Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is proposing a 4.9% average increase in the hourly rate that workers and employers will pay for worker’s compensation insurance in 2024. If adopted, the new rates will take effect on January 1, 2024. The new rates will add an average of $65 per year to the cost of workers’ compensation. Employers pay about 75% of workers’ compensation premiums, and workers pay about 25% of the premium.
L&I cites that the increase does not cover all the added costs for coverage that have been driven primarily by higher-than-normal increases in the state’s average wage in recent years. The state’s average wage increased during the pandemic.
According to L&I, average rates would need to increase by about 10% to cover new claims in 2024, however, the Department is proposing to use earnings from the workers compensation reserve accounts to assist in meeting anticipated costs and avoid larger increases in premium rates.
Finally, the proposal reflects an overall average rate increase across all sectors of business in the workers’ compensation system. Individual sector rates will vary depending on their claims experience and sector performance in recent years.
Public hearings on the proposed rates are scheduled on October 26, 27, and 31 at locations around the state, with virtual options available. The public comment period ends on October 31. For details on hearing locations and public comment options, see 23-25 (wa.gov).