4.9 percent workers’ compensation rate hike coming to Washington

Workers compensation - Person looking stressed

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced the increase for 2024.

Next year, the average workers compensation premium in Washington will be 4.9 percent higher, according to a recent announcement from the state’s Department of Labor & Industries.

The rate increase will become effective on January 1, 2024, and will be paid jointly by workers and employers.

The workers compensation rate increase will mean that every full-time employee’s premium will be rising by an average of $65 per year. That cost will be split between workers and employees. Next year’s increase will see a split similar to what occurred during the last one, where the employee will pay about one quarter of the premium and the employer will pay the remainder.

Workers compensation - Person holding claim form

The coverage is paid for in order to help cover an employee’s wage and disability benefits costs as well as medical treatments for injuries and illnesses occurring as a result of events at work. The Department of Labor & Industries conducts an assessment every year and by the fall, it determines the rates for the coverage for the following year. This is done by examining a range of factors, including the predicted payouts, the contingency reserve size, wage inflation, and other factors.

The workers compensation insurance rate increase is meant to ensure employees remain covered.

“We do our best to be good stewards of this important program that helps tens of thousands of injured workers recover and return to work every year,” said Joel Sacks, Director of the Department of Labor and Industries. “Helping prevent workplace injuries and illness is our number one goal, yet we have to make sure that we have a healthy workers’ compensation system. This increase will help us do that so workers know they’ll have the help they need when they need it.”

To help inform their rate adjustment for 2024, the department hosted a number of public hearings in October and also received written comments. Business and labor group representatives were among the participants in the public hearings.

The workers compensation rate increase of 4.9 percent is the average across all industries. Specific industries could see a higher or lower rate increase depending on many factors, including predicted claims figures for next year.

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