Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
Hello, I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for. They are essentially the same thing. Your rights under either agreement will be determined by the terms of the indemnification or hold harmless agreement. If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.
isn't there a significant difference between essentially insuring vs. saying they are not liable"
The difference in the definition you reference relates to the type of protection you seek. The hold harmless is relieving you from liability for your own acts. As the article notes many states consider indemnification and hold harmless to be the same. Where you are seeking to absolve yourself from your own liability, you would be very specific and not just refer to being held harmless. In many cases, you are not allowed to absolve yourself from your own liability. Where the issue normally arises when you want a third party to protect you from loss arising from a particular set of facts. For example, in a purchase contract, you might have representations and warranties from the seller and you want the seller to indemnify you from any loss arising from breach of the representations and warranties. These provisions can be fairly complex because they should cover how indemnification is invoked, who controls the litigation and things of that nature. Hold harmless addresses the same issues, that is why the two terms are generally considered the same thing. If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.