Home > Workmens Compensation > Workers’ comp rates to rise 12 percent in Washington

Workers’ comp rates to rise 12 percent in Washington

Workers’ compensation insurance premiums in Washington state are going up 12 percent on Jan. 1.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) said average premiums will go up 6.5 cents per hour worked. L&I said the new rates take effect under an emergency rule effective for 120 days. L&I said it will conduct public hearings in Tacoma and Spokane on Jan. 4, 2011, on the increase before it enacts permanent rates.

The emergency measure was necessary, L&I officials said, after changes were delayed due to the election; Washington state voters were asked whether they wanted to change the existing workers’ compensation system and voted down Initiative 1082.

Some industries would pay more than others. Building construction and trades will see a 16 percent increase while restaurants will see a 6 percent hike.

“We can’t ignore the fact that the severe, persistent recession has increased workers’ comp claims costs. We’re able to hold down the rate increase to 12 percent largely because L&I has aggressively cut costs, including our own budget, by over $200 million,” said Judy Schurke, L&I director, in a statement that can be seen here.

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