WA Workers Comp Information
Information and state rules regarding Washington workers' compensation insurance.
In Washington, workers' compensation insurance is referred to as industrial insurance and is one of the oldest workers compensation systems in the country. The insurance is designed to protect both employees and employers from the financial impact of a work-related injury, accident, or disease.
Coverage is mandatory, and generally prevents an employee from being able to sue an employer for any damages. Coverage must be purchased though the Department of Labor and Industries (DL&I or L&I)). L&I manages all work comp claims and pays all employee benefits from the state pool known as the state fund.
The workers' compensation is a state regulated system and each state has there own laws and rules regarding coverage restrictions, rates, benefits, etc. Employers should always educate themselves regarding state laws on workers' compensation before doing work in or hiring employees from or other states.
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About Workers Compensation in Washington
Coverage Exceptions in Washington
Employers are almost always required to provide state fund workers comp to all employees except:
Failing to Report or Pay Premium
If an employer fails to file a quarterly report, L&I will estimate the premiums due based on the best information they have on file and we will take steps to collect the premiums owed. They will also assess penalties on delinquent accounts. The longer the account is delinquent, the greater the penalty. The minimum penalty is $10. Employers must submit a report even if they report no hours/units and wages. A late report indicating “no hours/units” will be assessed a $10 penalty. Interest will be assessed on all delinquent accounts at a rate of 1% per month on the premium owed. We count the number of calendar days since the due date including the date we receive the report or payment. Other penalties may be assessed for nonpayment of premiums, misrepresentations, excessive deductions from employees, failure to keep adequate timesheets and payroll records or other violations.
Experience Rating Factors
Experience rating is the result of an businesses workers’ exposure and actual claims, or losses, occurring during a period that we L&I refers to as the experience period .” The result will affect an employers workers’ compensation premium rates for a calendar year. Every eligible employer is experience rated in Washington on an annual basis. An eligible employer is an employer who reported worker hours or units during a given experience period. Businesses that have common majority ownership will generally be experience rated together on the same policy and share the experience factor with other commonly owned companies. In most cases, businesses that are sold and continue to perform the same operations in will have their experience rating factor transferred to the new business owners.
Out of State Employers Working in Washington
Out-of-State employers are permitted to bring workers into the state on a temporary basis (under 30 days) without paying premium to L&I under the following circumstances:
Working in Other States
L&I requires that employers pay premium to the state when employees travel out of state for fewer than 31 days in a calendar year regardless of whether or not premium was paid out of state or not. If employees are out of state more than 30 calendar days a year an employer can apply for out of state reporting. This allows them to only report and pay premium to the out-of-state insurance carrier.
Who Pays for Work Comp Coverage
Generally the employer always pays for workers compensation. Washington is the only state that allows the employers to deduct a portion of the cost of workers' compensation from the employees' wages. The employer can deduct up to half of the cost of the premium portion that pays the medical benefits and the portion of the premium that pays the cost of living increases for the injured workers drawing life-time compensation benefits or pensions. Employers must pay the entire portion of the premium that is used to pay loss time compensation and pensions. Overall, employees pay approximately 27% of the total work comp premium to the state.
Domestic Partners in Washington
Washington state law requires registered domestic partners to be treated in the same manner as married spouses for coverage.
More Programs and Options
We're always working with our insurance carriers to develop specialized programs for a broad range of industry class codes. Our Target Programs are designed to streamline the underwriting process and help ensure we offer the lowest rates available anywhere.
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Workers Compensation Help?
- What is Workers Compensation?
- The Basics of Workers Comp
- Workers Compensation Q and A?
- Insurance Laws for Work Comp
- Managing Policy Claims
- Getting Work Comp Benefits
- NCCI Classification Codes
- Experience Modifiers and Ratings
- State Fund Coverage
- Workers Compensation Forms
- Handling Workers Comp Audits
- Understanding an Employer Liability Policy
- Excluding Owners and Officers
- Other States Coverage
Washington Work Comp Information
Contractors and Sub-Contractors
Contractors who enter into an agreement with sub-contractors who does not have employees may be required to provide coverage for the subcontractor.
An exception to this rule exists when the sub-contractor supplies major equipment to the contractor for work purposes.
Notice- All information posted on this site is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal advice.
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