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Workers' Compensation Insurance

April 7th, 2011

Longshore and Harbors Workers Comp Coverage

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Martin Summers

Insurance Agent

The Longshore and Harbors Workers Compensation Coverage is provided by an endorsement to the workers compensation policy. It covers workers or maritime employees in positions such as longshoremen, harbor workers, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, ship repairers or other employees engaged in loading, unloading, repairing or building vessels. It also covers employees who work on navigable waters, adjoining piers, wharves, dry docks, terminals, building ways and marine railways. It does not cover masters, captains, or crews of vessels unless further endorsed to voluntarily cover those positions. Businesses that operate on the water, especially on navigable waters, such as rivers and oceans, may be required to purchase this coverage.

The United States Longshore And Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (USL&HWCA) was enacted by legislation in 1927. It is a federal workers compensation law that applies to maritime employees who work on or over navigable waters in or adjacent to the United States. However, it does not apply to sailors, seamen, masters and crews of any ship, vessel or watercraft. The workers subject to this Act are usually not eligible for state workers compensation benefits because they work on or over navigable waters. They are also not eligible for coverage under the Jones Act or the Merchant Marine Act because they are not seamen. As a result, the USL&HWCA was needed to fill the coverage gap for this class of workers.

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