Understanding USL&H Coverage

What is United States Longshore & Harbor (USL&H) workers’ compensation?

While most businesses are familiar with standard workers’ compensation insurance, there are actually other, more specialized types of coverage that certain industries are required to carry.  For instance, businesses that operate near the water may need USL&H workers’ compensation insurance.

What is USL&H Coverage?

USL&H coverage refers to a form of workers’ compensation coverage that all businesses working adjacent to or near the navigable waters of the United States are required to carry for their employees.  This coverage is mandated by the federal government under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act of 1927.

What Does USL&H Insurance Cover?

Because this coverage is federally mandated, it supersedes the workers’ compensation laws enacted by different states.  In many cases, USL&H benefits are more liberal than state-mandated workers’ compensation requirements.  USL&H benefits include:

  • Maximum weekly disability and death benefits equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of 200 percent of the national average weekly wage
  • Loss of wage-earning capacity of the injured worker with certain non-scheduled permanent partial disabilities
  • Elimination of the three-day waiting period if disability exceeds 14 days
  • Weekly allowance payment to those undergoing approved rehabilitation programs
  • Benefits paid to those who are totally and permanently disabled, to a surviving spouse until death or remarriage, and to other eligible survivors who can prove dependency, subject to certain limits
  • Attorneys’ fees for claimants who successfully challenge a denial of benefits

Who Needs USL&H Coverage?

Businesses that have workers engaged in full or part-time maritime employment are required to carry USL&H coverage.  This includes:

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor workers
  • Ship repairmen
  • Shipbuilders
  • Casual visitors on vessels (including representatives of longshoremen’s unions, customhouse brokers, insurance adjusters, cargo handlers, and steamship company employees)
  • Workers involved in dredging operations
  • Workers involved in maritime construction

Please note that employees who work on the navigable waters of the U.S. are protected under the Jones Act of 1920, and may have different coverage requirements than those laid out by the USL&H Act.

This is what businesses need to know about USL&H workers’ compensation insurance.  Having trouble with niche workers’ compensation coverage needs?  If so, then contact the experts at PMC Insurance Group.  (877) PMC-COMP or info@pmcinsurance.com.