold harmless” , a party from incurring any financial loss, or bear legal liabilities for any damage, loss, or injuries that may arise in the course of executing the agreement. This clause effectively transfers the risks associated with the specified activities from one party, typically the one that would naturally bear the risk, to the other party agreeing to accept and manage the risk. This stipulation is commonly used in a wide range of sectors from construction and real estate to corporate contracts and service agreements.For instance, in a real estate agreement, a contractor may include a hold harmless clause to protect themselves against potential losses or damage that may be caused by unforeseen circumstances, such as construction defects or on-site accidents. On the other hand, in a business setting, such a clause could be used in an agreement between a company and an event planner, where the company agrees to hold the planner harmless of any legal liabilities resulting from any accidents that may occur during the event. The main aim of the clause is to maintain an equitable distribution of risk, as well as to provide a level of assurance to the party being ‘held harmless.’


1. Real Estate Transactions: A hold harmless clause is often included in real estate contracts to protect the seller from future liability if problems arise after selling the property. For example, if the buyer discovers a structural issue with the house after the purchase, the seller cannot be held liable under the hold harmless clause, depending on how it was written.2. Construction Contracts: In construction contracts, a hold harmless clause is commonly used to protect the party hiring the contractor from liability for injuries or damages that occur on the job. For instance, if a contractor is injured while working on a project, they cannot hold the person who hired them liable for their injuries if the agreement includes a hold harmless clause. 3. Event Rental Agreements: When renting a space or venue for an event, the rental contract may include a hold harmless clause. This could mean that the event organizer agrees to not hold the owner of the venue accountable for any injuries or damages that occur during the event. For example, if a guest is injured due to a technical failure at the venue, the hold harmless clause can protect the owner from legal claims.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Hold Harmless Clause?

A Hold Harmless Clause, or indemnity agreement, is a legal provision that ensures one party is not held liable for potential losses or damages incurred or suffered by another party during their involvement in a particular activity or transaction.

Why is a Hold Harmless Clause important in business and finance?

It’s important because it can protect a business or individual from bearing financial or legal responsibility for unforeseen events or circumstances. It can also conditionally or unconditionally protect a party from liabilities, claims, losses, or damages against or suffered by another party.

How does a Hold Harmless Clause work in a contract?

When two parties sign a contract with a Hold Harmless Clause, one party agrees not to hold the other party responsible if any legal claims or losses ensue from their association. The specifics of this clause depend entirely on the details and language of the contract.

Is a Hold Harmless Clause enforceable?

Yes, generally the clause is legally enforceable, however, it may depend on clarity, reasonableness, and lawfulness. Some jurisdictions may impose restrictions or may not acknowledge overly broad or ambiguous clauses.

What’s the difference between indemnity and a Hold Harmless Clause?

Indemnity and Hold Harmless are often used interchangeably. While they are similar, the main difference lies in the way liabilities are managed. Typically, indemnity involves the repayment of loss that has already occurred while Hold Harmless looks to protect from future losses.

Can a Hold Harmless Clause be used in all types of contracts?

Generally, yes. They are prevalent in many contract types, especially in those with higher risk activities or transactions. However, the usage of such a clause and its effectiveness could depend heavily on the contract specifics and the jurisdiction laws.

Can a Hold Harmless Clause protect a party from all types of liability?

No, it does not protect from all types of liabilities. The extent to which a party is protected depends on the wording of the clause, and it won’t protect a party from intentional or reckless acts that result in harm. The clause is generally meant to protect against losses incurred due to unintentional negligence or accidents.

Related Finance Terms

  • Indemnification Clause
  • Liability Waiver
  • Risk Allocation
  • Contractual Liability
  • Negligence Liability

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