If you are self-insured for your state workers’ compensation exposure and your excess insurance policy is endorsed for coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, have you satisfied the statutory insurance requirement for Longshore coverage?
The answer is “No”, and if you answered “Yes”, then you should call your insurance broker and your attorney in that order to correct a potentially very costly mistake.
Under the above scenario you are an uninsured employer under the Longshore Act. Uninsured employers are subject to criminal penalties and an election of remedies for injured workers, including suits in tort, with corporate officers having personal liability jointly and severally with the company. This could turn even a relatively minor injury into a legal quagmire.
Section 932 of the Longshore Act (33 U.S.C. 932) provides that a maritime employer has only two ways to satisfy the insurance requirement: 1) purchase first dollar insurance coverage from an insurance carrier authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor, or 2) become authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a self-insured employer (this includes membership in a DOL authorized group self-insured trust such as the American Longshore Mutual Association (ALMA)).
Don’t take any chances. If you think that you might have any federal Longshore Act exposure, or if you have any questions about the coverage you now have, talk to an expert and make sure that you are properly covered.