Contractual liability is defined as liability that does not arise by way of negligence, but by assumption under contract or agreement. Although it is frequently misunderstood, this type of liability is critical in the insurance and risk management industries. It is common in business agreements (written or oral), for one party to assume the liability of another. This is sometimes referred to as a hold harmless agreement. The full extent to which one holds another harmless varies from project to project, contract to contract, job to job and so on. To assume liability of another is risky and increases your exposure to loss. That is why insurance is required. Contractual liability insurance is usually provided with commercial liability insurance - but you should always ask your agent to make sure. There will also be some exceptions and limitations, so again ask your agent and thoroughly read through your policy so that you know what is and what is not covered.
Outside of insurance, contractual liability has a broad meaning - it's basically a promise that may be upheld in court. For example, say you agree to build someone a deck for $600 and collect $300 as a retainer prior to starting the job. In the meantime, a higher paying project comes along and you never show up to put on the deck. The other party can take you to court and collect the original $300 that they paid you. You were in breach of contract and therefore they had a justified contractual liability claim.
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