The official website of the United States Department of Labor asks an important question on its page about the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation: which employers need insurance?
Generally, the source notes, employers who oversee workers on and around U.S. waters need to insure these personnel, as they would be covered by the Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, or LHWCA. The question then becomes: who is covered, and when?
There are exemptions that prevent certain individuals from coverage, which could, in turn, affect the insurance liability of the employer. The source notes that in these cases, workers do need to be covered by state compensation law instead:
- Aquaculture workers: These positions often involve work with live and dead plants and animals in aquatic areas.
- Non-harbor employees: Though longshore and harbor workers are usually accounted for by this Act, several other types of establishments are not. These include different types of recreational facilities, like restaurants, museums and camps. Marinas cannot include employees that are doing regular work, as opposed to construction or expansions.
- Office staff: The site specifies that data processing specialists, clerical workers and others are not counted under the LHWCA. Most of the jobs that are listed as examples fall into the category of "traditional maritime occupations" like shipbreaking or longshoring.
- Recreational vessel construction: Employees tasked with building, repairing or dismantling certain recreational boats could be left out of coverage depending on the size of the ship in question.
In all cases, understanding which positions require maritime insurance as a matter of law helps employers feel sure that they are following the rules and making the right decisions. An expert in this field will know the necessary exclusions for specific laws and let companies feel better about the particular insurance option they choose.