Specialist marine insurance intermediary Seacurus has launched a Seafarer Assistance Card scheme to enable seafarers to check for cover and provide timely notification of claims under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006). The cards are personal to the seafarer and are issued by the crewing company when seafarers take up their first position at sea.
Seacurus managing director Thomas Brown says, “Under the soon-to-be implemented MLC 2006 amendments, each MLC-compliant vessel will be required to carry a certificate of financial responsibility which provides seafarers with details of the financial protection which the owners have put in place, as well as the details of who to call in the event of a claim.
“The same is not true for crewing companies which, as policy holders, keep the master policy in their office, and evidence of cover is not readily available to the seafarers it serves to protect. In the interests of transparency, we felt it important that seafarers had their own evidence of cover, coupled with user-friendly direct access to the underlying security.
“Time is often of the essence. This is where the Seafarer Assistance Cards perform a vital function. They provide the seafarer with access to the CrewSEACURE web portal to check for cover and help them provide timely notification of claims.”
Seacurus manages the financial security requirements for an ever-increasing number of seafarer recruitment & placement services and crew management companies. Thomas Brown says, “We are seeing a number of referrals from flag state inspectors when crewing companies apply for their MLC approvals. Leading the way in this regard are the UK MCA and Transport Canada, both flag state administrations which require crewing companies operating within their jurisdictions to demonstrate that they have in place a system of financial security to comply with MLC2006 Reg. 1.4 which safeguards the financial interests of the seafarers that such companies place at sea.
“Seacurus has evolved its CrewSEACURE product range and developed variant wordings to meet these requirements. If MLC 2006 is to fulfil its promise as a seafarers’ bill of rights, it needs the support of products and services which deliver on the intent of the convention.”