In most other industries, employers who provide worker’s compensation are protected from lawsuits stemming from work-related illnesses and injuries if the employee collects compensation. The law prohibits such coverage for maritime employees.
The Jones Act, specifically, allows seamen to sue their employers if they sustain injuries or become ill while performing their duties. Maritime insurance is an important protection for companies that hire workers who conduct their activities on marine vessels.
The Role of Negligence
A lawsuit can be financially devastating. When an employee is injured, becomes ill or dies, your company may be held liable for the damages that result. Typical defenses that include assumption of risk or contributory negligence are disallowed under the Jones Act. The law does provide for comparative negligence, which determines degree of fault in levying penalties.
The Importance of MEL Insurance
MEL coverage is a critical maritime insurance plan for employers whose workers perform their duties onboard another’s vessel. It also provides protection for temporary employees on company boats. A policy covers operations such as:
- Artisan work performed by contractors
- Scientific research and surveys
- Seismic surveys
- Construction work on marine vessels
- Drilling work
Maritime insurance that protects workers is critical for marine-based companies. This includes those who hire workers for jobs onboard vessels owned by another or temporary workers who perform duties aboard company boats. Be sure to protect your company and your employees with the right type of insurance.