Insurance Coverage for Maritime Employee Injuries

Government regulation is often put in place to protect U.S. businesses and employees from a number of risks associated with daily operations. It could be environmental protection, the health and safety of individuals or the fair and ethical consumption of goods and services. The Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Jones Act are federal regulations put in place to protect workers involved in the maritime industry.

The Purpose of the Regulation

These acts were written to provide compensation to those persons who were injured or killed while working on navigable U.S. waters. An extension of navigable waters also included:

  • Adjoining wharf or pier
  • Terminal or adjoining area for loading, unloading, repair or vessel construction
  • Dry dock
  • Marine railway

More specifically, the Jones Act requires workers’ compensation benefits similar to land-based injury provision for members and masters of U.S.-flagged vessels. These vessels vary by size and purpose, ranging from a pontoon boat transporting crew to a job or an ocean liner.

The Protection Against Litigation

As a way for these maritime employers to address the costs of providing financial resources to injured workers and in order to remain compliant with federal law, purchasing USL&H Jones Act insurance is a solution. Under these policies, claims filed by injured employees are handled similarly to a traditional workers’ compensation plan, though Jones Act provisions allow for additional lawsuits against an employer for negligence.