Marine Employers Liability Insurance
What is Marine Employers’ Liability Insurance?
Liability towards paid crew falls under the category of the liability of an employer to his employees. The cover provided under a standard marine Third Party Liability policy will usually exclude liability to paid crew, which is considered a specialist area of insurance.
An Employers’ Liability insurance policy protects the employer against costs and expenses which arise out of their liability for the safety of those in their employment.
Why do I need Employers’ Liability Insurance?
Employment law is a complex area which varies from country to country. If a yacht has paid crew on board, the yacht owner can be held personally liable for the well being of his crew. This even applies to seasonal workers within the marine trade and/or deck hands. A crew member does not always need to have a written contract of employment to fall under the requirement of employers’ liability. It is also important to note that Employers’ Liability cover is mandatory for British flagged vessels sailing in British waters or employing crew who are normally resident in the UK.
The situation is further complicated in that the level of crew protection varies according to the nationality of the crew member. For example, for US crew members the compensation awarded in the United States (Jones Act) can be considerably higher than that normally awarded in Europe.
It is therefore important not only to consider your legal liability to paid crew but also ensure you have the correct level of insurance in place.
We strongly recommend that you insure your legal liabilities to paid crew. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your individual crewing arrangements necessitate Employers’ Liability insurance being in place, you should seek advice from a qualified employment lawyer.
Pantaenius Marine Employers’ Liability Insurance
Pantaenius is able to arrange Marine Employers’ Liability Insurance through its underwriter Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Limited, a major international insurance company. The policy wording includes cover for liabilities arising under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (as amended) to the extent that the Maritime Labour Convention (as amended) is statutorily applicable.
If a crew member is killed or permanently disabled and the yacht owner is deemed legally liable as the employer (occupational injury or illness) then this is covered under the Employers’ Liability policy. It would provide for any necessary medical costs, repatriation, burial, compensation or wages following such a liability but not for screening or preventative treatment which would normally be included in a good quality medical insurance.
It also includes your liabilities to day workers and death and disability compensation in respect of crew whilst they are travelling as passengers to and from the vessel and their home.