When considering the options for mariner liability coverage, there is some confusion over what is required by federal regulations and what is simply suggested policy inclusions. While on land, state and federal regulations require most businesses to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. However, according to the group at Merrimac Marine Insurance, once a vessel has moved into waters and away from the dock, the individuals on board are no longer covered by traditional workers’ comp policies.
Which Coverage is Right?
Once a ship has left the dock, the employees on board are to be protected in the event of injury or accident through the Jones Act. This is a federal law given seamen the right to sue their employer in the event of injury during the course of their employment duties. Seamen are not automatically granted workers’ comp benefits, therefore they can financially seek compensation. However, this only applies to seamen injured on their own company’s vessels.
In the event a seaman is employed with one company and working on another ship for another company, MEL coverage becomes necessary. If your company is involved in the following, this insurance plan is right for you.
- Repairs and servicing to third-party vessels
- Suppling or operating equipment on other companies’ vessels
The right insurance plan can protect you from financial chaos in the event of an injury or accident, but it could also help keep you compliant with state and federal regulations.