Understanding exceptions can be as important as understanding the rules, especially when it comes to something as high-risk as offshore work. In a recent issue of Marine News Magazine, Larry DeMarcay looked at some local regulations that forbid the use of additional insurance to cover incidents off the coast of Louisiana. For companies working in this area, this could mean that protections that normally apply suddenly don't.
Local operators have a special way to opt out of the additional insurance law, though, as long as they understand the circumstances. While tricky, if they meet the Marcel Exception's requirements, parties seeking indemnity can get insurance despite the restrictions of the Louisiana Oil Field Indemnity Act.
The name of the Marcel Exception dates back to the Marcel vs. Placid Oil Co. case of the early 1990s. According to documents on OpenJurist, worker Jeffrey Marcel claimed he slipped and fell while working on an oil platform. Under the exception that arose from this case, indemnified parties that pay for their own additional coverage can avoid the LOIA rule.
How can entities qualify for Marcel? They need to pay the additional insurance premium ahead of time and make sure that the right language exists in their contracts. Timing is crucial with this, since the proper needs have to be met before an incident occurs. Getting assistance with this may seem daunting at first, but it is necessary to verify that the desired additional insured coverage is being handled correctly.
Insurance for marine contracting may differ for non-marine risks. As a result, operators may need a specific policy overseen by experts in the field. Instead of working with a company that doesn't know the business, it's perhaps wiser to turn to someone who focuses on this area more intimately.