MEL Insurance Explained

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, maritime workers experience high rates of injury leading to disability. For example, between 2011 and 2017, there were roughly 11,000 nonfatal occupational injuries among maritime transportation workers. This is an important statistic as federal law provides seamen who were injured while performing their jobs the right to sue their employers for personal injury damages. Indeed, this law applies even if they were working on a vessel that does not belong to their employer at the time of the injury. A maritime employers liability policy offers vital protection against this risk.

Is MEL Coverage Required by Law?

Employers in the maritime industry are not legally obligated to carry MEL coverages. However, if a seaman is injured on a non-owned or operated vessel and decides to sue, there are no laws capping the size of their claim. Moreover, applicable laws operate in favour of the injured party and, as the settlements or judgements can be lucrative, attorneys often aggressively pursue potential clients.

What Is Covered Under a MEL Policy?

Maritime Employers Liability insurance offers comprehensive protection against the expenses associated with employee injuries while they are working on non-owned or operated vessels. This includes coverage for:

  • Transportation
  • Unearned wages
  • Maintenance
  • Medical expenses

Workers in the maritime industry have higher rates of injury, sickness and death than those in many other sectors. MEL insurance provides essential protection for them and their employers.