More Coverage Expected from New Federal Regs

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Legislation passed on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by the U.S. House of Representatives will bring a benefit to improve insurance coverage at lower cost to companies and their workers in the recreational boating industry, said the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), a trade organization dedicated to promoting, protecting and growing marine business jobs.

H.R. 3896 achieved this by amending the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to provide a simplified definition of recreational vessels for purposes of the Act. The legislation was spearheaded and introduced last January by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz of Florida. Cosponsors and industry supporters include Representatives Lois Frankel, Ilieana Ros-Lehtinen, Patrick Murphy, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ted Deutsch and Frederica Wilson of Florida, Tom Petri of Wisconsin, and Duncan Hunter of California.

“Members of Congress, especially Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz as the principal sponsor in the House, deserve the credit for protecting every boatyard, marina and subcontractor in the country and their employees,” said Kristina Hebert, president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and COO of Ward's Marine Electric based in Fort Lauderdale. She also noted that the recreational marine community has been encouraging Congress to make the legislative change dating back to 2002. 

“The recreational marine industry is very fortunate to have champions in Congress on both sides of the isle and in both chambers,” said Duncan Smith, who advocated the legislative issue on behalf of several marine industry associations. “The next step is the Senate where we hope to have expedited consideration of the bill, enabling it to move possibly before the upcoming August recess, or shortly thereafter.”

In addition to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, other Fort Lauderdale-based groups that support the legislation are American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, Florida Yacht Brokers Association, and U.S. Superyacht Association. Additional support comes from LIG Marine Managers (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Marine Trades Association of Maryland (Annapolis, Md.), National Marine Manufacturers Association (Chicago), Northwest Marine Trade Association (Seattle), and Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (Bristol, R.I.).

In 2009, Congress passed Section 803 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that expanded the exception for the recreational repair industry from the requirement to purchase higher cost workers’ compensation insurance under the Longshoreand Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. In 2011, the Department of Labor issued a rule that contracted the exception, rather than expand it as Congress intended. Consequently, repair workers reverted to working without coverage due to the affordability and availability of the federal insurance.

A seemingly minor change, the term “recreational vessel” now means, “a vessel (i) being manufactured or operated primarily for pleasure; or (ii) leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter's pleasure.” The less complicated language identifies who is and who is not eligible for getting state workers’ compensation coverage and therefore facilitates the issuance of marine insurance. The end result is expected to benefit both workers and businesses in terms of increased coverage and economic relief.

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar JV is 5

On 23 November 2015, Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar celebrated its first 5 years of operation. With 40 vessels delivered or under construction, the yard has proven

Wärtsilä's' Digital Services for Performance Enhancement

Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, launches a new service portfolio, Wärtsilä Genius services to help

Seagull's Software Tool for Benchmarking Seafarers Knowledge

Seagull Maritime has launched an advanced software tool able to benchmark seafarer knowledge levels, allowing shipowners and operators to compare their crew

Government Update

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region

Egypt to Complete East Port Said Side Channel in 2016

Egypt plans to complete a side channel in East Port Said, near the Suez Canal, that would speed up shipping and allow ships direct entry into the port by the end of June 2016,

BWM Convention Doesn't Resolve U.S. Issues - ICS

ICS notes that the IMO Secretary General has announced that the Ballast Water Management Convention will enter into force worldwide from 24 November 2016, following


Idling Fleet Continues to Surge

Owners are rapidly laying up containerships as the market slows. The size of the idle fleet will get bigger while rates and profits slide, says Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited.

When Conducting Investigations Consider 'Privileges'

Whether voluntarily or as required by the International Safety Management Code, the American Waterways Operators’ (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program, or some other rule or regulation,

North Group Increases Projected Free Reserve

Directors of the North P&I Club and Sunderland Marine Insurance Company (North Group) have revised their projection for the group’s year-end free reserve up to $380 million,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0822 sec (12 req/sec)