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WHO IS COVERED UNDER THE DBA

Welcome to the Defense Base Act Forum

This website is for Independent Contractors who have served under contract from the U.S. Government. If you have been injured overseas while working as an independent contractor you may be entitled to medical and monetary compensation benefits from your Defense Base Act insurance.  

We have created this website as a forum for Independent Contractors to learn about issues that may affect them and for them to be able to communicate with other Independent Contractors who have been through the same or similar issues.  

This is not limited to DBA claims relating to injuries from overseas but to general topics relevant to the contractor community. This website is made to promote the community of Independent Contractors worldwide, benefit injured workers and stress the importance of competent legal representation.

Who Is Covered?

This act covers people in the categories below:

  • Employees working for US military bases outside the United States.
  • Employees working outside the US on lands used for military purposes. These include US territories and possessions located outside the United States.
  • Employees working with US government agencies outside the US. These include people employed in public works, national defense or war.
  • Employees working for American companies that provide welfare services outside the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces.
  • Employees working outside the United States on contracts funded by the American government under the Foreign Assistance Act. This includes employees working for agencies or companies that provide military equipment, cash, materials and services to allies of the United States outside the country.

*Note that all the criteria above do not have to be met before the worker in question qualifies for Defense Base Act coverage. If one of the requirements above is met, the employee may qualify for DBA coverage.

Benefits Under the Defense Base Act

Benefits under the Defense Base Act
This Act provides medical, disability and death benefits to covered employees who are injured or die in the course of employment outside the United States. The employees covered are entitled to the said compensation whether the injury or disability occurred during working hours or not. Compensation is paid by DBA insurance providers for partial loss of earnings. In addition, injured employees are entitled to medical treatment by the employer.

What Is Covered Under The Defense Base Act?

In cases of total disability, the employee is entitled to two thirds (66.6%) of his or her average weekly earnings. Permanent disability, total disability and death benefits are payable for life. Some of these benefits are subject to annual cost of living adjustments. For aliens and employers who are not US residents, death benefits may be commuted. In this case, the payment may be 50% of the present value of future compensation.

Reporting Injuries And Filing Claims

The procedure for filing claims or reporting injuries must be done the right way. Usually, the employer notifies the Defense Base Act insurance carrier as soon as an injury occurs. In cases where medical treatment is needed, it should be authorized immediately. The Employer's First Report of Injury, Form LS-202 must be filled within ten days of the injury. 

Success Story?

While protecting a diplomat in a war zone, this contractor's convoy was attacked. As he jumped from the hood of his vehicle, he landed on his knee and tore and shattered everything you can imagine. That he was an overseas contractor that saved a diplomat and destroyed his knee wasn't enough for the insurance company. They wanted to shaft him entirely and let him suffer with no help whatsoever. Matthew T Singer, a seasoned Defense Base Act attorney, entered the picture and made sure he and his family received every last drop of benefits they deserved. Now on the mend, he is able to get back to the life he had prior to the injury.

Why You Need a DBA Attorney

On paper, getting compensation from your insurance company should be a simple process. In practice, things can get quite complicated even after you have met all the Defense Base Act requirements. One problem that may affect your compensation claim is the existence of Defense Act Waivers. Other problem areas for employees eligible for compensation are improper filing of claims forms, wrong timing, and manipulation on the part of the insurer. The truth is that insurance companies are always looking for ways to wiggle out of settling claims. For this reason, it is vital that you read the small print carefully and consult a competent legal expert to help you pursue your entitlements.

Things You Should Never Do

  • Do not start processing your claims on your own without consulting a legal expert
  • Do not sign any document for the insurer without showing the document to your attorney first
  • Do not accept any out of court settlement offered by the insurer without consulting your attorney.
  • Do not post anything on social media or allow others to post pictures or information about you that you wouldn’t want show to a judge at your trial.
  • Do not let the insurance company pick your doctor.

Coverage Requirements

It is important to understand Defense Base Act insurance requirements and DBA insurance rates clearly. According to sections 1 (a)(4) and (5) of the defense Base Act, every contractor that comes within the purview of this act shall take out the insurance policy in question on behalf of its employees and maintain the policy for the duration of the said contract. DBA insurance requirements act states that:

  • The insurance policy shall be taken out for the employee before the commencement of the employment contract.
  • The employer (contractor, subcontractor or government agency) shall pay the premiums on the insurance policy and ensure that the employee gets paid compensation and/or benefits if the situation warrants the payment of benefits and/or compensation.

DBA Insurance Providers


Three major Defense Base Act Insurance carriers are ACE-USA, CNA, and AIG. Apart from these three firms, over 700 companies are authorized to handle this special form of insurance. These firms include insurance carriers and self-insured employers. Below is a list of 20 insurance carriers and 20 self-insured employers.

Insurance Carriers

  1. 1
    IU Insurance Company
  2. 2
    Alaska Timber Insurance Exchange
  3. 3
    All America Insurance Company
  4. 4
    Allianz Underwriters Insurance Co.
  5. 5
    Allied Eastern Indemnity Insurance Company
  6. 6
    Allied World National Assurance Company
  7. 7
    Allmerica Financial Benefit Insurance Co
  8. 8
    AMCO Insurance Company
  9. 9
    American Automobile Ins. Co.
  10. 10
    American Casualty Co of Reading. PA
  11. 11
    American Economy Insurance Co.
  12. 12
    American Family Home Insurance Company

Self-Insured Employers

  1. 1
    United National Ins. Co.
  2. 2
    U.S. Fire Insurance Co.
  3. 3
    Upper Hudson National Insurance Company
  4. 4
    Valley Forge Insurance Company
  5. 5
    Vigilant Ins. Co.
  6. 6
    Wausau Business Insurance Company
  7. 7
    Wausau Underwriters Ins. Co.
  8. 8
    West American Insurance Co.
  9. 9
    Westchester Fire Insurance Co.
  10. 10
    Western National Mutual Insurance Company
  11. 11
    Westfield National Insurance Company
  12. 12
    Williamsburg Nat'l. Insurance Co.

Obligations of the Employer and Expectations of the Employee

Section 4(a) of the Act makes it mandatory that the employer must secure payment for the employee in case of death, injury or disability. In cases where the employer fails to secure the payment of the said compensation, the contractor will be liable for and will be required to pay the benefits in question.

Final Words

No matter what, always consult a competent and experienced attorney for advice and legal representation. This is the only way to ensure that you get full compensation and benefits from carriers that will do whatever they can to not pay you.

Request a Consultation Appointment

If you think you have a case and would like us to take a look at the details, please complete all fields of the form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Your information is totally confidential and secure. Please note, however, that our review of your case does not create an attorney client relationship. We are happy to represent you and do our utmost for our clients. Your win is our win. Let’s get ‘em.

Our Happy Clients

I highly recommend his services...

Matt Singer was of invaluable help to my son and my family. My son Weston served with Halliburton in Afghanistan and was injured. AIG stood in his way for years, blocking his treatment and delaying his recovery. After years of trying to resolve this issue, we finally succeeded getting my son his necessary disk replacement surgery. We eventually found and contacted Matt late in our fight. He helped us quickly get the final resolution and settlement with the insurance company through arbitration. If we had known to contact him earlier, we would not have had a six year ordeal with unbelievable anguish and pain. I highly recommend his services.

ANONYMOUS

Matthew Singer always has your six...

I was injured in Iraq working as a security contractor in 2008, which started as a nightmare with the insurance company's bought and paid for shills, always looking for ways not to help you...I highly recommend the law office of Matthew T. Singer. His knowledge of DEFENSE BASE ACT insurance is second to none. I know about second to none, as a former US NAVY SEAL I recognized a professional in the way my case was conducted, was outstanding. All my concerns in regards to my case was always answered promptly. Matthew Singer always has your six.

Foster Harmon