Protecting workers on marine vessels is an important responsibility of their employers. Maritime workers face many types of situations and potential risks while on the job. Those who employ them need to understand these risks and consider how to cover their workers. A good option is maritime employer’s liability, or MEL coverage.
MEL Coverage Explained
Maritime employer’s liability is a valuable type of insurance that covers maritime employees on any vessel. Workers are covered in the event of injury, illness, or death while working on their employers’ vessels, and they also are covered when working on boats of any size and type not owned by their employers. MEL coverage also extends to special contractors working on vessels sailing on open waters.
This type of insurance works for multiple industries, including:
- Surveying and scientific research
- Seismic studies
- Maritime construction
- Drilling operations
Maritime employer’s liability is not the same as worker’s compensation, and it is not required by the federal government or by any state laws. This lack of legal obligation, however, does not detract from the importance of this type of insurance.
Without MEL insurance, maritime employers are liable for award claims in litigation. Such awards could be financially catastrophic. In addition to claims, employers also are liable for legal expenses.
Maritime employer’s liability coverage is an effective way for employers to protect their employees and their own financial interests.