Employees working in the maritime industry are exposed to a multitude of risks in the course of their jobs. If an accident does happen, the laws defining the responsibility can become cloudy and confusing. As an employer, you need to understand what marine liability insurance coverage you need to carry in order to protect your business in all situations.
One of the more commonly known maritime laws is the Joes Act. Protections under these act cover seamen that are stationed on a specific vessel. Another law is the Longshore Act (USL&H), which covers harbor workers and employees that are not seaman on a vessel. There are gaps in these coverages that may not apply to all maritime situations.
What is MEL?
Maritime Employers Liability is insurance that applies to unique arrangements that are not typically included in Jones or Longshore policies. The coverage extends to scenarios that fall into two distinct categories:
- An employee of yours is injured on another vessel that is not your own.
- Someone else’s employee is injured while working on your vessel.
These circumstances won’t apply to all employers, but if they do then a large risk is present without carrying MEL. It should also be noted that MEL differs from workers comp in that it is not meant as a compensation policy and is instead liability protection for your business.