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Bonds, Insurance, & Liability

Section F-2
Hold Harmless Clauses

The Joint Committee recommends "Hold Harmless" clauses should never be used.

Since the Owner, Architect, Engineer and/or Contractor each has certain legal responsibilities in the design of structures and participation in the construction process, each must assume their own responsibilities.

The specifications should require the Contractor to carry comprehensive general liability insurance, stating the insurance requirements applicable to the project at hand.

If, in an individual situation, the Contractor is required to protect (hold harmless) the Owner, Architect and/or Engineer, the specifications must define specifically the risks, liabilities, legal costs, etc., involved in protecting the Owner, Architect or Engineer. Such protection should only be against claims arising out of negligence in performance of the contract by the Contractor, their employees or Subcontractors, and should limit such negligent acts to those occurring in the performance of the terms of the contract, and not as a result of the project in general. This will enable the Contractor to have included in his liability policy the protection covering provisions set forth in the specifications.

In all cases where "hold harmless" clauses are required by the Owner, or an authorized agency, an attorney should be consulted.

TAGS: General Liability Insurance and Specifications.

Glossary Terms for the Best Practices Guide

History of Recommendation:
Reviewed July, 2010
Revised May, 1990
Revised May, 1987
Revised July, 1986
Reviewed September, 1977
Revised November, 1971
Approved April 23, 1964

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