What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is mine! Anti-Indemnification Laws
I had the opportunity to attend a Leadership seminar at Great West Casualty Company last week. One of the topics was indemnification wording in shipper contracts and discussion on the states that presently have anti-indemnification law, those states working on anti-indemnification law and the states not presently on board.
We all know that with state governments once a subject catches on with the majority of states, the others tend to follow suit. Such is the case with the anti-indemnification laws. A few years ago only a handful of states actually had anti-indemnification laws in place, whereas now most states are on board or working to get on board with similar laws. Anti-indemnification law is not a “cure all” remedy in all cases, but it does “set a tone” should you end up in court. Other things that you can do to protect yourselves, your company and your insurance carrier from unfair indemnification wording include:
1) Have your insurance carrier’s legal department review all contracts and point out concerns and ideas as they pertain to the insurance coverage/s in place. Your insurance company needs to be “in the know” on these contracts.
2) Have your attorney review all contracts and request a fairer relationship in regards to indemnification and hold harmless wording. More of a “you take care of what you cause and we take care of what we cause” agreement.
3) Should the shipper not agree to fairer terms and require strict and absolute indemnification wording in order for you to haul their loads there is one more step you should take. Email your contact at the shipper stating that you are “signing the contract under duress and/or protest” in order to have the ability to haul the loads. Place a copy of the email with your signed contract for reference in the event of a future claim.
If your state is one of the states currently involved in considering anti-indemnification law or not yet on board, be sure you are presenting your concerns to your local representatives. Educate them on the concerns of unfair indemnification wording and its affect on you, their constituent. Knowing what is in your contracts, getting everyone on your team up to speed and managing this risk before a claim happens can save headaches and dollars down the road.