Defense Base Act
The Defense Base Act (“DBA”) is an extension of the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act and was enacted to protect employers and contractor employees working on public sector projects outside the United States. Any employer with employees working on projects outside the United States, whether military in nature or not, will likely require DBA coverage. Failure to obtain DBA coverage can result in fines, loss of contracts, and legal liability.

Regulated by the Department of Labor, DBA insurance provides statutory workers compensation coverage to employees injured during employment. Coverage and benefits can include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States
  • Working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency
  • Working on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act
  • Working for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside of the United States for the benefit of the Armed Forces


  • Medical Treatment
  • Repatriation Expenses
  • Rehabilitation Expenses
  • Disability and death benefits
  • Protection against loss of wages or income

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, DBA Information | U.S. Department of Labor (

Signal Gov

Our Approach

For over 35 years, Signal Mutual has served as the premier provider of Longshore benefits in the United States, meeting the demand for reasonable and stable workers’ compensation insurance rates. Our GovCon offering leverages the expertise of our seasoned underwriting, claims, and safety teams to provide an efficient risk transfer model that’s tailored to meet the needs of today's federal contractors.

Our Value Proposition

Facilitating Efficient Risk Transfer 

  • Mutual model focused on delivering a higher standard of service at competitive rates
  • Diligent underwriting to properly price and write risks that share Signal’s value proposition
  • Ability to write most classes of business throughout the globe

Providing the Best Care

  • ~90 claims professionals focused solely on achieving optimal claims outcomes for Federal Workers’ Compensation
  • Lower caseloads than the industry average to ensure best-in-class service
  • Access to AI-driven analytics, helping to deploy mitigation resources in areas that provide the greatest impact
  • Relationship with IMG Global, allowing for a speedy response to medical emergencies across the globe

Keeping Employees Safe

  • Dedicated safety team that conducts over 4000 value-added support activities each year
  • Post-deployment screening program provides early intervention to mitigate the development of large latent claims
  • Phone app available to all Member employees traveling on DBA business for access to country reports, alerts, and evacuation assistance
  • Valuable training documentation, forums, and meetings available exclusively to Signal clients
  • Custom leadership and safety training guidance to help identify specific development needs and foster incident-free cultures

Need More Information?

Learn more about the expertise behind our GovCon unit here or move forward with submitting an application here.