It’s important for any insurance agent to know the differences between maritime employers liability insurance (MEL) and workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is the one that people most commonly need to cover their employees, and is what the majority of business owners think of when seeking coverage, but it doesn’t do anything for those that aren’t on land. That’s where MEL comes in.

When selling coverage to your clients, it’s important to make sure that they know what type of coverage they are getting, as well as the coverage that they are lacking. Here’s a further look at how maritime employers liability differs from workers’ compensation:

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation is meant to help those that are ill or injured while they are working. It’s a safety net for an employee when their direct line of funds is subsequently interrupted by events that they can’t change. It separates into four different programs, with each covering a respective area. Those areas include wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). Each state is different when it comes down to what benefits are offered, so it’s important to communicate to your clients about what they are getting.

Injuries that are covered include those caused by accidents, workplace violence, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, according to the Insurance Information Institute (iii). It’s important to note that accidents that happen while to and from work are not covered under this type of coverage.

MEL Coverage

MEL can be separated into two categories: coverage for when your employee is on someone else’s vessel and for employees that are temporarily aboard your own vessel, according to LinkedIn. When the boat is small or large, oil rig, yacht or regular boat, it can be covered under this policy.

One big difference between MEL and workers’ comp is that MEL is not meant to be a compensation policy. In addition, there are some exclusions that apply to MEL, including state and federal workers’ compensation systems such as the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Maritime employers liability insurance and workers’ compensation may seem very similar, but they are actually very different. That’s why it’s important to supplement one with the other, and make sure your clients know where they stand with their coverage.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.