Washington Workers Compensation Insurance Rates 2019

Washington Workers Compensation Insurance Rates 2019

There is good news making waves throughout the state of Washington in 2019. The good news is the business community is paying less for workers compensation insurance this year. On average, businesses are paying 5 percent less for coverage compared to 2018. This marks the largest drop in more than 10 years and the effects went in to place as of the first of the year. With this decrease, employers will pay an average of approximately $58 less per employee for a year of workers’ compensation coverage. Workers will also see the amount they contribute to the workers compensation system decrease by an average of $6 a year. This combines for a total savings of $136 million less in premiums during 2019 for workers and employers.

Seattle, Washington Skyline

Why are Washington Workers Compensation Insurance Rates Declining in 2019

One of the main reasons for declining Workers Compensation Insurance Rates in Washington for 2019 is the projected long term costs for the workers’ compensation system have fallen more than $2 billion thanks to a number of reasons.  The Labor and Industries (L&I) Department within the state government has enacted a number of programs that have helped injured workers heal and return to work, reduce opioid use during treatment, and provide vocational support earlier in injury claims. The state has seen dramaticly positive results as a result of L&I implementing opioid prescription guidelines. The guidelines have resulted in a 90 percent reduction in the number of workers receiving opioids at six to 12 weeks after injury. THis has also been in conjunction with the agency providing vocational support and assistance earlier in injury claims. Stepping in earlier in the process has helped reduce injured workers from winding up on long term disability. According to L&I Director Joel Sacks, ‘We’ve seen a big drop in injuries at work in our state since 2012. And that’s great news because preventing injuries and making workplaces safe is our number one goal’.

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State

What Can Washington Businesses do to Maximize Savings?

Invest in Safety

The one main aspect of what a business pays for workers compensation insurance is the experience modification rating. The one aspect of this rating a business has control over is the loss ratio.  The loss ratio is the percent of insurance premium a business pays to the insurance carrier compared to the expected loss incurred by the carrier as a result of that business.  This ratio is the one aspect of commercial insurance businesses have some control over. Implementing effective safety programs and documenting them is the best way to impact this ratio.

Shop Around

Shopping around for the best insurance rate possible is always a wise decision. It is not wise to base your decision to buy insurance solely on price and it is not wise to switch agencies or carriers each year based on a slight dip in price. Relationships still mean something in the insurance industry. It is important to look around if for nothing else than to make sure your agent and your carrier are offering a competitive price.

Partner with an Independent Agent

The most efficient way to shop around your policy is by partnering with an independent insurance agent. An independent agent is not tied solely to one carrier. They can offer your business the policies of many different carriers. This offers your business many more choices. Also, an independent agent can give you unbiased advice about each policy and each carrier. Margins within the insurance industry are extremely tight. When a carrier offers a drastically lower rate then the competition there is a reason for it. The reason for a lower price is rarely, the coverage is better or the carrier offers better claims service. When you partner with an independent agent, they can tell you the positives and negatives to each carrier and help you make a well informed decision.

Public Fish Market in Downtown Seattle, Washington

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