– Please send your questions, comments and comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org. Silvy Wright is President and CEO of Markel Insurance Company of Canada, the country`s largest freight forwarding insurer. If a carrier signs an agreement containing this clause, without a subsequent clause limiting the period during which the carrier assumes responsibility (e.g. .B. for the collection of the cargo at the time it is deposited), the carrier may be held liable for anything that happens to the cargo at any time in the future. even after the delivery of the cargo. Third, and perhaps most importantly, don`t sign anything. Consider the long-term effects of the agreement you sign. Is it a casual client or someone who allows for continuous activity? What type of coverage does the shipper carry? And is the shipper willing to pay you more to cover the cost of insuring their cargo in all circumstances? Truck News is Canada`s leading freight forwarding newspaper – news and information for freight forwarding companies, owners and operators, truckers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian freight forwarding industry. Carriers must also pay attention to disclaimers in which the carrier undertakes to “indemnify the shipper for all costs incurred as a result of loss or damage not caused solely by the shipper”. “(CARRIER) undertakes to defend and indemnify against any claim for loss or damage to any shipment carried by (CARRIER) in accordance with this Agreement.
So what`s the solution given that most, if not all, carriers are supposed to regularly sign shipper/carrier contracts that include harmless holdback clauses? The words to watch out for here are “everything and everything.” As the Michigan Court of Appeals quoted in a case involving an airline and General Motors (Laudano vs. General Motors Corp, 1977): “There can be no broader classification than the word `all`. In its ordinary and natural sense, the word “all” leaves no room for exceptions. Chances are, your sender doesn`t really understand the impact of what they`re asking you to do. It is up to you, the carrier, to ensure that your shippers understand your coverage limitations and your continued ability to provide service. The first thing you need to know is that some Hold Harmless clauses can be more harmful than others. Imagine the following scenario: your driver tilts a trailer after swerving to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The loss of cargo is attributed to two factors: moving cargo that was improperly loaded by the shipper and a moving injury caused by the other driver. Your driver is in no way to blame. And yet, because the pressure drop is at least partly due to the other driver, the shipper is not “alone” responsible, and that`s why you`re on the hook. Second, understand your coverage.
Talk to your insurance broker about the liability you can assume. Your insurance provider may be able to include your shipper in your policy as an additional insured and cover you for a loss during shipping caused by the shipper and not by you. Of course, the cost of increasing your coverage for someone else`s liability should be weighed against the value of the contract. In February, a maryland House of Representatives committee heard proposals from the Maryland Motor Truck Association on the clauses. The hope was that Maryland would enact legislation to remove all harmless holdback clauses from shipper/carrier contracts. On 10 April, this law was adopted and signed. It entered into force on 1 October this year. Few carriers are aware that they are not necessarily insured to cover the type of unlimited liability involved in certain harmless withholding clauses. Maryland is the latest state to enact an “anti-compensation law” — others include Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Yet many states have yet to pass similar laws and, in the meantime, many carriers still face the necessary difficulty of signing shipper contracts with harmless clauses if they hope to get the shipper`s business. First, pay close attention to the language used in each Hold Harmless clause. If you need a harmless hold clause, make sure there is a clause that limits your liability to the time you actually transport the cargo. Treat the language “any and all” in a Hold Harmless clause like a big red flag. If you are not sure how much liability you are assuming, do not sign the contract. Ask a transportation lawyer to look first. Non-avoidability clauses in shipper and carrier contracts are the subject of much discussion in the United States, as carrier associations gain momentum in their efforts to prohibit these clauses, which assign 100% liability to carriers. Again, the devil is in the details. In the above clause, the word you need to pay attention to is “exclusively” as it can make a big difference to you, the carrier, when a loss occurs. Take, for example, the following Hold Harmless clause: How can a Hold Harmless clause affect your business?.