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Defense Base Act Insurance...
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Choosing the right insurance partner for Defense Base Act insurance could save your company time, premium dollars, and ensure contractual compliance.  We understand the Government & Defense Contractor space, the "true" exposures present, and how to explain those exposures to underwriters.  Our work centers on a clear, concise delivery of your program(s) that removes obstacles and makes it easy for you and your contract team.
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Defense Base Act Insurance
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Need A Quick, Reliable Quote or Pricing Indication?  Consider Our FAST QUOTE OPTION
What exactly is the Defense Base Act and provide in terms of insurance?

DBA Insurance is considered workers' compensation insurance for civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.  Defense Base Act insurance must be obtained by Employers, Subcontractors, Subordinate contractors.

The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) which provides disability compensation and medical benefits (Workers' Compensation) to employees and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees of U.S. government contractors who perform work overseas. With a few exceptions, the DBA incorporates the provisions of the LHWCA.

The Defense Base Act provides disability and medical benefits to covered employees injured in the course of or arising from employment and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees killed in the course of employment or who died of causes arising from employment.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
Brian has a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm in his work. For several years he has been an excellent source of information and solutions on exposures and insurance marketplace for government contractors. He is service driven and this gives me actionable items for my Clients that face unusually high risk exposures in volatile areas of the world. Whenever I have a question in the governmental contractor space, Brian gets my call. 
 
Ralph Mylie Jr, CIC, RPLU
Global Risk Management and Corporate Insurance
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It is rare to find someone in Brian's field that has the ability and willingness to listen, learn, and understand the government contracting client's concerns and needs instead of just selling a pre-packaged suite of products. His promise to continue to be a resource and sounding board even if the client chose to purchase elsewhere, was a welcome and refreshing offer. 
Carl Gebo
Owner -- SDVOSB / Government Contracts Coach Instructor & Attorney
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Brian Smith is absolutely the best to work with--outstanding risk management partner. He has a passion for client needs and a sense for professional service delivery that makes him stand out from the crowded insurance broker/agent field. He takes into consideration many aspects of business and their related risks in an effort to capture the true needs of the client. In other words, he doesn’t just provide an insurance solution, but he also makes sure our risks are understood and well managed. A creative analytic, with extensive experience related to government contractors, defense base act insurance, and contractual liabilities; Brian would make a great addition as your insurance broker. 
Kelly McBride
CEO, Global Dynamic Consulting, Inc.
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I have had the pleasure of know and working with Brian for more than five years. We first became acquainted when he asked me to work with him to find an international medical solution for one of his defense contractor clients. He worked with me so that I had a better understanding of the unique needs for these types of employees so that I could provide better solutions.

Since I have gone on my own as a broker, Brian has been willing to meet with me to help better address the opportunities in my market. He is generous with his time and his advice.
Margaret O'Brien, CEBS
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Brian Smith is an outstanding Commercial Insurance Professional with an extensive knowledge concerning P&C insurance products and EHS services. He continually looks for a better way to service the client and be more efficient. Brian’s extensive risk control background serves him well and puts him above other brokers in his field. He knows how to deliver client-centric solutions for insurance product needs as well as those that help to control risk. His concern for doing what’s right for the client makes him a special insurance broker and leader. If he is your broker, consider yourself fortunate to have found such a strong individual to assist you with your commercial insurance needs. If he is not your broker, what are you waiting for? Give him a call to discuss how he can serve you, too!

Claire Gillis

Vice President, Risk Solutions Group specializing in providing EHS Consulting Services to P&C Insurance Clients
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Defense Base Act Insurance
Who Needs DBA Insurance?
Who needs DBA Insurance and does it apply to our company?
DBA Insurance is considered workers' compensation insurance for civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense. Must be obtained by Employers, Subcontractors, Subordinate contractors

The Defense Base Act applies to workers that:
Work for private employers on U.S. military bases or any lands used by the U.S. outside of the United States, including those in U.S. Territories and possessions; Work on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts;

All employees engaged in such employment, regardless of nationality including U.S. citizens and residents, host country nationals and local hires as well as third country nationals (individuals hired from another country to work in the host country), are covered.

Third-Country Nationals, Local Nationals - Benefits payable regardless of nationality.  Employers should secure insurance coverage for all of their employees working outside the United States under a U.S. government contract, including U.S. citizens and residents, host country nationals (local hires), and third country nationals (hired from another country to perform work in the host country). 
What exactly is the Defense Base Act and provide in terms of insurance?
The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) which provides disability compensation and medical benefits (Workers' Compensation) to employees and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees of U.S. government contractors who perform work overseas.

The Defense Base Act provides disability and medical benefits to covered employees injured in the course of or arising from employment and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees killed in the course of employment or who died of causes arising from employment. 

The insurance requirements under the DBA require every employer (including contractors and subcontractors) either to secure insurance for the payment of workers' compensation benefits provided under the Act or to be permissibly self-insured. If a subcontractor fails to secure the payment of compensation, the contractor will be liable and will be required to secure the payment of such benefits. 
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Defense Base Act Insurance
When To Consider DBA Insurance
When would our company need to consider obtaining Defense Base Act insurance?
Defense Base Act insurance must be provided to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense. 

There is no exception for the provisions of the Act for a "short trip" overseas,  for "only attending a meeting", by an executive ("not a worker"), "overseeing, not working".  Even a CEO is an employee under the Act, and all employees are covered.

Waivers may be provided to employers after review and approval from the DOL.  When requesting a waiver, it should NOT be sent by the insurance broker, the contractor, or the contracting officer.  It must be submitted by the employer.  The waiver will only cover workers who are covered by another national or provincial workers' compensation act for the entirety of their claim, without exclusions for war risks, nuclear biological, chemical, radiological or other exclusions.   
Waivers are granted for local workers, however if no local workers' compensation laws exist, the waiver has no effect and DBA must be secured.
Defense Base Act Insurance
What Exactly is DBA Insurance?
Where, specifically, does the requirement for Defense Base Act insurance apply?  Is it world-wide?
DBA Insurance must be provided to those employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.  Puerto Rico and Guam are included although they are US Territories.  

In short, any location around the world where a US Government contract is underway, most likely requires DBA insurance.  

Although the contract may not stipulate the need for DBA insurance to be in place, the ultimate responsibility rests with the employer.  In the event DBA insurance is not provided, but required, the employer may face criminal prosecution.  If the employer is a corporation, the president, secretary, and treasurer can be prosecuted individually and may be personally liable.

An injured employee may also sue for damages for his/her injury under tort law if DBA insurance is not secured.
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Defense Base Act Insurance
Where DBA Insurance is Required
How does our company obtain coverage and from where?  

First off, our team can certainly help...

DBA insurance is provided by a variety of insurance companies throughout the United States.  Insurance professionals that focus on such work can provide the best level of assistance when navigating the underwriting process and securing a quote.

If a quote is needed to complete a proposal for submission, letting the broker know this beforehand may minimize delays and prompt a faster response.

Quotes provided by insurance companies are based on operations, country in which the work is being performed, payroll levels, historical claims information, number of employees, and country representations, i.e., locals, Third Country Nationals (TCN's), and US Workers.

Premiums are not set by, nor regulated by the US Department of Labor.  Many insurance companies will have a "minimum" premium, as it does for other lines of insurance.

The party responsible for securing DBA Insurance is the business owner or employer.  All accountability and responsibility rests with the contractor or subcontractor related to obtaining the insurance.  The insurance agent or broker, contracting officer, contracting agency, The Department of Labor, or the associated State Assigned Risk Pool(s) are not responsible for procurement requirements.  

In short, if you have won a government contract with overseas operations, you will need to consider DBA insurance even if the contract officer does not include it in the contract language.

When in doubt, check us out.
Need A Quick, Reliable Quote or Pricing Indication?  Consider Our FAST QUOTE OPTION
Defense Base Act Insurance
32 Frequently Asked Questions
that most people never ask until its to late.
1.
What is Defense Base Act insurance and who must obtain it?

DBA Insurance is considered workers' compensation insurance for civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.  Must be obtained by Employers, Subcontractors, Subordinate contractors.
2.
Is there a legal way to avoid purchasing Defense Base Act insurance?

Yes.  Waivers are permitted and granted for local workers, however if no local workers' compensation laws exist, the waiver has no effect and Defense Base Act insurance must be secured.  https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbawaivers/dbawaivers.htm
3.
What is Public Work?  

"Public work" is defined in the Act as any fixed improvement or any project, whether or not fixed, involving construction, alteration, removal or repair for the public use of the United States or its allies. However, "public work" is not limited to construction. It includes any project or operation under service contracts and projects in connection with the national defense or with war activities.
4.
Our contracting officer indicated DBA insurance was not required under our contract.  Are we still considered liable if they told us this?

If the Act applies, then Yes.  Your company is still required to obtain Defense Base Act insurance.  The only party responsible for securing coverage is the contractor.  Not responsible for obtaining coverage include:  The insurance agent or broker; The contracting officer; The contracting agency; The Department of Labor; The State Assigned Risk Pool.  Ultimate liability will fall under the contractor.
5.
Should we consider other insurance in addition to Defense Base Act insurance?

Although optional, it is a wise consideration.  Additional insurance programs that routinely compliment, although are not required under the Act include, Business Travel Accident, Kidnap & Ransom, and Life Insurance (with war),
6.
What does DBA provide in the form of "Benefits"?

The Defense Base Act provides disability and medical benefits to covered employees injured in the course of or arising from employment and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees killed in the course of employment or who died of causes arising from employment.
7.
To whom and when does the Defense Base Act NOT apply?

The Defense Base Act does not apply to the injury or death of (1) an employee subject to the provisions of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act; (2) an employee engaged in agriculture, domestic service, or any employment that is casual and not in the usual course of the trade, business, or profession of the employer; and (3) a master or member of a crew of any vessel.
8.
Does DBA only apply to US Citizens?

No.  It applies to all paid workers associated with the contract.  Third-Country Nationals, Local Nationals - Benefits under the DBA are payable regardless of nationality. Therefore, employers should secure insurance coverage for all of their employees working outside the United States under a U.S. government contract, including U.S. citizens and residents, host country nationals (local hires), and third country nationals (hired from another country to perform work in the host country).
9.
We work in Puerto Rico, a US Territory; are we required to have DBA insurance?  

Yes, Puerto Rico is covered under the Defense Base Act as part of its scope.
10.
Are grants required to secure Defense Base Act insurance?  

Grants -  work performed pursuant to a grant or cooperative agreement is not covered under the Act
11.
How are DBA insurance premiums determined? 

Premiums are not set by, nor regulated by the US Department of Labor.  They are determined by the insurance carrier underwriters. 
12.
What does Defense Base Act insurance cost?

Many insurance companies will have a "minimum" premium, as it does for other lines of insurance.  As such, there is no definitive answer since each policy is written based on its individual underwriting characteristics.
13.
Is Defense Base Act Insurance a reimbursable expense under the contract?

The cost of insurance (premiums) from a reimbursement perspective, will be defined in the terms of the contract.
14.
When is Defense Base Act insurance needed?

DBA insurance must be provided to employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or national defense.
15.
Are subcontractors required to have Defense Base Act insurance?  If they sub the work out, does that subcontractor have to have their own DBA insurance or can they be covered under ours?

They have to have their own.  DBA Insurance is intended for those workers for a company that is under their payroll and is doing the work themselves.  The sub-contractor cannot pass down the work to a sub-sub-contractor and have them covered under their DBA insurance.  The insurance requirements under the DBA require every employer (including contractors and subcontractors) either to secure insurance for the payment of workers' compensation benefits provided under the Act or to be permissibly self-insured. If a subcontractor fails to secure the payment of compensation, the contractor will be liable and will be required to secure the payment of such benefits.
16.
What can be used in lieu of DBA insurance from a program perspective?  (We already have insurance, but not DBA.)

Private Insurance Programs may supplement, but cannot substitute for mandatory DBA coverage.  Supplemental insurance may be considered in addition to DBA, such as life insurance for relatives not covered as dependents under the Act as these benefits are separate from the DBA program.
17.
When is Defense Base Act insurance needed?

In short, whenever an overseas contract is awarded, DBA insurance must be considered.  DBA insurance must be provided to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.
18.
Is Defense Base Act insurance required for a quick, short term contract?

There is no exception for the provisions of the Act for a "short trip" overseas,  for "only attending a meeting", by an executive ("not a worker"), "overseeing, not working".
19.
The owner or CEO is excluded under our Workers' Compensation insurance policy.  Does the owner or CEO fall under the Defense Base Act insurance requirement?

Even a CEO is an employee under the Act, and all employees are covered.
20.
Can we purchase Defense Base Act insurance for a period less than a year, such as a one-month contract?

The coverage will be in place for one year.  There are no short-term policies available that would limit the time in which the coverage would be active for less than one year.
21.
Defense Base Act insurance is not required for government contract work in the US.  Where would the coverage apply?

Employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.  Puerto Rico and Guam are included although they are US Territories.
22.
Why is DBA insurance required on our contract even though it is not specified in the insurance section of the contract?

Just because it isn't there, doesn't mean it isn't required.  Not all contracts drafted by the US Government are worded the same way.  Regardless if the Defense Base Act insurance requirement is listed or not, it is the responsibility of the contractor, subcontractor, or subordinate contractor to verify its need under each contract award. 
23.
Can we obtain a DBA insurance Waiver for our contract work and if so, does apply to all under the contract?

Waivers may be provided to employers after review and approval from the Department of Labor.  When requesting a waiver, it should NOT be sent by the insurance broker, the contractor, or the contracting officer.  It must be submitted by the employer.  The waiver will only cover workers who are covered by another national or provincial workers' compensation act for the entirety of their claim, without exclusions for war risks, nuclear biological, chemical, radiological or other exclusions.   It is Department of Labor policy that waivers do not apply to citizens or legal residents of the U.S. or to employees hired in the U.S. Waivers are granted for local workers, however if no local workers' compensation laws exist, the waiver has no effect and DBA must be secured
24.
Would we need one than one Defense Base Act insurance policy if we have multiple contracts in place?

Multiple task orders may be covered under one policy if the insurance company agrees.  In some cases multiple contracts may be assigned, by endorsement, to one policy.  If contracts vary in scope, location, and operation, then multiple policies may be needed.  Further, your insurance and contract department may elect to insure one contract with one policy for easier accounting.

If your company has concurrent contracts with different federal agencies, it is quite possible that workers for the same employer may be injured in the same incident and be covered by different insurance policies (USAID)
25.
Does Defense Base Act insurance include coverage for Kidnap & Ransom?

No.  Kidnap & Ransom coverage is obtained separately from the Defense Base Act insurance program. 
26.
Is Defense Base Act insurance considered "24 hour coverage"?

No.  Although DBA insurance is active during all periods of work, it does not cover outside activities, such as excursions, periods of rest & relaxation (R&R), additional travel during breaks, etc.  It is intended to provide benefits for injuries and and lost wages due to work related conditions. 
27.
Why doesn't our current insurance company want to provide Defense Base Act insurance?

Although many insurance companies throughout the US are able to provide the insurance, many have decided not to.  Here is a current list of approved insurance companies that may offer coverage. Insurance Carrier List
28.
Can Defense Base Act insurance have a deductible attached to it so the premium will be lower like our current workers' compensation plan?

No.  All DBA policies are without deductibles and are considered "Guaranteed Cost"
29.
When we applied for Defense Base Act insurance through our insurance professional, we only received one quote.  Why?

Depending on the work of the contract, each insurance company has an underwriting appetite or level of comfort, when it comes to the types of risk they are willing to represent.  The higher the risk, the fewer the willing insurers there may be that will offer a quote.
30.
How do we know if our subcontractor or prime contractor currently has Defense Base Act insurance?

Your contracts or administration department should request a certificate of insurance from the subcontractor or prime.  The certificate will list the carrier, expiration date of coverage and policy number.  It is important to verify the coverage is in place by contacting the insurance company.
31.
What employment activities does the Defense Base Act apply to?
   
Work 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 and possessions;
Work 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 United States;
Work on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, which among other things provides for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States;
Work for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside the United States for the benefit of the Armed Services, e.g. the United Service Organizations (USO); and
Any injury or death occurring to any such employee during transportation to or from the place of employment, where the employer or the U.S. provides the transportation or the cost thereof.

If any one of the above criteria is met, all employees engaged in such employment, regardless of nationality including U.S. citizens and residents, host country nationals and local hires as well as third country nationals (individuals hired from another country to work in the host country), are covered under the Act.
https://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/ExplainingDBA.htm
32.
What is the worst thing that could happen if our company doesn't obtain Defense Base Act insurance, but is required to do so?

An employer who fails to secure the payment of compensation under the Act through an insurance carrier or to obtain authorization to be self-insured may face criminal prosecution and be subject to imprisonment and/or fines. If the employer is a corporation, the president, secretary and treasurer can be prosecuted individually and may be personally and severally liable for compensation and other benefits.

If the employer is not insured, an injured employee also may elect to either claim compensation under the Act or sue for damages for his/her injury under general tort law. In such a lawsuit, the employer may not rely on the customary tort defenses that the employee is prevented from recovery by (1) his/her own contribution to the cause of the injury or (2) his/her own negligence or wrong-doing.

Furthermore, your company would be considered contractually non-compliant and could jeopardize performance standing and future contract awards.
WHY WORK  WITH US?
Two Reasons:  Prior Military Experience and Our Government Contracting Risk Awareness and Focus

1.
Expertise

Brian Smith is a former US Army officer with 14 years serving in both the enlisted ranks and then as a commissioned officer.  Working with Government Contractors for the past 13 years, he has witnessed to a wide variety of DBA programs and claims.  Currently he serves as the Georgia Chapter President of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA-GA) and on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO).
2.
Risk Awareness

Our team serves a narrow segment of the business community - Government & Defense contractors.  This affords a greater understanding of your work, theater of operations, the variety of NAICS codes under your capabilities statement, and the immense pressure to improve your margins.  We partner  with specific underwriters that share our sense of urgency and dedication to the clients you serve - The Warfighter.  
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