Workers’ comp rates will increase 2% on average in 2016

The average base rate Washington businesses pay for workers’ compensation insurance will increase by 2% in 2016. L&I made suggested a 2% increase in its preliminary announcement in October and finalized the increase last week.

For construction categories, the rates range from a decrease of 12% for Bridge, Bulkhead and Tunnel Construction to an increase of 10% for the Wallboard Installation-Undiscounted Rate category.

For the list of rates for all risk classifications, click here.

AGC appreciates L&I’s efforts to flatten out rates as well as the need to bolster reserves, and also understands that Washington State’s system, because it is based on hours worked rather than wages as is the case in other states, does not have a built-in adjustment. However, AGC also believes that rates could have been even lower if the Legislature were to enact additional reforms, such as lowering the age at which workers can negotiate a structured settlement in lieu of lifetime pensions, and common sense improvements to occupational disease rules.