Maritime Labour ConventionFor those of us who have heard the term MLC mentioned over the past few years and not really paid too much attention, the time has come to finally raise our hands and ask “What is MLC?”  Not only because it concerns every owner, manager, Captain and crew member that owns, manages or works aboard a charter yacht or commercial vessel but because it comes into effect in August of this year (2013)! 


The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006) is an International Labour Organization (ILO) resolution, created in 2006 as the fourth pillar of international maritime law (the first three pillars being SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL). The Convention sets out seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. 

Under the terms of the convention the word "seafarer" includes virtually anybody who works aboard an ocean going vessel with very few exceptions. However, one exception is where the vessel is used for pleasure only. The decision by the ILO to create this major new Maritime Labour Convention was the result of a joint resolution by the international seafarers’ and ship owners’ organizations, also supported by governments.

They pointed out that the shipping industry is “the world’s first genuinely global industry” and therefore “requires an international regulatory response of an appropriate kind – global standards applicable to the entire industry”. In plain language, these 3 groups, representing vessel owners (employers), seafarers (crew) and governments (all 185 ILO member countries) agreed to create legislation that would regulate all (or nearly all) aspects of working at sea. This includes the "novel idea" that those who make a living at sea should be able to expect working and social conditions at least be equivalent to those provided to those who work on land! 

The convention document includes 5 sections (called Titles).  Each Title contains general as well as specific provisions according to which each member country has to provide detailed regulations.  These are for the attention of vessel owners and other entities involved in the employment of seafarers. While each ILO member state is responsible for developing certain regulations which affect its own nationals, Flag States are responsible for providing much of the detailed regulations affecting the vessel and crew that fly its flag. 

Finally, there is a certification process which needs to be passed by every charter yacht and other vessel in commercial use as well as periodic inspections when entering ports belonging to countries that have ratified the convention. MLC had to be ratified by at least 30 member states with a total share of 33% of the world gross tonnage, in order for it to be ratified.

In August 2012, the convention was ratified by 34 states representing 68.2% of the world gross tonnage of ships. Click Here for a full list of countries that have now ratified. The convention will enter into force one year later on August 20th, 2013. MHG has been tracking the Maritime Labour Convention since 2006 and has been active since then in interpreting that part of the regulation which deals with Health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection (Title 4 of the MLC).

Not sure if the benefits you currently have in place are MLC compliant? Speak with MHG Insurance Brokers to review your current plan. MHG can provide advice and information to help you determine whether your plan is in the spirit of MLC, and whether additional benefits may be needed. We can also review your plan for competitiveness in the marketplace as well as benchmark it with other crew group plans. Call MHG at (+1) 954-828-1819, email us at: mlc@mhginsurance.com.

What is The Maritime Labour Convention?

What is an Insurance Broker?

To put it simply, an insurance broker is a professional adviser who represents you, the consumer, not the insurance company. Their main goal is to find you the best insurance policy for your needs by comparing different rates, coverage features and companies. 

 

You may be asking what the benefit is in using an insurance broker rather than an insurance agent who works for a specific company. To begin, an insurance broker works on your behalf, finding you the best package and price, whereas an agent has ties to the specific company they work for and can only offer  you a policy with that company. 

An insurance broker can also help you as an individual or your business in evaluating what type(s) of insurance is needed. For example, if a business is looking for insurance, a broker will offer expert advice regarding the risks associated with the particular business and will have access to various insurance policies, benefits and any possible exclusions. 

So ask yourself 'What is an Insurance Broker?' and 'Do I Need an Insurance Broker?' 

Having the right insurance coverage relieves any unnecessary stress if you are faced with an accident, illness, or liability claim. Because there are many types of policies, premiums and limitations, you can get easily confused or possibly wind up with insurance that doesn't offer you enough coverage. This is where an insurance broker is invaluable. 

A full-service insurance broker deals with various types of insurance, including full-time and short-term private medical insurance, disability income protection, property and liability insurance, group, travel and life insurance, among others. Your insurance broker will help explain insurance “lingo” and determine the best carrier for your budget, circumstances and coverage needs.

MHG is a well-known full-service brokerage company that works for you, the client. With plans specifically designed to meet the needs of marine officers, crew, contractors, expatriates, US residents and business owners. They will research which insurance plan will work best for you or your business, they will build a relationship with you, and they will continue to be involved after you make your insurance purchase. 

MHG is known for offering sound advice when a client has questions pertaining to their policy or the claims process. The company also understands the unique needs of individuals or groups at sea. If you are in need of full-time medical insurance, life, travel, disability, group insurance or a different type of policy, an experienced and trusted insurance broker will cut through the red tape and find the best rate and policy available.  

Whether you are on land or at sea, MHG’s resources, professionalism and expertise have earned them the reputation of distinguished insurance brokers, with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Cote d’Azur, Isle of Man, and Hamburg to better serve you.

What is an Insurance Broker?

Yacht Crew Insurance

Are you aged 19 to 30, commitment-free and looking for an extraordinary job traveling the world? Picture yourself waking up to a beautiful sunrise on the ocean, docked at an exotic destination rich with culture.  All while earning a paycheck with your expenses paid. This lifestyle provides the opportunity to save while still enjoying some splurging. Today, with the yacht industry expanding at a record rate and many yacht owners becoming more adventurous, there is hardly a coordinate on the globe that is beyond the reach of luxury yachts.

Working on yachts is not like other careers. There is no going home at the end of the day. The crew that surrounds you twenty-four hours a day are your work colleagues, your confidantes, your family, and your friends, and this certainly makes for strong, interesting, dynamic, and enduring friendships.  Many crew members work 5 ½ to 6 days a week, 16 hours per day.

You do not need a model look to work on one of these luxurious yachts but, you do need an open smile and a presentable appearance.  Most yachts are looking for crew that is genuinely enthusiastic and almost all want a crewmember that will make a concerted and conscientious effort to 'do the right thing' because a positive mindset creates a positive environment. After all, it is those crewmembers that have a real passion for the sea and are eager to learn all they can about the industry and the countries they visit and themselves and others who ultimately have the most fulfilling experience onboard yachts. The yacht gains a valuable crewmember, and the crewmember gains an invaluable experience, so everyone wins.

Once you’ve landed your dream job working onboard a yacht, you’ll have to think about obtaining an international health insurance plan if a group plan is not already in place. As an insurance broker, MHG can research the marketplace to find the best suited plan with the insurance coverage you need to fit your new career and lifestyle. Looking for a plan designed specifically for yacht crew with coverage for scuba or amateur sailboat racing? Or perhaps you’re looking for a more traditional land-based plan that you can keep even after you leave yachting. MHG’s expert staff can assist you in selecting the medical insurance plan that best fits your unique situation.

Do not let that dream job turn into a medical nightmare.  Life on the water can be hazardous, and in the unfortunate event of an on-the-job injury, you need a quality plan. As the yacht crew insurance specialists, MHG Insurance Brokers offers a variety of comprehensive medical insurance plans to meet the needs of each client. Whether you are looking for crew insurance, travel insurance, or group insurance plans, MHG has solutions to fit every budget. Contact the experts at MHG to help you choose the ideal policy for your unique requirements. Contact us today at 877-278-7400 to learn more.

Marine Health Insurance Offering

Urgent care and walk-in clinics

1) What are walk-in clinics/urgent care centers?


If you are faced with a non-life threatening illness or mild injury, an urgent care center or walk-in clinic can offer you medical attention in the event your primary care physician is not available and/or when a trip to the emergency room may not be necessary. Many urgent care clinics are often open after hours, seven days a week and appointments are not necessary.  

2) Choosing a walk-in clinic/urgent care center 

There are more than 8,000 urgent care clinics in the United States. Choosing a center often comes down to proximity, insurance and quality of care. You want to choose a center that is near your home or work and can offer you quality care and assistance in a reasonable amount of time. Consider this list of factors when choosing an urgent care center:

Location: Is the urgent care center a reasonable distance from your home, school or office?

Availability: What hours is the urgent care center open? Many walk-in clinics are not open 24 hours, however they commonly accommodate after hours, weekends and holidays. It is advisable to call ahead to confirm hours of operation and ensure it fits your schedule.

Insurance: Does the clinic accept your individual health insurance plan or group health insurance plans? Many clinics accept most insurance plans. If you do not have insurance, the clinic will assist you, but there is an upfront charge required.  

Quality: Is it too crowded? Were you treated kindly? Did you receive adequate care? These questions can be difficult to answer before you visit a clinic, but if you do not receive quality care, you should report the mishap and find another clinic for future needs.  

Recommendations: Ask a friend or relative about their experiences at local urgent care centers. Quality is easier to measure when you can learn from someone else’s experience.  

3) When to use urgent care centers/walk-in clinics 

Emergency room wait times are often high and should be reserved for emergency use only. Urgent care centers are designed to free up emergency rooms for true emergencies. Severe accidents, deadly illness, bleeding wounds and similar incidences are for the emergency room, but basic illnesses, such as a cold, the flu, a cough and even a fever can be treated at an urgent care center. 

Basic injuries such as bruising, sprains or possible minor broken bones can also be diagnosed at an urgent care center, where they may send you onto a hospital depending on the degree of injury.   Walk-in clinics offer you fast, quality medical care and, in most cases, for a lot less money than the ER. This is why it is important to be aware of your ER alternatives before you need them.

Urgent care and walk-in clinics

The arrival of winter means planning the perfect ski vacation for many people. What many people don’t realize, however, despite the hundreds of ski accidents that occur each year, is that winter sports may not be covered by their medical insurance plan. Nearly half of skiers on the slopes are not covered by vacation insurance and only 1 in 4 knows enough to ensure they are covered while skiing. 


Do you have proper insurance for your winter sport activities? 

Part of the fun of skiing and snowboarding is the element of danger involved, but you need to be certain you are protected in the event of the unexpected.  Even if you've been able to avoid an accident on the slopes, they do happen and you need to be prepared. 

You need extreme sports travel insurance, just in case you are injured, to be afforded these benefits:

Medical Expenses. These benefits cover you if you need medical care on the slopes. It will also cover care at a medical facility in any country you visit.

Emergency Medical Evacuation. These benefits will provide you with medical transportation to the nearest medical facility where adequate care can be received or back home, as necessary.

Multilingual Emergency Assistance. This service helps coordinate your emergency medical care. It will keep you, and the medical staff caring for you, in touch with your family.

You should be aware that a basic travel insurance plan may not be enough. Some providers exclude coverage for skiing and snowboarding and may require that you purchase an optional "extreme sports" rider to include winter sports insurance coverage. Also keep in mind that if you are a more adventurous skier who travels off-piste (out of marked bounds), you will want to make sure your plan includes cover for that also. Even if you are not a skier and you do not plan to hit the slopes this winter, it is important to make sure you have adequate coverage in the event of an accident or illness, regardless of the activities you may be pursing.

MHG Insurance Brokers offer a full line of individual and group insurance benefits for travelers and winter sports fans. Our wide selection of plans include medical insurance, US life and health insurance, disability income protection, life insurance, financial services, and property and liability insurance. MHG offers phone numbers from around the world so you can contact us easily and conveniently from anywhere around the world. Contact us to learn more.

Are You a Winter Sports Fan? Are You Skiing This Winter and Is It Covered by Your Insurance?

The experts say if you do something every day for 30 days it will become a habit. Summertime is the perfect time to develop healthy habits that can create positive lifestyle changes.  

 

For a healthy lifestyle one needs to eat healthy, be active, protect yourself and your family, manage stress and get regular checkups by your doctor. Eating healthy is an easy habit to develop in the summer with the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available.  Stop by a farmer’s market and try some  of the amazing fruit that is in season right now. Make sure you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day and include some whole grains.

Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol. A balanced diet combined with physical activity will help keep you at a healthy weight. Children and teens need to be active for at least one hour a day and outdoor activities are plentiful this time of year.  Include activities that raise their breathing and heart rates and that strengthen their muscles and bones. Adults should be active for at least 2½ hours a week. You should also include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles. With the long summer days there are plenty hours of sunlight to get moving in.  

Physical activity helps to maintain your weight, reduces high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer. Arthritis pain, depression and anxiety symptoms are also reduced by physical activity. When out enjoying the summer days remember to wear sunscreen and insect repellent.  Protect yourself and your family from injuries with seat belts, helmets, and protective sports equipment. Eating right and daily exercise will help manage stress.  

Remember to balance work, home, and play.  Everyone needs a support group of family and friends. Relaxation and meditation are great stress relievers, take time for yourself.  And strive for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, children including teenagers need even more sleep.  If you are still feeling over whelmed or depressed counseling may be needed. 

Remember to schedule regular checkups for you and your family with your doctors.  Discuss your health problems and risks and devise a plan for improvement.  Find out what exams, tests, and shots you need and when to get them. 

A little prevention goes a long way to help ensure a long and healthy life. Check with your broker to see if your health benefits plan covers for those regular checkups, tests, and shots. It is important that you know your coverage before you need it. MHG your Marine Insurance Broker offers a variety of comprehensive medical insurance plans to meet the needs of each unique client. 

Whether you are looking for specialty marine crew insurance, individual health insurance plans, family health insurance plans, or group health insurance plans, the experts at MHG Insurance Brokers have the resources to help you choose the ideal policy for your unique requirements. Contact us today at 877-278-7400 to learn more.   

Healthy Living Tips From Your Marine Insurance Broker

Yacht Crew Insurance

You have landed that dream job aboard a gorgeous yacht and are excited about the places you will visit and the people you will meet, but did you ask your employer the important questions?  How and when are you going to be paid? Will taxes be taken out of your pay? And what about insurance?  Health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance? 


“Look at salary as one part of total compensation package including vacation, travel stipend, medical insurance, opportunity for continuing education, etc., as those are real costs and represent another $10,000-15,000 in additional benefits that many employers now pay,” said a chief stew in The Triton survey of crew members. Most crew members, about 70 percent, are paid monthly with the rest receiving their pay every other week. 

More than three-quarters of them receive their pay through direct deposit or wire transfer, most of the rest received a paper check.  Very few are paid in cash and they are usually on smaller yachts. The U.S. dollar is the most popular form of currency for crew pay, about 82 percent, regardless of where they work in the world.  Most of the remaining crews receive their pay in Euros. 

Nearly 70 percent of crew members do not have any taxes deducted through their paychecks.  However, you are still responsible for taxes due, if any, in your home country. Many US crewmembers are paid as independent contractors and receive a 1099 form for wages and tips earned and will owe taxes.

Many long-term US crew have created corporations, and in that case the yacht pays the corporation, which in turns pays the crewmember.  The corporation then pays all the taxes, travel expenses and health benefits, which can be advantageous.

If your employer does not provide health insurance you need to obtain your own, so you are covered in case of an accident or illness. MHG Insurance Brokers works with several insurers to provide you with the medical benefits that you need for your new career and lifestyle. We offer health benefit plans designed specifically for captains, officers, and crew. With several plans to choose from, MHG can recommend a plan specifically designed for an individual or a group. 

MHG also offers plans suited for seafarers who need spouse and/or dependent coverage. MHG’s expert staff can assist you in selecting the medical insurance coverage that best fits your situation. We offer worldwide medical coverage or the option to exclude the US and Canada for reduced premiums.  Plans can also offer optional term life and disability coverage, special crew member return benefits and out-of-the-country legal expenses.   If you are on a yacht with recreational water sports and scuba diving,

MHG has a plan to cover you. Do not let your dream job turn into a medical nightmare.  Life on the water can be hazardous, and in the unfortunate event of illness or injury, you need a quality plan. As a yacht crew marine insurance broker MHG Insurance Brokers offers a variety of comprehensive medical insurance plans to meet the needs of each client. Whether you are looking for crew insurance, travel insurance, or group insurance plans, MHG has solutions to fit every budget. Contact the experts at MHG to help you choose the ideal policy for your specific requirements. Contact us today at 877-278-7400 to learn more.

Yacht Crew Insurance

At MHG Insurance Brokers we specialize in insurance plans designed specifically to meet the needs of marine employers, shipboard officers and crew, and contractors and concessionaires.  Because of the unique needs of individuals and groups at sea, choosing an insurance broker that understands the lifestyle and work environment is essential. 


Services offered by MHG can be tailored according to each employer’s needs with the secure knowledge that they are marine specific and supported by a team experienced in the marine environment. With our extensive market relationships and experience in the industry, we offer sound, independent advice as to which insurance and financial services providers and products are best suited to address the needs of individuals and employers.

Marine insurance solutions include private international health insurance, vacation health insurance, disability income, life insurance, short-term health insurance and retirement savings plans. Here is more information on the plans we offer.

MHG provides private international health insurance to all nationalities. Our extensive market relationships permit the design of international group medical plans that are tailored to each employer's specific philosophy and compensation needs. MHG also offers various benefit packages that can be combined for groups located in the US.

MHG offers short-term health insurance for contractors and concessionaires which provides coverage for emergency medical treatment, emergency medical evacuation, should the local facilities be inadequate and a number of other benefits. For groups requiring coverage for employees while on vacation, we can customize a plan to fit your needs.

Disability Income is an effective risk management tool for employers that not only enhances the value of compensation packages for employees but also provides peace of mind.  It can provide protection against loss of income in the event an employee becomes temporarily or permanently disabled while at work or on vacation. Coverage is available to groups of five or more and can be customized to fit your budget and benefit needs. With worldwide coverage for disability due to accident or sickness, these plans also allow you to select a waiting period and benefit amount while typically not requiring underwriting.

Let MHG Insurance Brokers provide you and your employees with peace of mind.  Group life insurance offers employees comfort knowing that in the event of their death their loved ones will receive financial support for ongoing expenses, funeral arrangements or children's education. For employers, group life insurance is a cost-efficient benefit because it is highly valued by employees.

MHG's investment team is able to provide cost effective, flexible benefit retirement savings plans which will help recruit, retain and motivate staff while providing the employer with maximum value for each dollar spent. As your specialist plan manager, MHG's role would normally involve consultancy, plan design, independent brokerage, investment planning and communication, installation and administration of the plan. We also provide consultancy and plan management services for employers with existing plans.

With over 20 years of experience focused on the welfare of crew, MHG has the knowledge to advise the cruise industry about its insurance needs.  Please contact us today at +1 954 828 1819 for more information on any of the services we provide.

If you are attending Cruise Shipping Miami March 13th-15th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, please feel free to stop by our booth #1893 located in the Ship Services and Hotel Operations section. Join us for a glass of wine during our reception on Wednesday, March 14th from 2pm-5pm.  If you still need tickets for Cruise Shipping Miami, avoid the $100 fee and register as our guest for complimentary tickets to the Exhibition Hall.

MHG – The Cruise Industry’s Insurance Specialists

In a victory for the Obama administration, the 6th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, “upheld a key provision in the health care reform law that will require most U.S. residents to enroll in a qualified plan or pay a fine,” this past Wednesday, reports Business Insurance

 

Experts expect the issue to be examined by the Supreme Court either later this year or next year, around the time when President Barack Obama will seek re-election. The proposed provision, which aims to extend coverage to over 30 million uninsured Americans, will require U.S. residents to enroll in a health insurance plan beginning in 2014 or face a fine. 

Opposition is implied, as Republicans have sought to have the law repealed in Congress, state legislatures and federal courts. In addition, two federal judges have ruled the law unconstitutional and The Thomas More Law Center in Michigan previously argued that Congress could not regulate how U.S. residents pay for health care or insurance. However, a federal judge in Michigan ruled that the law was legal and the group repealed. 

The implications of the insurance mandate spell trouble for health insurers, hospitals, drugmakers and device companies. As government explores different avenues in which to improve the current health care crisis, millions of Americans continue to search for affordable health care services.

MHG Insurance Brokers employs passionate and knowledgeable insurance experts who provide sound advice on the most appropriate health insurance plan for individuals and families according to their unique financial situation.  Contact us today at the location nearest you for more information.

U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Health Care Reform Mandate

You’re a member of a yacht crew because you love travel, challenge and adventure. From setting sail to exotic destinations and scuba diving in some of the most beautiful oceans in the world, to the innumerable perks of a great salary, life as a crew member comes with countless benefits. But with every incredible job comes some degree of risk, and for yacht crew, it’s being without the proper insurance to protect against on-the-job injuries and to help pay for doctor visits when overseas. 

 

Many first-time crew members mistakenly assume that their existing native health insurance plan will cover them when they’re at sea. More often than not, your home country’s policy will not protect you in international waters. 

If you become sick or injured during your time at sea, you will need to secure marine crew insurance to help ease the financial burden of doctor visits. Avoid expensive hospital bills in foreign countries by choosing the right yacht crew insurance policy for your unique circumstances. 

Not sure which marine crew insurance policy to buy? One of the most important factors to consider in this decision is which nation you’ll be working in.

There are two main types of marine crew insurance plans: one that covers workers in U.S. and Canadian waters, and another that covers every other country’s waters.

MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans and international medical insurance for expatriates. Our customizable plans offer coverage for European crew members, those wishing to avoid the fees associated with maternity coverage, those seeking portable international medical insurance, members looking for dependent coverage and many more. Life as a crew member offers many glamorous perks. Take advantage of the benefits while being aware of the risks and protect yourself before you board ship with a quality marine crew insurance plan.

Marine Crew Insurance: Staying Safe at Sea