Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2012 Florida Marine & Longshore Rates

As the Insurance press has published, NCCI filed for an 8.9 percent increase in workers compensation rates for Florida for 2012.

So what does that mean for businesses working on the waterfront?

First and foremost the Longshore multiplier to change state rates to Longshore is decreasing slightly from 2.23 to 2.17 -- not much, but for those that do not have an established Longshore code; the 2.7% reduction will help offset part of the 8.9% increase!

For those who have an established Marine/Longshore code, the rates are generally following the same pattern of single digit rate rises with three notable exceptions:

6834 Boat Builders (not fiberglass nor wood as they have their own codes) is actually DROPPING from $3.17 to $2.95 due to expected claims dropping from $1.21 to $1.10 per $100 of payroll. So the small number of Steel/Aluminum or other boat builders in Florida will see a 7% drop in rate due to their good class experience.

However both 6006F (marine contractors) and 7327F (containerized stevedoring) are both seeing hefty increases this year. 6006F increase to $15.99, a 20% jump over the 2010 rate and 7327F leaps 36% to $31.29 for 2011.

It must be stressed of course that these are only filings right now, and may change before January 1st, but even if the overall number changes those last two classes are looking at significant increases this year.

Watch this blog for more information once the rates are finalized

Monday, August 22, 2011

Divers Longshore or Jones Act?

Below is a link to a great article  by maritime attorney Joe Pipinich who discusses the question of when a diver qualifies for Longshore and when Jones act.

Joe received his J.D. at Tulane University, where he received his certification in Maritime Law, and his B.S. from Cornell University, where he majored in Industrial & Labor Relations. Joe is the founder of the Maritime Northern Law Firm.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Longshore Workers Killed in Philadelphia and Newark

Source -  The Journal of Commerce Online
Joseph Bonney | Aug 15, 2011 12:56PM GMT

Deaths raise the number of ILA members killed on job in last four years to 14

Two Longshore workers were killed in work accidents at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia and Maher Terminals in Port Newark, N.J.

Carmen “Chuckie” Dirago, a member of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291, was killed in Philadelphia when a tractor-trailer backed into him, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Don Delia, a member of ILA Local 1804-1, died in the Newark accident. Details of the accident were not available.

ILA President Harold Daggett extended condolences to the victims’ families and directed George Lynch, an ILA safety director, to investigate. Friday’s deaths raise the number of ILA members killed in work accidents in the last four years to 14.

“These deaths of our two ILA beloved brothers demonstrates why we must be vigilant with safety and put it at the top of priority list,” Daggett said. “It’s why the ILA wants top-level training, why we want accurate container weight measurements. Brother Dirago and Brother Delia’s deaths will not be in vain and, in their memory and inspired by them, we will work to make certain these accidents don’t happen again.”

-- Contact Joseph Bonney at Follow him on Twitter @josephbonney.

Monday, August 8, 2011

6006F Marine Contractors Florida

The results for the first full year of the Florida Marine Contractors code, 2007 are now available and they show that there were 138 insured’s in the state that were wholly or in part using this code.

These 128 insured’s generated a little over $23 million in 6006F payroll which averages around $168,000 in payroll per insured (not including related clerical, sales or other codes).

These accounts generated 81 claims, that equates an average two out of three insured’s having a claim.  The average claim was $47,354.

This class was new for 2006, so still has some way to go before fully developed and clearly the current state of the economy is such that the payroll in the class has surely plummeted since the heady days of 2007! It will be interesting to see how these results develop as the years flow.

Data provided courtesy of NCCI.  For more details please visit

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rates for Ohio Marine Industry Decrease 20%

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has reduced its rates for marine industry employers by 20 percent, effective July 1, the BWC said. The change lowers the rates for employers conducting business on Ohio waterways that subscribe to the Marine Industry Fund.

Ohio ranks 7th among the 50 states in Longshore and harbor worker activity based on total tons of waterborne domestic cargo handled through a state’s ports.

The Marine Industry Fund provides coverage for injuries, disease and death resulting from Longshore and harbor worker duties for Ohio employers with employees who work on or about navigable waters, as required by the Federal Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Act.

Ohio employers may choose to participate in the Marine Industry Fund, purchase insurance from a private carrier, or self insure if approved by the U.S. Department Labor.

Source: Ohio BWC

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Expansion of Situs?

Wallace (SW) v. Atlantic Container Service, 43 BRBS 118

Stephen Wallace was chassis mechanic at a facility at Fargo Street which was approximately one mile outside of Conley Terminal in Boston Harbor.  The properties adjoining the location were not devoted primarily to maritime commerce

The Board concluded that the facility had both a functional and geographic relationship with the Terminal sufficient to establish it as an “adjoining area.”

The Board relied upon the ALJ’s determination that the facility was used exclusively to repair chassis which were used to transport shipping containers at the Terminal and that this established that the facility had a functional nexus with the loading process performed at the Terminal sufficient to bring it within the scope of Section 3(a).

The Board ruled that the Terminal and facility existed in a common geographic area even though they were separate and relied heavily on the fact that they both had a geographic and functional nexus with the same body of water. Therefore, the Fargo Street facility qualified as an “adjoining area” under Section 3(a).

The Board ruled that Wallace’s injury occurred on a covered situs  - another expansion of the SITUS test.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Longshore Worker Gets 3 Years In Fraud Case

A Rancho Palos Verdes woman

Longshore worker Sheila Burke, 53, was convicted of filing a phony accident claim was sentenced to three years in state prison for refusing to pay $75,000 in restitution.

Despite owning several properties and holding a job, Burke failed to comply with the restitution order. A Rancho Palos Verdes property she owns was valued at $218,000, 

A jury found Burke guilty in 2007 of two counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft stemming from insurance claims she filed.  Burke claimed that in November 2006, while working on the docks, she was injured in a collision involving her pickup truck and a tractor-trailer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Majestic Insurance

Bermuda-based Majestic Capital Majestic Capital Ltd. announced that it was unable to timely file its annual report on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and it is likely that the California Department of Insurance will place its primary insurance subsidiary, Majestic Insurance Co., into conservatorship shortly.

Majestic Capital, through its subsidiaries, is a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance products and services including a significant amount of Longshore.  Three quarters of the company’s business is written in California, with the remainder written predominately in New York and New Jersey.

Monday, April 11, 2011


We have posted copies of the actual bill and a short summary as per the April 1st  post  below. is the act is the summary

Friday, April 1, 2011


A press release form the AIA sent yesterday announced:

The American Insurance Association (AIA) commended the reintroduction of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Amendment of 2011 (S. 669) which is sponsored by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA).  The legislation would amend the federally-administered Longshore Act and will benefit injured workers and their employers by applying the best medical treatment and administrative practices from state workers’ compensation programs.

The Longshore Act is the nation’s most expensive workers’ compensation program.  The measure covers workers in the Longshore, shipbuilding, marine construction and other industries and is designed to improve and update the antiquated Longshore Act, which provides medical, physical rehabilitation and wage replacement benefits for work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.  The last time the Longshore Act was updated was in 1984.

“The Longshore Act is archaic and needs to be brought into the 21st century,” said Bruce Wood, associate general counsel and director of workers’ compensation for AIA.  “In 1984, Ronald Reagan was president, the Soviet Union was a country, and the Berlin Wall was still standing.  Meanwhile, state workers’ compensation systems have been modernized but the federal government hasn’t taken any action to update the Longshore Act.”

The costs associated with the out-of-date Longshore Act continue to rise faster than state workers’ compensation programs while employees and employers alike suffer from the unnecessary administrative burdens that plague the system.

Further, the bill provides an opportunity to improve medical care to enable injured workers to return to work and adopt the best workers’ compensation administrative practices to reduce costs to employers and the federal government.

AIA has been a long-time supporter of Senator Isakson’s efforts on the Longshore Act, extending back several years prior to 2006.  The bill also has the support of the Coalition for the Longshore Act, the Strategic Services on Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation Association (UWC), the National Association of Waterfront Employers, the American Shipbuilders’ Association, and other assorted maritime employer interests.

# # #

The American Insurance Association (AIA) is the leading property-casualty insurance trade organization, representing approximately 300 insurers that write more than $100 billion in premiums each year. AIA member companies offer all types of property - casualty insurance, including personal and commercial auto insurance, commercial property and liability coverage for small businesses, workers' compensation, homeowners' insurance, medical malpractice coverage, and product liability insurance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Longshore Not Approved

It is happening again – carriers who are not authorized to write Longshore are adding it by endorsement to their policies.

In one recent case that was brought to our attention, the carrier was part of one of the large insurance groups where other members of that same group are fully approved, just not this one.

Remember that only carriers authorized by the Federal Department of Labor are allowed to write Longshore.

If you need to check your carrier you can find the list in the Longshore Toolbox, hit the “RESEARCH” tab and select “APPROVED CARRIERS

Despite rumors to the contrary there is no exemption for “If Any” Longshore - although interestingly most of the cases we have seen recently have real Longshore payroll on the policies in some cases significant numbers!