Be Wary of “MLC Compliant” Insurance

Posted August 3 2016

caution sign in reference to MLC compliant insurance As insurance brokers, our number one priority is to look after you, the client. Our focus is making sure you have the coverage you need, that you are taken care of, and we are ready to fight for you regarding any claims or issues you are experiencing. Since we have your best interests in mind, it is troubling when we come across other insurance brokers and agents claiming to offer MLC compliant health insurance policies, because actually there is no such thing. It is prudent to have health insurance, but there is no rule in MLC requiring you to do so. Let me explain.

What is MLC?

MLC stands for Maritime Labour Convention, and is a code that was started in 2006 that helps protect crew members who work onboard ships and other vessels. Basically it is a book of different items that ship Owners are liable for in the operation of their vessel. It was implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and should be followed by all commercial vessels or else face potential fines, detention or even vessel arrest. For more details on MLC, visit for more information.

Don’t Believe the Hype

MLC does require ship owners to have some insurance in place (called Financial Security). Insurance like permanent disability, accidental death, and some other non-medical items like repatriation. But, it DOES NOT require ship owners to provide medical insurance! Where things tend to get confusing is that MLC requires ship owners to be liable for medical bills. While we highly recommend you to insure your crew so that you are not liable for the full amount of medical bills, MLC only requires you to cover the bills.

Work with Someone You Can Trust

It’s hard to count on someone that you can’t trust, so why would you leave your medical insurance to someone who does not provide you with accurate information? If a company is advertising MLC compliant insurance, do you think they have the knowledge, experience, and research capabilities to help you? Work with someone you can trust, after all there is a good chance you will be reaching out to this person or company in a time of need or desperation, make sure you can count on them.

What About Private Vessels?

As stated before, MLC is only applicable for commercially operated boats. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be offering insurance to your crew if you’re a private vessel owner. Any owner would like to attract the best crew possible, and having benefits that protect them could help to secure the best workers.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “ Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.