Acquiring Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance coverage can be an overwhelming task for government contractors performing work outside the United States. That’s why it’s important to not only have a good general knowledge of the coverage afforded under the policy but to also seek out the assistance of DBA industry experts in order to ensure comprehensive coverage should the unthinkable occur.
What is Defense Base Act Insurance?
Defense Base Act insurance (DBA) is federal workers’ compensation coverage required for all U.S. Government funded contracts for work performed outside the continental United States. This includes work performed by private contractors and their subcontractor’s employees in Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories and possessions, except Guam. Benefits include coverage for:
• Loss of Wages
• Medical Expenses Related to the Injury Claim
Benefits also include coverage for claims resulting from acts of war and terrorism as well as capture, detention and kidnapping while working under a contract that requires DBA coverage.
Who is Required to Purchase DBA Insurance?
DBA coverage is required for all U.S. Government funded contracts for work overseas performed by private contractors. All employees of the contractor regardless of their “country of origin” are eligible for DBA benefits unless a Waiver is applied for by the Contracting Officer and approved by the Department of Labor prior to work beginning.
What if the Employee is Unable to Travel Home in a Conventional Manner?
DBA claims include the cost of medical evacuation for those claims where the employee is unable to be transported in a ticketed seat of an aircraft. The treating physician must authorize the transport of the injured employee to a neighboring country or back to their home country in order to obtain the necessary medical treatment.
Does Coverage Extend to Media Personnel Embedded with the Troops?
Media personnel who are “embedded with the troops” are eligible for DBA coverage because they are living and working with the troops on U.S. military bases. There is no signed contract required between the Media Company and the U.S. Military for the reporters to be eligible for DBA benefits. An example of this exposure would be David Bloom, the NBC Correspondent, who died of a blood clot behind his knee from traveling in tanks with the troops….his surviving spouse and children were eligible for DBA death benefits.
About the author: Sara Payne is a Senior Vice President at Lockton Affinity, LLC, and a 25-year veteran of DBA insurance program administration. Sara and her team administer the LATITUDE Global Contractor Insurance program developed by Lockton Affinity to meet the DBA and foreign package insurance needs of overseas government contractors.