International Group Personal Accident Insurance: When DBA Coverage is Not Enough

International Group Personal Accident Insurance: When DBA Coverage is Not Enough


Last updated June 22, 2023 11 minutes read

Created and reviewed by the Commercial Insurance and Underwriting experts at Clements Worldwide.

If your company conducts international business, you’re likely aware that working overseas can have its advantages, while it can also result in more operational challenges.

Unfortunately, illnesses, accidents, injuries, and even death can happen to employees while they are abroad. In such cases, Defense Base Act (DBA) Insurance can provide assistance or benefits to employees or their families.

However, DBA coverage may have limitations depending on your contract, thus leaving employees with gaps in coverage. This is where International Group Personal Accident (Group PA) insurance comes into play. It provides additional coverage to protect employees and companies 24/7 in case of unexpected events overseas.

In This Article:

This article explores International Group Personal Accident Insurance and explains how it differs from Defense Base Act Insurance. We’ll answer questions like:

What is International Group Personal Accident Insurance?

International Group Personal Accident Insurance is group-level coverage that businesses and organizations purchase on behalf of employees who work or travel overseas. Its purpose is to protect against accidental injuries, disablement, or death related expenses.

What’s Covered by Group PA Insurance?

Group PA offers financial assistance for unforeseen accidents, and key benefits usually include:

International Group Personal Accident Insurance can help companies cover expenses related to sickness, injury, and disability costs for employees abroad. However, it’s essential to note that while this insurance covers accidental death, it doesn’t cover death due to natural causes.

If providing comprehensive coverage is important to your organization, in addition to PA you should consider also offering Group Life Insurance for your employees.

Let’s look at some of the common benefits of Group PA:

Medical Expenses That are Not Covered by Health Insurance

Group Medical insurance will always act as the primary insurance for medical expenses; however, a Group PA policy can sit on top as excess, providing coverage when the primary medical policy is unable to.

Personal accident coverage makes getting the high-quality medical care, like imaging, easier.
Unexpected medical expenses due to an accident can quickly add up, but having the right coverage in place can help employers and employees minimize their financial risk.

If no medical coverage exists, Group PA will become the primary insurance policy, however there can be restrictions and exclusions, such as wellness, maternity, etc.

It is important to note Group PA is not a replacement for Group Health insurance, but an additional or alternative coverage to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees abroad.

Evacuation and Repatriation

When a company’s employees are in a location where finding suitable medical facilities is difficult, it can pose a significant challenge.

If an employee gets injured in a place where there is no secure and well-equipped medical facility nearby, Clements Worldwide’s Group Personal Accident insurance will not only cover the cost of transporting the injured employee to the closest adequate medical facility, but it will also provide access to an emergency crisis team. This team will coordinate and handle the evacuation or repatriation process, guide the injured employee throughout, and ensure that the medical facility they are taken to meets the necessary standards to assist and help them recover.

In unfortunate cases where an employee passes away, it may be necessary to bring their remains back to their home country. It’s advisable to consider insurance policies that can cover the expenses involved in such situations as well.

Disability Protection

Group PA policies can offer a variety of disability coverage options for accident-based disablement.

Temporary Total Disablement (TTD) provides weekly financial support to an employee who, following an accident, is unable to work while in recovery. Benefit payments are for a specific timeframe and applicable once the waiting period has been satisfied.

Permanent Total Disablement (PTD) coverage provides financial support to those injured due to an accident who are medically diagnosed as being unable to perform any occupation in the future. In these cases, the policy would pay a lump sum benefit after the applicable waiting period has been completed.

Accidental Death Benefit

If an employee loses their life, a Group PA policy offers an Accidental Death benefit which is a lump sum payment based upon the agreed policy limits. Note however that the cause of death must be accidental in nature and cannot be from natural causes for the policy to enact.

Passive War and Terrorism Coverage

Certain carriers may exclude war and terrorism from their list of covered perils, while others make it part of their standard coverage. If your company operates in a high-risk area, it is important to ensure your insurance covers the appropriate risk. Clements’ Group Personal Accident Insurance is one such policy that provides 24/7 coverage for civil unrest, and passive war and terrorism.

The difference between passive and active war & terrorism cover is that Passive War & Terrorism covers you if you are in a war zone, passing through and become injured due to an attack caused by war or terrorist attack. Active War & Terrorism cover is if you are an actual participant of war.

What is Not Covered by International Group PA Insurance?

As the name suggests, Group Personal Accident Insurance doesn’t cover predictable or routine medical expenses like maternity care or wellness checkups. Group PA protects companies and employees from unforeseen and accidental injury and death and associated costs while abroad.

It also doesn’t cover accidents that occur while employees are engaged in risky activities. For example, if an employee sustains injuries due to drug or alcohol use or from activities like skydiving, the coverage won’t apply. Finally, Personal Accident Insurance doesn’t cover preexisting conditions or natural death.

No matter where you live and work, personal accident insurance can give organizations and employees peace of mind.
Help employees feel safe and secure while working abroad, by protecting them and their loved ones from financial risk associated with accidents, such as medical expenses and loss of income.

Defense Base Act (DBA) Insurance vs. Group Personal Accident Insurance


When it comes to protecting employees working overseas, companies can ensure comprehensive coverage by combining Defense Base Act (DBA) Insurance and Group Personal Accident Insurance.

DBA Insurance focuses on work-related incidents, providing coverage for injuries, illnesses, and deaths that occur on the job. It offers benefits like medical treatment, disability support, death benefits, and repatriation in the event of a fatality.

However, DBA Insurance may have limitations, leaving employees exposed to risks outside of work hours or non-work-related accidents. This is where Group Personal Accident Insurance steps in to fill the gaps. It extends protection beyond the workplace, offering coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, medical expenses, evacuation, repatriation, and disability benefits outside of work hours and work events.

Personal Accident Insurance is a great addition, when the DBA contract limits the cover to just work hours and work events. PA can provide 24/7 wrap-around accident coverage for the gaps that may include any outside of work activities, including periods of rest & relaxation, etc. It is always key to understand your policies to make sure your employees are covered 24/7.

Kevin Pedone, VP Global Operations, Clements

This dual coverage is crucial because it addresses the full range of risks employees may face while working abroad. It provides peace of mind for both employees and employers, knowing that they are protected 24/7, whether on the job or during personal time.

With the right combination of insurance, companies can demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ well-being while mitigating financial risks associated with unforeseen events.

Case in Point

The incident below is an example of situations we at Clements Worldwide have seen happen to some of our clients working on contract work abroad. It highlights the significance of having comprehensive insurance coverage, including both DBA and PA insurance. This incident served as a valuable lesson, underscoring the importance of safeguarding employees beyond regular work hours.

One of my clients’ employees finished their work and left the job site. Unfortunately, while outside of the work hours, they had an accident. Their DBA insurance did not cover them in this situation since it only applied during the contracted work hours. This is where their Personal Accident coverage stepped in to provide financial support for the injury.

Matt Tuman, Senior Commercial Advisor, Clements

Regulatory Requirements

Group Personal Accident Insurance and DBA Insurance differ in terms of regulation leading to potential variations in benefits provided by different providers. Hence, consulting an experienced insurance broker is essential for informed decision-making.

Who Needs International Personal Accident Insurance?

International Group Personal Accident Insurance benefits any company that employs workers overseas or sponsors work-related travel to different countries. It’s valuable for multinational corporations or government contractors whose operations require operations abroad.  A good policy helps avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses and safeguards employees while they are away.

Who is Not Eligible for Group PA Coverage?

Who is and is not eligible for Group PA depends on the individual risk and exposure. In general, some of the organizations or industries that may not be eligible for Group PA can include marine organizations, sports teams, and companies that operate in Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States. It is also unavailable for active military personnel. In most cases, alternative insurance options cover these groups.

It is important to note that exceptions exist. At Clements, our brokers diligently explore various options within our extensive global network to deliver tailored and flexible coverage solutions. Our aim is to provide our clients with the best possible coverage options that align with their specific needs.

How is the Cost of Group Accident Insurance Premiums Calculated?

In many cases, Group Accident Insurance premiums are calculated either annually or by trip. Most providers can modify their calculations based on a company’s unique needs.

Annual calculations are often better for companies that maintain a foreign workforce throughout the year, while per-trip rates are better suited for companies that sponsor occasional work trips abroad.


International Group Personal Accident Insurance can serve as a valuable supplement to Defense Base Act coverage for companies conducting international business. While DBA Insurance aids with work-related incidents, Group PA fills the gaps by offering 24/7 coverage for accidents outside of work hours or non-work-related events. It provides peace of mind for both companies and employees.

Group PA ensures that employees and their families are protected in the face of unforeseen circumstances while working or traveling abroad. By obtaining Group PA coverage, companies can enhance the well-being of their employees, provide financial security, and demonstrate their commitment to their workforce.

Maintain Peace of Mind Abroad

Remember, it is crucial to carefully consider your insurance policies and consult with an experienced international insurance broker to ensure comprehensive coverage and peace of mind for all.

As a trusted provider since 1947, Clements Worldwide has been helping international organizations like yours find a policy that fits their budget while offering comprehensive coverage.

Don’t leave the safety and well-being of your team to chance. Contact us today for peace of mind and protection.

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