HARRISBURG – With bipartisan support, the House passed legislation by Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) to protect private children and youth social service agencies and residential treatment providers. The bill will accomplish this by voiding certain indemnification clauses when these agencies renew their professional liability policies.
House Bill 2214
would help ensure the longevity of essential service providers by making indemnification language in government contracts that currently shift all liability to third party providers unenforceable.
“My bill will help ensure our essential service providers are able to afford their operational insurance costs by making indemnification language in government contracts that currently shift all liability to third party providers unenforceable,” said Klunk. “This legislation will not provide the agencies with immunity against any claim that is due to their own negligence. This bill acts as a risk management strategy and will help to create a fairer and safer system surrounding at-risk children and their families.”
For the last several years, private provider agencies have seen increased insurance costs and decreased coverage due to indemnification clauses that require the service provider to take on all liability, regardless of whether the service provider or county agency is at fault. Because of this, providers of behavioral health, drug and alcohol services, foster care, adoption services and residential treatment centers are finding it increasingly cost prohibitive, and at times impossible, to get professional liability insurance that is affordable.
In addition to driving down insurance prices, the bill would ensure mutual indemnification, where each party is liable for its own negligence.
For questions about this legislation or any other state government issue, please contact Klunk’s office at 717-630-8942.
Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Katelin Morrison