The Jones Act is a form of compensation protections for maritime employees that are injured while on the job. Because stateside employees are able to have their medical needs addressed through workers’ compensation plans, there are restrictions against filing legal claims against their employer in the event of an accident. However, the information found at, states that these restrictions don’t apply to maritime employees, and the Jones Act gives them the right to sue an employer for injuries.

How to Protect Your Company

Because your employees may file a suit against your company, you are susceptible to extreme financial risk in preparing a defense and trying to settle a claim. As these costs could devastate your company, you should consider purchasing MEL coverage. If you aren’t covering your crew through a P&I insurance policy that has a Jones Act endorsement, you should invest in a maritime employee liability attachment on with your worker’s compensation policy.

Who Can File

Many insurance policies will only extend coverage to employees that are directly employed on the vessel, but the liability extends to those who are contract labor as well. You can have your MEL policy extend coverage to both full-time and contracted labor for the most in liability protection. Remember, this insurance is to supplement worker’s comp plans, as maritime employees can have their workplace injuries covered but also file an additional lawsuit.

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