If your company operates or bids a project on or near navigable waters in the United States, it is likely that a specific type of insurance coverage will be required. This is a necessity due to the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (USL&H), which provides protection to certain maritime workers.
Who is it Applicable To?
The boundaries of the USL&H can be confusing at times. For one, it does not cover seaman who are stationed on a registered US vessel – that is enforced under the Jones Act. Certain exclusions also apply based on job positions and the industry involved. In general, any operations on dry docks, piers, railways, shipyards and terminals near waterways fall under the protection of the act. In short, if your company is performing work adjacent to water then the importance of carrying a USL&H policy should not be overlooked.
As explained by Merrimac Marine, if the requirements necessitate a need for USL&H insurance then it is separate and distinct from any worker’s compensation policy. Those protections do not cover the myriad of additional hazards that can occur working near waterways.
Determining what businesses and projects are subject to USL&H law is not always straightforward. Contacting an insurance specialist with experience in this area can help you navigate the requirements and coverages necessary.