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Mar 2, 2017

Mitch Harless, Senior Vice President for Claims Management, is Frank’s guest in this episode of Stephens Viewpoints. Frank and Mitch discuss oil field insurance issues, and why it is important to understand oil patch indemnification and mutual indemnification agreements, both before and after an incident. Listen to hear more.


Key Takeaways:

[:41] Mitch Harless tells of his career path in the Property & Casualty insurance industry, from 1983 until today.

[1:43] Mitch spent 20 years on the carrier side focused on the oil and gas industry.

[2:14] What are the complexities of oil patch indemnification in the oil services sector?

[2:54] What are the three key businesses involved in drilling an oil well? With which parties does Stephens normally interact?

[3:44] There are two typical contracts in the oil and gas industry for drilling a well: a drilling contract, usually by the IADC, and a Master Service Agreement, or MSA. What do they have in common?

[4:25] Mitch describes knock-for-knock, or mutual indemnification agreements.

[5:10] Stephens’ clients look to Stephens for expertise in the nuances of indemnification agreements as they pertain to the oil and gas industry.

[5:58] The claims management expert offers pre-loss reviews of contracts and indemnification, and post-loss claims management practices in the event of a claim.

[6:55] Mitch gives additional detail about knock-for-knock claims. The focus is on which employee, belonging to which employer, was injured in the incident.

[7:47] As a diversified agent, Stephens might represent either the operator, or the service contractors.

[8:27] The indemnification process is very complex. A number of states have anti-indemnification statutes, which have a compelling effect on an indemnification agreement. Case law, such as Corbett, adds to the complexity.

[9:20] Next episode: Study of the fallout from the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Stephens Insurance

Mitch Harless

International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)

Corbett vs. INA

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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