How To Determine Liability With USL&H Coverage

The United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act was designed to protect maritime workers who were not otherwise protected by state or maritime laws. If you’re company is operating within the marine industry, it’s necessary to obtain coverage to ensure the safety and protection of your employees. But how do you determine liability when it comes to USL&H insurance coverage. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Injury or death on navigable waters. USL&H was created to cover a gap for workers not covered by state workers compensation benefits nor the Jones Act or Merchant Marine Act because they aren’t seamen. If an employee works on navigable waters but is not a seaman, any injury or death will be covered under USL&H.
  • Types of workers covered. It’s important to note that, due to the coverage being a gap between worker’s compensation and the Jones Act, only certain workers will qualify. These jobs include, but may not be limited to, longshore and harbor workers, shipbuilders and ship repair workers, as well as shipbreakers. We always recommend discussing the details with your insurance provider.
  • Exclusion for coverage. For anyone working within your shipyard, it’s likely they will be covered. It only doesn’t apply to vessels under 18 tons even if the occupation is eligible. Coverage also doesn’t apply if the cause of the accident or injury was worker intoxication. In some cases, a vendor doing temporary work onsite will not be covered, but this does not apply to subcontracting employees you hire through a temporary staffing service. They will be included.
  • Working with your insurance provider. While we have provided the briefest of overviews on this insurance coverage, we suggest that all shipyards consult with their insurance provider to better understand the specifics. Know that there will be certain aspects that are integral to your business model that will need to be covered with USL&H insurance.

Do you have more questions about insurance and your staff? Contact Hutco today to see how we can help.