Defense Base Act Insurance Coverage

The Defense Base Act (42 U.S.C. 1651-54), in effect since 1941, mandates private employers that are awarded federal government funded contracts for certain types of overseas assignments to purchase a form of worker’s compensation coverage called “Defense Base Act Insurance” to cover their employees. Defense Base Act Insurance coverage is many times referred to as DBA insurance.

Engineers, project managers, information technology providers, consultants and public works contractors are some of the many types of industries and companies that are subject to the requirements of the Defense Base Act if they are deployed overseas to work under a federally funded contract.

The Defense Base Act requires DBA insurance coverage for:

  • Employees working for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. territories
  • Employees working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside the U.S.
  • Employees working on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, generally providing for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States
  • Employees working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside of the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces, e.g. the USO

DBA Insurance Benefits & Coverage


  • Disability, medical and death benefits to covered employees injured or killed in the course of employment, whether or not the injury or death occurred during work hours.
  • Compensation may also be payable for partial loss of earnings.
  • Permanent total disability and death benefits may be payable for life.

Additional Recommended Coverage:


  • General Liability
  • Additional Permanent Disability
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Kidnap & Ransom

If you or your employees fall under the Defense Base Act requirements, contact NYIG for additional information on our comprehensive Defense Base Act insurance coverage. Call us at 212-268-8520 and we’ll find the right DBA insurance policy for you.