In addition to the rising number of fatalities among militarypersonnel stationed in Iraq, the United States is facing heavylosses among employees of independent contractors doing business inthe country. The economic impact of those losses is hittingworkers' compensation carriers, as well as costing the governmentin reimbursements to insurers, according to the U.S. Department ofLabor.


The Defense Base Act requires that all U.S. governmentcontractors and subcontractors secure workers' compensationinsurance for their employees working overseas. Under the WarHazard Compensation Act, if an injury or death claim is related toa war-risk hazard, the government must reimburse insurers.


More than 15,000 security contractors have traveled to Iraq,according to the Brookings Institution.


Between early 2003 and this April, 85 civilians working in Iraqdied, and more than 400 others have been injured. That figurecompares to 48 deaths in other countries employing U.S. contractorssince 2001, including Kuwait and Bosnia. Although the violentopposition to a U.S. presence in Iraq has provoked ambushes andabductions, not all of the reported injuries are war-related.

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