Thursday, December 8, 2022

Longshore vs. USL&H vs. LHWCA, It’s All in a Name

Marine Insurance has a longstanding tendency to perpetuate confusing names for coverage. You’ve probably heard of Longshore, but are you familiar with USL&H and LHWCA? 

Let’s clear up some of these misunderstandings.

The full name of the act establishing benefits for waterfront workers is “33 U.S. Code Chapter 18 - LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT.”

If you compare the coverage names and the title of the Act, you’ll see that these three names originate directly from this piece of legislation. Two are partial abbreviations, and the third is a broad single-word simplification.

But which term is the standard for the industry and why are they all used to say essentially the same thing?

  • The abbreviation “USL&H” is somewhat incomplete, as it ignores the WCA part.
  • The abbreviation “LHWCA” is more complete, but not descriptive.

You’ll often see these abbreviations in written format, especially on ACORD or Carrier forms, as they are easier to include in a short-form question.

Meanwhile, “Longshore” is the broadest and most inclusive term and is much easier to say. Therefore, you may hear this term used more often when speaking about this coverage.

The good news is that everyone in this market segment understands all these terms interchangeably and will quote accordingly.

Now that’s the simple part … more complex is how and where Longshore applies. 

If you need to know more about that, have a look first at Longshore 101 for a basic understanding and then our other webinars for more details.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post covering different types of Longshore rates and how they apply. 

Ian Greenway