There are many federal regulations guiding companies that operate on land and sea, and many of them are designed to protect more than U.S. interests. Most notably, federal and state laws often protect the labor force. Companies who deal with land-based operations are required to carry workers’ compensation for accidents and injuries occurring while on the job, but seamen don’t have that same coverage.
The Jones Act
The experts at Merrimac Marine advise any company wanting to protect their finances from a liability lawsuit to invest in a comprehensive insurance policy that carries a maritime employer liability endorsement. The Jones Act allows seafaring employees to bring suit against their employers in the event of an injury that occurs while working on open waters. However, this only applies when the seaman is working on a company-owned vessel.
In order to fully protect your liabilities, additional endorsements for employee working locations may be to be added to your policy. This is true for companies that offer services such as:
- Equipment operations on a third-party vessel
- Third-party vessel maintenance or repair
- Other employment activities on a third-party vessel
The cost a lawsuit for any injury can be damaging to your company’s finances. A policy in place that addresses these liabilities could provide legal funds, medical care reimbursement, and lost wages.