To indemnify another party is to compensate that party for loss or damage that has already occurred, or to guarantee through a contractual agreement to repay another party for loss or damage that occurs in the future.

One common example of an indemnification occurs when an insurance company, as part of an individual insurance policy, agrees to indemnify the insured person for losses that person incurred as the result of accident or property damage.

Another example is when a subcontractor agrees to indemnify a general contractor for any losses that occur as a result of the subcontractor’s work-–whether they be as a result of a suit filed against the general contractor for failure to adhere to contractual terms, or because of personal injury suffered at the job site by a worker or some other individual.


See Hercules Inc. et al v. United States, 516 U.S. 417 (1996).