Workers Comp from Inland to Offshore
- Longshoreman’s Insurance (USL&H)
- Maritime Employer’s Liability (MEL)
- Maritime Employer’s Liability(MEL)
For maritime employers, the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers Act (USL&H) and the Jones Act are two of the most important pieces of legislation in the federal code. The USL&H and Jones Acts provide for the maritime equivalent of state-run workers compensation programs and are federally mandated in order to ensure that maritime employees receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Maritime companies are required to provide specific levels of compensation insurance for their employees for covered incidents that occur in U.S. navigable waters, piers, wharfs, dry docks and other areas used by seafaring vessels outside the normal jurisdiction of the states.
What is the USL&H Act?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Act was enacted in 1927 and has evolved over time to provide compensation benefits for longshore and harbor workers who are injured on the job. Often referred to as the USL&H Act, the legislation requires maritime employers to maintain separate insurance for employees to compensate them for injuries or losses sustained when at sea and located in U.S. navigable waters and waterways. This added coverage and legislation is necessary because state workers compensation programs do not cover workplace injuries that occur at sea or in such waterways. The USL&H Act is administered by the Department of Labor and covers medical, disability and rehabilitative therapies as well as providing insurance to cover cases of wrongful death on the job.
What is the Jones Act?
Often considered in conjunction with the USL&H Act, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is known informally as the Jones Act. This legislation provides a mechanism for employees serving on U.S. flagged ships to sue their employers in the event that they are injured on the job due to negligence on the part of the employer, other employees or the poor condition of the vessel on which they were employed. This right to seek legal redress is not part of international maritime law and applies only to U.S. citizens and residents serving on U.S. flagged ships.
Who must comply with the USL&H and Jones Acts?
The requirements of the USL&H and Jones Acts are applicable to all U.S. companies operating in U.S. navigable waters as well as companies required to provide these benefits under existing contracts with vendors or other entities. These companies are required to maintain adequate compensation benefits as defined by the current USL&H standards for all employees who work on, near, or around maritime waters and are not covered by state workers compensation as a result. Maritime companies typically manage their risks by obtaining insurance to cover the liabilities created by the USL&H and Jones Acts; without such insurance, the company could potentially be responsible for catastrophic medical expenses, payments for loss of life or corporate negligence and numerous other financial outlays that could significantly impact the company’s ability to continue operations.
E-WorkersComp.net provides comprehensive workers comp policies that provide compensation for injuries and medical expenses. By maintaining adequate coverage under the stipulated requirements of the USL&H and Jones Acts, maritime employers can provide their employees with compensation benefits while protecting themselves against financial loss.
Marine Workers Compensation can be a large expenditure for businesses depending upon the risks that employees take on the job. Not all insurers can provide you with an affordable solution. We continually monitor the market for great rates and products and can help you identify the best insurer for your needs. Using our online form you can request a free quote and have our agency help you to find a policy more affordable for your business.