Longshore Insurance


Longshoreman Insurance Articles

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT MY GENERAL LIABILITY DOES NOT COVER ME WORKING AT THE DOCK OR WATERSIDE!  Marine General Liability Insurance is a must for dock workers and vessel repairs, in addition to USLH or Longshoreman Insurance.
An article by O. Rickey  Harris ,CWCA, CMIP

Type your paragraph here.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USLH (US Longshore and Harbor Workers Act) AND MEL (Marine Employers Liability)?

USL&H (US Longshore and Harbor Workers Act)is a specific type of insurance coverage mandated by federal law (The Unites States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) covering a broad range of occupational injuries and illnesses. Longshore coverage is specific to employees working within the jurisdiction of the United States. Failure to provide this coverage can result in legal penalties of up to 5 years prison time and $250,000 fine per occurrence. 
MEL (Marine Employers Liability) Insurance provides coverage for just about any liability an employer might have arising from injuries, illnesses, or deaths of employees where those employees are injured while in service of a vessel.  The key words here are “while in service of a vessel.”
If your company is in need or has any questions about these two type of marine insurance Marine Employers Liability (MEL) or Longshoreman Insurance (USLH Insurance), LongshoremanInsurance.com has the answers for you and has been serving the marine industry for over 20 years.  They can be reached by phone, text or email.                                                                         The phone and or text number is 205-221-5466 and the email is rh@longshoremaninsurance.com.


Liability Insurance such as the typical General Liability Insurance Policy is worded to take care of land-based operations because there is a little known EXCLUSION in most Commerical General Liability (CGL)policies for any work done around docks, piers, ships, etc. However, Marine General Liability (MGL) policies are designed to cover these marine type risks such as dock repair, dock building and ship repair or ship repairers coverage. Many long term insurance agents do not take the time to understand this EXCLUSION found in most CGL policies. That is why marine contractors should always work with an experienced marine insurance broker such as Longshoremaninsurance.com.  Commercial General Liability policies usually cost less than marine general liability policies and most of the time the agent wants to win your account with the “cheapest” quote and you as a contractor want to spend the least amount possible for liability insurance so this is perhaps the reason that you could end up with a policy that is no good to you or the third party that you furnished a certificate of insurance to.  Many times,  marinas and city and state government officials do not know the difference between commercial general liability insurance and marine general liability insurance.  They just see the certificate of insurance (COI) and it says “commercial general insurance” and they are like “fine, you have it.  Come on it to work!”  We have seen this several times.

Better check your own liability insurance policy wording to make sure that you have coverage if you are doing any work around docks, coastal or river areas, and especially around vessels of any size.  Go first to the EXCLUSIONS page on your policy, which  is usually located towards the end of your policy. An exclusion is a policy provision that eliminates coverage for some type of risk and narrow the scope of coverage found in the insuring agreement and are in favor of the insurance company and not the insured such as yourself! Don’t just look at the certificate of insurance that you may have from your agent where it has the block checked that says “liability insurance.”  That wording will not tell you what you need to know. 

Your questions can be answered by contacting us at rh@longshoremaninsurance.com or by calling or texting 205-221-5466.  Email or text is the preferred method of contact. Instant Response Texting if in a hurry, 205-275-5005.

Jones Act - Large Verdict

The US Justice Department stated today, April 5, 2017, that Furie Operating Alaska LLC has agreed to pay $10 million to

satisfy a civil penalty brought against it by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for violating the Jones Act, according

to Acting US Attorney Bryan Schroder.

Furie is based in Anchorage, Alaska and works with exploration and production of natural gas and oil in Cook Inlet.  The

penalty stems from transporting the Spartan 151 jack-up drill rig from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska in 2011 using a foreign

flagged vessel without acquiring a waiver of the Jones Act from the Secretary of Homeland Security.

The Jones Act, passed in 1910, prohibits a foreign vessel from transporting merchandise between points in the United States.

A violation of the Jones Act may result in the assessment of a civil penalty equal to the value of the merchandise.  A waiver may be obtained under certain circumstances.

There are 7 Very Important Reason that You May Be Paying Too Much for Your Longshoreman Insurance:

1. Experience Modifier Wrong- 

We get a lot of questions from Longshoreman employers and Marine Insurance employers asking about how the premium is calculated and what is included in the payroll and what is not.  The National Council on Compensation Insurance is the governing body that rules on what is included and what is to be excluded from payroll calculations and premium to be paid for workers compensation and for Longshoreman Insurance.

Items included in the calculations are as follows:

  1. The expenses are incurred for the business of the Employer.
  2. The amount of each employee's expense payments or allowances is shown separately in the records of the Employer.
  3. The amount of each employee's expense reimbursement is a fair estimate of the actual expenses incurred by the employee in the conduct of his/her work.

Many Clients ask us about AUDITS AND WHAT ARE THE RULES?  To follow is an article that speaks to both State Act Workers Compensation and to Longshoreman Insurance.  To follow is an article that came across my desk today, August 8, 2016.

Class Code Review: 

What Exactly is Clerical? By: Jason Mickey Premium Audit Account Analyst 

Clerical Misconceptions:

"In workers’ comp insurance generally each business gets a single classification that applies to all employees. If certain employees qualify for a standard exception and that code doesn't include the exposure, then they can be separately rated. The clerical classification is one of these standard exceptions. “Subject to certain exceptions...it is the business of the insured...that is classified, not the separate employments, occupations or operations within the business.” -P.C.R.B. Workers Compensation Manual. 

April 1, 2016 Edition

 When the typical injuries are paper cuts and eye strain it’s not exactly a risky exposure. Because of this it carries one of the lowest rates and has strict requirements in order to qualify. The term “clerical” can have different meanings and interpretations. In workers comp the clerical classification is only used for an office clerk; which as you know, is not the same as a retail, gas station, or garage clerk. Below are some job duties that are commonly perceived to be in the clerical office code but do not qualify*:

  Front Desk Clerk  Counter personnel  Auto Shop Service Writer/Estimator  Cashier (i.e. auto shop, retail, etc.)  Beauty Salon Attendant  Host/Hostess  Supervisors or Managers *Subject to minor variations in state rules. 

Qualifying Clerical Rating bureaus have developed strict guidelines that auditors must adhere to when assigning the clerical office classification. In doing so the integrity of the code is maintained along with its low rating. So what does qualify as clerical? The two main aspects to focus on are where the employee works and what the employee’s duties are. Here are the general guidelines: 

Where: Locations Included  Work area separated and distinguishable from all other work areas and hazards of the employer by floors, walls, partitions, counters, or other physical barriers. 

What: Duties Included  Creation or maintenance of financial or other employer records, correspondence, computer programs, files  Data entry or word processing  Phone duties including sales by phone  Copy or fax machine operations (unless the insured is in the business of making copies or faxing for the public)  General office work similar in nature to the above Where: Locations Excluded  Work or service areas  Areas where inventory is located  Areas where products are displayed for sale  Areas to which the customer brings a product for payment What: Duties Excluded  Physical labor  Direct supervision of non-clerical employees not performed in an eligible site  Outside sales or outside representatives  Any work exposed to the operative hazards of the business such as a stock or tally clerk, which is necessary, incidental or related to any operation of the business other than a clerical office Interchange of Duties

In instances where clerical or drafting employees perform any other duties, the total payroll of such employees would be assigned to the highest rated classification representing any part of their work. We understand how complicated yet important the classification process can be. A misclassification  can have a huge impact on the relationship with an insured. If there are ever any questions or concerns with classifications, payroll, or any other audit issues feel free to contact your assigned premium audit analyst."

Premium & Payroll Rules


1.  Premium Basis

Premium is calculated on the basis of the total payroll paid or payable by the Insured for services of individuals who could receive benefits for work-related injuries as provided by the policy.

2.  Payroll

For our purposes, payroll means money or substitutes for money for work subject to the USL&H Act.

Payroll includes: Wages or salaries (including retroactive wages or salaries)Total cash received by an employee for commissions and draws against commissions.

  • Bonuses including stock bonus plans.
  • Extra pay for overtime work except as provided in Overtime rules.
  • Pay for holidays, vacations, or periods of sickness. (Refer to other rules for allocation of payroll for employees subject to more than one classification code.)
  • Payment by an Employer of amounts that would have been withheld from employees to meet statutory obligations for insurance or pension plans such as the Federal Social Security Act or Medicare.
  • Payment to employees on any basis other than time worked, such as piecework, profit sharing or incentive plans.
  • Payment or allowances for hand tools or hand-held power tools used by employees in their work or operations for the Insured. These tools may be supplied directly by the employee or to the employee through a third party.
  • The rental value of an apartment or house provided to an employee based on comparable accommodations
  • The value of lodging, other than an apartment or house received by an employee as part of their pay to the extent shown in the Insured's records.
  • The value of meals received by employees as part of their pay to the extent shown in the Insured's records.
  • The value of store certificates, merchandise, credits or any other substitute for money received by employees as part of their pay.
  • Payments for salary reduction, employee savings plans, retirement or cafeteria plans (IRC 125) that are made through employee-authorized salary reduction from the employee's gross pay.
  • Davis-Bacon wages or wages from a similar prevailing wage law.
  • Annuity plans.
  • Expense reimbursements to employees to the extent that an Employer's records do not confirm that the expense was incurred as a valid business expense. Exception: When it can be verified that the employee was away from home overnight on the business of the Employer, but the Employer did not maintain verifiable receipts for incurred expenses, a reasonable expense allowance, limited to a maximum of $30 per day, is permitted.
  • Payment for filming of commercials excluding subsequent residuals that are earned by the commercial's participant(s) each time the commercial appears in print or is broadcast.



Tips or other gratuities received by employees
Payments by an Employer to group insurance or group pension plans for employees, other than those included by manual rules above.
Payments by an Employer into third-party trusts for the Davis-Bacon Act or a similar prevailing wage law provided the pension trust is qualified under IRC Sections 401(a) and 501(a).
The value of special rewards for individual invention or discovery.
Dismissal or severance payments except for time worked or vacation accrued.
Payments for active military duty.
Employee discounts on goods purchased from the employee's Employer.
Expense reimbursements to employees to the extent that an Employer's records confirm that the expense was incurred as a valid business expense. Reimbursed expenses and flat expense allowances (except for hand or handheld power tools) paid to employees may be excluded from the audit only if all three of the following conditions are met:

Note: When it can be verified that the employee was away from home overnight on the business of the Employer, but the Employer did not maintain verifiable receipts for incurred expenses, a reasonable expense allowance, limited to a maximum of $30 per day, is permitted.

9. Supper money for late work.

10.  Work uniform allowances.

11.  Sick pay paid to an employee by a third party such as an Insured's group insurance carrier that is paying disability income benefits to a disabled employee.

12.  Employer-provided perks such as the following are excluded:
a. Use of company-provided automobiles
b. Airplane flights
d. Incentive vacations (e.g., contest winners)
e. Discounts on property or services
f.  Club memberships
g. Tickets to entertainment events

13.  Employer contributions to employee benefit plans such as:
a. Employee savings plan
b. Retirement plans
c. Cafeteria plans (IRC 125)

These include contributions made by the Employer, at the Employer's expense, which are determined by the amount contributed by the employee.

Longshoreman Insurance and Workers Compensation Premium Modification Factors -  

What about my premium modification factor (mod factor) being adjusted after my policy is in force?  I live in the State of Tennessee and the insurance company went in an increased my premium modification factor after the longshoreman insurance policy had been in force for over 3 months and this has produced a billing of $49,000 additional premium.  
We are happy to report that after speaking with the Tennessee Department of Insurance that the insurance company is clearly in the wrong.  According to insurance regulations in the State of Tennessee, this is contrary to The State of Tennessee Department of Insurance Rules.  If you agent or broker cannot or will not help you get this corrected, then please contact your insurance commissioner's office in the State of Tennessee and ask for their help in the matter.  You should see a reduction of your mod factor back to the original factor.  Workers compensation rules vary from state to state and the best way to find out about your rules if to ask you state department of insurance.  Knowledge of this rule has saved several companies thousands and thousands of premium dollars that would have wrongly gone to the pockets of the insurance company!   Do not expect that all insurance companies will know all the rules of the states in which they operate.  There are many reasons for this but do not accept at face value an increase in your premium modification factor.

Longshoreman Insurance and "regular workers compensation insurance", in what ways are they alike?  

The way workers compensation rates are calculated and the way that Longshoreman Insurance rates are calculated are very similar.  The premium estimate is based on estimated payroll and a certain rate per $100 payroll or remuneration. Remuneration includes wages or salaries, commissions, draws against commissions, bonuses, overtime pay (remove this from the payroll) pay for holidays and sickness periods; rental value of housing provided to an employee.
However, unlike workers compensation or what is called "State Act Workers Compensation,"  the owners of a company or the officers of a corporation cannot elect to exempt themselves from Longshoreman Insurance premiums in most cases.

What about the missing cargo Ship, El Faro.  Was it covered by Longshoreman Insurance or the Jones Act?  

The seamen aboard El Faro were certainly covered by the USLH or Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Insurance program and also by the Jones Act.  The Jones Act allows seamen to make claims and collect from their employers for the negligence of the ship owner, the captain, or fellow members of the crew.  Certainly, marine plaintiff attorneys will use the Jones Act in their tort claims to the Court to the benefit of the family members who lost loved ones on El Faro.   The Jones Act has been under attack from a lot of people and industry specialists for the past 6 months now.    The Jones Act does make shipping between US Ports much more expensive and it does increase the cost of our ships.   What is the Jones Act and what does it do?  The Jones Act is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 which is a federal law or statute that promotes and provides support for the shipping by the US or American Merchant Marines.  It deals with coastal shipping and REQUIRES THAT ALL GOODS TRANSPORTED BY WATER BETWEEN US PORTS BE CARRIED ON US FLAGGED SHIPS. These ships have to be constructed in the United States and have to be OWNED BY U.S. CITIZENS and the crew has to be U.S. CITIZENS and U.S. Permanent Residents.   It is called the Jones Act because it was introduced in 1920 by a US Senator with the last name of "Jones."  Many argue that the Jones Act increases shipping cost so much that we should do away with it.  Others say, "what about national security?"  "National Security, you ask?  "What does the Jones Act have to do with National Security?"  A 2013 article in the "National Review" lays out clearly the reasons for keeping the Jones Act in force.  The US Navy is one of the biggest supporters of the Jones Act. Since the Jones Act was passed in 1920, every president, defense department, and congress have been in favor of the Jones Act.  During "Operations Enduring Freedom" and "Iraqi Freedom," US flagged ships carried 90% of our war goods to the war zone to Afghanistan and to Iraq. "Every job created in an American Shipyard spawns four jobs elsewhere in the US Economy.  The Jones Act Fleet annually generates 500,000 jobs, contributes $100 billion in total economic output, and provides $29 billion in wages, according to a study by the PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Transportation Institute." So let me ask you, "in this time of problems with the US Economy and with the world looking as insecure as it does, do we really want our cargo and workers hauling goods from one US Port to another to be hauled by foreign workers who bear no allegiance to the US and who could be 'sleepers' or enemies of the United States? It makes sense to many to keep the Jones Act in place!


What is the first thing to do when in order to find out the Marine insurance costs for a contract or a potential contract?

Most likely your insurance agent will ask to see your MSA, also known as the Master Service Agreement.  The MSA will be furnished to contractors showing what types of insurance will need to be purchased.

One of our most recent clients, a Marine Surveyor, had to have the following Marine Insurance coverages in order to secure his most recent contract: 

 1)Comprehensive General Liability, to include Marine Coverages and shall include “Action Over/Indemnity Buyback” (or similar) and “Products and Completed Operations Liability” provisions or endorsements. ;

 2) Bumbershoot or Umbrella (excess coverage) of $10,000,000 coverage;

 3) Workmen’s Compensation insurance in full compliance with all applicable State and Federal laws and regulations, with an alternate employer and borrowed servant endorsements in favor of the contracting company; its joint venturers, co-owners, co-lessees, and customers. Coverage also had to include the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (USLH) and an Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act endorsement;

 4)Employers’ and Maritime Employers’ Liability (MEL) insurance, with alternate employer and borrowed servant endorsements in favor of the contractor, its joint venturers, co-owners, co-lessees and customers, in the minimum limits of $1,000,000 per accident covering injury to or death of any employee, including, without limitation, Master and Crew coverage with respect to any vessels owned or chartered by Subcontractor in connection with its work for the contracting agency and also;

5)Automobile Liability insurance covering owned, non-owned, and hired automotive equipment with minimum limits of $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily injury or property damage per accident. 

6)Pollution Legal Liability insurance; and others coverages to include endorsements to cover Jones Act; In Rem; Blanket Waiver of Subrogation and Blanket additional insureds.

Typically the cost of all these coverages can be financed with a 25% to 30% down payment and the balance to be paid in payments.

USL&H Update to save you some work comp and Longshoreman Insurance premium money perhaps -

Hey, if your business is like most businesses in today's economy then pay attention.  Is your payroll less than it was 12 months ago?  Then here is how to save some money on your Longshoreman Insurance and on your State Act Work Comp.  Go ahead and ask your agent to reduce your payroll according to your last quarter's payroll figures.  Don't wait until the end of the year and wait for the insurance company to refund your money.  Take your discount upfront!

However, on the other hand, if your payroll increases and you have more business, be very careful to increase your payroll so that you will not receive a big bill at the end of the policy year when it comes audit time. Call us at 205-221-5466 or email us at rh@longshoremaninsurance.com if you wish to discuss this or any other recommendations.

May 1, 2013

Minnesota Contractor calls and asks, "Do I need Longshoreman Insurance?"

"I have a business that is not in the water but we are working in the dry spaces around the water and we are working on a dam." My reply, "Yes, you need longshoreman insurance because you are working in and around navigable waters that flow to the ocean."  He replies, "I have workers compensation, do I buy a USLH policy or what do I do?"  I replied, "It is best to have your workers compensation policy and your USLH or Longshoreman policy written with the same insurance company so as to avoid any potential conflicts in the event of a claim."


Well, the data is in for the new Florida Marine Contractors code which was started in 2007.  The results are in and now available from NCCI.  The data shows that there were 138 insured's in the State of Florida who the new code of 6006F, either in part of whole.
Not including related clerical, sales or other codes, these 128 insured's generated a bit over $23,000,000 in payroll classified under the new Florida Longshoreman Insurance code of 6006F.  The average was around $168,000 in payroll per contractor or per insured.  The average claim was $47, 354 and there were 81 claims under the new Florida Longshoreman Insurance Workers Compensation Code of 6006F.

Code  6006F (the "F" means federal)was new for 2006.  So make sure your workers compensation or Longshoreman Insurance declarations page has the letter "F" attached to your code or you do not have longshoreman insurance.  Since the code is still so new it will be a couple of years before the data on it is fully developed.  We should be able to see clearly in a few years given that the current state of the economy is such that the payroll in the class is much, much lower since the good old days of 2007! It will be interesting to see how these results develop as the years flow. If you need Florida Marine Contractors insurance or Longshoreman insurance, just email O R Harris at rh@longshoremainsurance.com or call the longshoremainsurance.com offices at 205-221-5466.  Good day and may the sun shine upon you and yours daily!  www.longshoremaninsurance.com

Data provided courtesy of NCCI.  For more details please visit www.NCCI.com

December 15, 2015 update -
Longshoreman Insurance Rate Reduction - How do I reduce my premiums that I pay into my Longshoreman Insurance?
Recently we were able to help a client of ours take his USL&H rate down from $17.76 per $100 payroll down to $7.36 per $100 payroll.  We did this by using a large deductible of $250,000.  While this only works for a larger account, we can help you with other ways to save money on your USLH and State Act Workers Compensation.

Washington State Longshoreman Insurance-September 22, 2010

Longshoreman Insurance in Washington State-  How is longshoreman insurance different in Washington State?  For one thing, Washington State's Workers Compensation Insurance is sold only by the State of Washington in what is called a monopolistic workers compensation distribution system.  (meaning that only the State can sell workers compensation and all insurance companies are blocked legally by the State from selling workers compensation insurance). No insurance company can sell workers compensation in the State of Washington.  It can only be sold by the State of Washington.  This Fall, the Fall of 2010 the voters in the State of Washington will vote on whether or not to allow insurance companies to sell workers compensation insurance in the State of Washington.  Should the voters vote to allow insurance companies to sell workers compensation in the State of Washington, then most likely business owners in the State of Washington will see a potentially dramatic drop in the price of workers compensation.  West Virginia recently opened up their monopolistic workers compensation system to competition and the premiums fell by 30% on the average and the business owners and citizens also enjoyed better service and treatment than they had before the change.

Typically the rates for longshoreman insurance for welders working on ships in the State of Washington can expect a rate of around 19% to 20% for USL&H insurance.  In addition to this, the business owner has to purchase State Act Workers Compensation Insurance.  Should you have questions about Longshoreman Insurance in The State of Washington or any other state of the United States, call 205-275-5005 and speak to O. Rickey Harris who is an insurance veteran with over 30 years experience in the field.  His email is orharris@oldnationalinsurance.com and the office phone number is 205-221-5466 in Alabama.

California Longshoreman Insurance

Just recently a potential client call us from California.  He was going to work at a ship building site doing one weeks work of asphalt repaving and repairs to the roads at the port.  He had bid $23,199 for the job and found out that his insurance could cost 75% of the bid!  He called too late to adjust his bid.  We gave him some suggestions on how to better save money on the USL&H insurance he was required to have.  

We work with staffing agencies who need Longshoreman Insurance or USL&H insurance for their clients. 

We will be adding articles of interest about Longshoreman Insurance, The Jones Act and USL&H requirements from time to time in this section of our website.  If you have any questions, please email us at rh@longshoremaninsurance.com or call our offices at 205-221-5466. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have. 

Longshoreman Insurance and  Kemper Insurance Companies -

Is Kemper Insurance headed for insolvency?  Kemper Insurance wrote a lot of Longshoreman Insurance coverage in California for California employers. Which raises the question: What do I do as an employer if I have a Longshore Act claim with Kemper Insurance in California?

If this is you, the first thing you have to realize is the rules are murky in this area. In other words, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of guidance. However, here is some insight.


Under Section 904 of the LHWCA, the employer has primary responsibility for meeting it's obligation under the Longshoreman Insurance Act. Here, the employer is required to either self-insure/ self-fund or have insurance to cover Longshore Act claims. If the employer has US L&H insurance, payments by the carrier satisfy the employer's obligation. If the US L&H insurance carrier becomes insolvent and is unable to pay claims, the employer has primary responsibility to pay the benefits.


A Special Fund was created, under the Longshore Act, to deal with claims for second injuries. The Special Fund was created to encourage employers to hire workers who had previous injuries or work impairments. In essence, the U.S. DOL assesses carriers and self-insured employers on the basis of claim payments.

Some folks contend the U.S. DOL Special Fund will kick-in, so to speak, in the event the Longshoreman Insurance carriers are insolvent and the employer is insolvent or is at risk of becoming insolvent. However, there is no guarantee that this can and will occur. This is part of the murky area of the law.


Here is a quick overview of the procedure which must be followed pursuant to Section 918 of the Act:

(1) You will need to obtain an award of compensation.  You will have to go to court to get this award.

(2) The employer/ carrier has to be in default in payment for over 30 days.

(3) Within one year after such default, you have to make application to the deputy commissioner making the compensation order or for a supplementary order declaring the amount of the default.

(4) After investigation, notice, and hearing, as provided in Section 919, the deputy commissioner shall make a supplementary order, declaring the amount of the default, which shall be filed in the same manner as the compensation order.

(5) File a certified copy of such supplementary order with the clerk of the Federal district court for the judicial district in which the employer has his principal place of business or maintains an office, or for the judicial district in which the injury occurred.

(6) Such supplementary order of the deputy commissioner shall be final, and the court shall upon the filing of the copy enter judgment for the amount declared in default by the supplementary order if such supplementary order is in accordance with law.

(7) The review of the judgment entered is the same as civil suits for damages.

(8) Final proceedings to execute the judgment may be had by writ of execution in the form used by the court in suits at common law in actions of assumpsit.


If your employer is still in business, then enforcing the judgment against your employer is the "fastest way" to getting your LHWCA workers compensation benefits. However, you need to realize it may be a race to see who can enforce their judgment against employer first. These claims may put the employer out of business.

If you, the Claimant, are unable to satisfy the judgment due to the carriers and employers insolvency, the Secretary of Labor has the discretion to make payment from the Special Fund. This is more murkiness.

The foregoing procedure could take years and years. Hence, the quagmire.  Longshoreman Insurance.com can be reached at 205-221-5466 or email rh@longshoremaninsurance.com

DISCLAIMER: This article is not legal advice. I have been simplistic in order to achieve clarity. You are expressly advised to seek competent legal counsel if you have a US L&H claim with Kemper Insurance Company or any other insolvent US L&H carrier in California. Remember, always tell the truth when you are making a claim for compensation. Your credibility is always at issue.


Longshoreman Update-Longshoreman Reform 2009-


(F) individuals employed to build any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length, or individuals employed to 

repair any recreational vessel, or to dismantle any part of a recreational vessel in connection with  the repair of such vessel;

The long awaited amendment of the Longshore Act became law on February 17, 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with President Obama's signature.  The change in the wording of the ACT is shown below.

So who will this effect and how will it work?

It will have NO effect on:

-Boat manufacturers

-Repairers of commercial vessels of any length.

-Marine Contractors, dock builders, dredgers, etc.

-Those who do not carry State Act Worker's Compensation.

So who will benefit?

-A group of employers who repair recreational vessels over 65 feet.  They will move their exposure from 

Longshore to State act immediately.


  • To protect the amended exclusion this group must still purchase State Act Workers Compensation-do not rely on corporate officer exclusions.  The Longshore law is very specific-the exclusion only applies to employees IF State Act Workers Compensation coverage is provided.
  • Even though the new exclusion is now in effect, do not cancel the Longshore policy:
  • An employee can still allege eligibility under Longshore and without Longshore Insurance one has not way to defend his or herself.
  • Any work, however incidental, on commercial vessels OF ANY SIZE remains Longshore.
  • Any work building or manufacturing recreational vessels over 65 ft remains Longshore.
  • Reduced Premiums
  • The purpose of this change by Congress has always been to stimulate growth by reducing the cost to the recreation

Article I


We can issue Certificates of Insurance quickly once we have your Longshoreman Insurance in place.


The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides employment-injury and occupational disease protection to approximately 500,000 workers who are injured or contract occupational diseases occurring on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas, and for certain other classes of workers covered by extensions of this Act.

These benefits are paid directly by an authorized self-insured employer; or through an authorized insurance carrier; or, in particular circumstances, by a Special Fund administered directly by the Division of Longshore Compensation.

 In addition to longshore, harbor, and other maritime workers, LHWCA covers a variety of other employees through the following extensions to the Act: The District of Columbia Workmen's Compensation Act (enacted in 1928 and repealed effective July 26, 1982); Defense Base Act (1941); Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (1952); and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (1953).

The Longshore Compensation Act provides over $747 million in monetary, medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits in more than 27,000 cases annually for maritime workers and various other special classes of private industry employees disabled or killed by employment injuries or occupational diseases. In addition, the Longshore compensation program maintains over $2.8 billion in securities to ensure the continuing provision of benefits for these injured workers in cases of employer insolvency. Claimants depend upon timely receipt of these benefits to provide food, housing and a minimal standard of living for themselves and their families.


The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides medical benefits, compensation for lost wages and rehabilitation services to longshoremen, harbor workers and other maritime workers who are injured during the course of employment or suffer from diseases caused or worsened by conditions of employment. Several other statutes extend the provisions of the Act to cover other classes of private-industry workers. These include workers engaged in the extraction of natural resources of the outer continental shelf, employees on American defense bases, and those working under contracts with the U.S. government for defense or public-works projects, outside of the Continental United States.

During FY 2005 in excess of $747 million in compensation and medical benefits will be paid in approximately 27,000 cases covered under these compensation acts. These benefits constitute the only source of income for many families. Medical benefits provide the treatment necessary to recuperate and return to gainful employment when timely provided.

The Longshoremen's and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act can provide both compensation and medical benefits to employees who were engaged in maritime employment.


What You Don’t Know About Longshoreman Insurance Can Leave You High And Dry!

When a PEO’s client, a welding company, received a call to perform a two-day job, it seemed quite run of the mill, nothing out of the ordinary. However, while on the job, one of the employees, unfortunately, got sparks in his eye, resulting in lost sight. On his road to recovery, you received the dreaded letter from the claimant’s attorney — a demand for permanent partial disability loss in the amount of $133,718, which was about four times the permanent partial disability award in your state. Not the best news for your large deductible plan! Wondering how that could happen, you continued to read on and discovered a reference to Longshoremen’s and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. Uh, oh! “What’s that?” 

A simple job, like welding handrails onto a riverboat, could leave you high and dry and deplete funds from your company bank account unnecessarily.

The covered injuries and diseases benefits are somewhat similar to the benefits provided by the states. A notable difference is that the willful act of a third person, directed against an employee because of his employment, is covered under the U. S. L. & H. Act. Otherwise, coverage is provided for any accidental death or injury occurring within the scope of employment, except for the death or injury due to intoxication or willful intent of the employee to kill or harm himself, which is not compensable.

If your PEO has a client conducting work that has U. S. L. & H. exposure, you have serious reasons for concern. Generally, the benefits under U. S. L. & H. are substantially higher than the benefits prescribed by states for similar injuries. For example:

The total temporary maximum weekly benefit is $835.74; the minimum is $208.94.
There is no time limit set to the disability. Payments continue for the duration of the disability, as claimed.
Sample income benefits for scheduled injuries include $203,921 for total loss of hand; $62,680, thumb; $171,326, foot; and $167,148, total hearing loss.
Time limit for income benefits to a spouse if a fatality occurs is unlimited, with a lump sum settlement two years after remarriage.

The U.S. Department of Labor administers the adjudication of claims for the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation; appeals can make their way all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. 

From a risk management point of view, verify —with some urgency— that your present workers’ comp policy includes, at the very least, incidental U. S. L. & H. coverage specified in an endorsement. If an employee suffers a claim under this exposure, you could be liable for the difference in benefits between the state and federal levels. That could be quite an exposure! In addition, be very sure that you have a good grasp on the activities of your clients. A simple job, like welding handrails onto a riverboat, could leave you in dry dock.

​USL&H - Articles






 The 6 Dirty Secrets of Workers Compensation Insurance

(This information pertains to both your Workers Compensation and to you Longshoreman Insurance)

Dirty Secret #1 – Insurance companies don’t pay for your employee injuries, they just finance them for you at usury interest rates.

Do you realize that you pay $2 or $3 back to the insurance company for every dollar they pay out for your employee injuries? Each claim results in the most expensive financing contract you have in your business. You pay:  

  • For employee injuries through increased rates.
  • Increased costs because your Experience Modification skyrockets.
  • Lost productivity.
  • Reduced morale for the unhurt employees who fill in for the injured employee.
  • Increased stress for management and staff.

 You have Workers Compensation for only two reasons:

  • The law requires it.
  • Workers comp spreads the true cost of employee injuries out over time.


Work comp does not pay for employee injuries. You do!  

Dirty Secret #2 – Claims Management Services are usually dreadful;   

 Now that you know you write the checks for your employee’s injuries (you can have more proof if you want it) you should realize how critical it is for you to demand “two thumbs up” claims management service. Claims adjusters are snowed under with too many cases. Your injured employee doesn’t get the attention he or she deserves. In spite of this, insurance companies continue to downsize as they strive to increase profits.

 Add Managed Care to the mix and your employee’s claim is often outsourced to a case management company. The adjuster doesn’t even know what is happening or how your injured employee is being treated. You just can’t notify the insurance company your employee was injured and expect them to “do their job.” You must have a proven process in place to minimize the cost of the injury and expedite your injured employee’s return to work.

Dirty Secret #3 – You are penalized and overpay when the “Audit Police” make a mistake on an audit? Would you allow an IRS agent to conduct an audit without an expert on your side? Because your real insurance cost is determined after your policy expires, it is essential the audit is correct.  

You’re at a disadvantage from the start. The insurance company auditor knows the rules, you don’t. The auditor is not compelled by law to explain the rules, especially if applying a rule that would cause you to pay a lower premium.

Here’s how the auditor works against you:

Your entire payroll is put into the highest classification.

http://www.longshoremaninsurance.com or www.goharrisinsurance.com
Phone   205-275-5005

Email: rh@longshoremainsurance.com


Small operations:

For a one to two person marine operation doing vessel or related USLH work or in need of a USLH or longshoreman insurance policy, how much is the cost?  Typically the annual premium is around $9,500 to $10,500 with a payment plan of 25% down, so say $2,500 down. 


Here is how it works.  A contractor or entity in need of a USLH policy will call 205-221-5466 OR 205-275-5005.  Or if one prefers email, then one may email rh@longshoremaninsurance.com or biz@goharrisinsurance.com with an inquiry.  We will email back to you a one page USLH Application form that one completes and emails back to us.

 We will need to know your company name, address, FEIN or Federal Employee ID number, a description of past and present work, estimated annual sales and payroll, how many workers or employees, if any, other than the owner.  We will also need a quick one or two page work resume that tells us what your past experience and technical education may be.  We will need to know if you have a current workers compensation policy and if you have current general liability insurance.  If not, then these are NOT disqualifiers.  If you have current State Workers Compensation Insurance, we will need a copy of the policy declarations pages, not an Acord certificate of insurance from your current agent/broker/agency. What is a declaration page?  It is the page that has your company name, address, coverage amounts and that sort of information.

We will gather all the required information from you and submit to our insurance companies and get  you a quote.  This will take anywhere from 1-3 days depending on how busy the insurance company underwriters are at the time.  Once we have the quote, we will email over to you the quote for USLH and State Act Workers Compensation Insurance.  Usually the cost of State Act Workers Compensation is under $500 per year.  The largest cost is the USLH policy.  You will sign the documents and email those executed documents back to our firm, Old National Insurance, Inc. dba LongshoremanInsurance.com and we will invoice you for the premium amounts.  Once we have the premium monies collected, we can then issue the all-important Certificate of Insurance (COI) that is required by your shipyard, marina, contractor, government entity or other third party.  The total process will usually take anywhere from 3-5 days depending on how quickly everyone in the chain of distribution works and gets the information back to us and then we get back from the insurance companies. Our firm insures small firms and we have larger firms with 300 employees or more insured.  There is no size limit.



 In this example, we have small water-based contractor operation in Florida working to clean canals, bridges, and other near or in water structures.  We considered the company operations of the contractor working with specialized equipment in and around water of minimum depths. Even though some or most of the water is fresh water and some brackish water, the water can flow to the ocean.  Therefore, USL&H or Longshoreman Insurance would be required given the USL&H law. Some of the equipment floats and is considered a vessel and some of the equipment does not float and is like a specialized excavator with both pieces of equipment used to clean sludge, seaweed and debris. 

 In our risk analysis of the contractor operation, we recommended the following coverages:

 1) WC (State Workers Compensation)
This is a “construction industry” type of risk.  Florida Law requires Workers Compensation coverage even if there is only one employee.  Even if one considers oneself to be an independent contractor, Florida Law considers one to be an employee and therefore is required by Florida law and needs to be covered in order to be compliant with Florida law.

2) USL&H (Longshoreman Insurance)
Doing this type of work, cleaning canals and working under bridges, etc., it is hard to NOT be working in a navigable waterway in Florida.  If a contractor is working under bridges, in canals, etc., it looks very much like there are USL&H exposures.  As an LLC, an owner is considered an employee of the LLC and cannot be exempted from USL&H coverage.

 3) MEL (Marine Employers Liability) –
If a contractor is working from a floating piece of equipment, this piece of equipment would be considered a vessel, i.e. capable of horizontal movement of men and materials on the water.  So, it becomes a question of how much time is spent working in the water.  If the time spent is greater than 30%, the contractor may move into Seaman status and require P&I (Protection and Indemnity) and Crew coverage. Even though the “CREW” is only one person.

4) MGL (Marine General Liability)
We recommend a package policy that includes both MGL and property/equipment coverage.  Typically, a minimum premium for something like a standalone package is about $20K.

 In Summary, on the surface it appears that this particular risk would require 4 types of coverage, State Act Workers Compensation, Longshoreman Insurance, MEL or Marine Employers Insurance and Marine General Liability to be fully protected. 

Questions and Comments?


Text or Cell 205-275-5005 USA

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