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Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)

DLHWC Insurance Requirements - Do I Need Insurance?

The requirement to have the proper insurance varies depending on the nature of your business operations, your location, and many other factors dictated by case law. You should discuss your situation with an experienced insurance broker. We also encourage you to talk directly with your nearest Longshore District Office, so that you can explain the specifics of your worksite and employment situation. Please contact the office listed for your state, and ask for guidance.

Please review the general information below before you consult with the District Office.

You need insurance if you are an employer with employees covered under the Longshore Act (LHWCA) and its extensions. The LHWCA covers employees in traditional maritime occupations such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers, but only if they are employed to work on the navigable waters of the United States or in the adjoining areas, including piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and those areas used in loading and unloading vessels. Non-maritime employees may also need to be covered if they perform their work on navigable water and their injuries occur there.  

You do not require insurance for your employees if they fall under the following exclusions:

  • Seamen (masters or members of a crew of any vessel);
  • Employees of the United States government or of any state or foreign government;

The LHWCA also excludes the following individuals if they are covered by a state workers' compensation law:

  • Individuals employed exclusively to perform office clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work;
  • Individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet;
  • Individuals employed by a marina and who are not engaged in construction, replacement, or expansion of such marina (except for routine maintenance);
  • Individuals who (A) are employed by suppliers, transporters, or vendors, (B) are temporarily doing business on the premises of a maritime employer, and (C) are not engaged in work normally performed by employees of that employer covered under the Act;
  • Aquaculture workers;
  • Individuals employed to build any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length, or to repair any recreational vessel, or to dismantle any part of a recreational vessel in connection with the repair of such vessel;
  • Small vessel workers if exempt by certification of the Secretary of Labor under certain conditions. 

Refer to the following sections of the LHWCA for more details.

Employers in the following industries and business will also need insurance for their employees covered under these extensions of the LHWCA: