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The average amount Washington state employers pay for workers compensation insurance will drop by 2.5 % in 2018 for most industries, the state Department of Labor & Industries said Thursday.
The rate decrease, which goes into effect Jan. 1, means employers will pay about $34 less a year per employee for coverage in 2018, and Washington employers as a group will pay $67 million less in premiums, the department said in a statement.
The department attributes the decrease to several factors including the improved economy, employers and workers focusing on safety, and department initiatives that are helping injured workers recover sooner and reducing workers compensation costs.
One example of an improvement to the workers comp system involves providing injured workers vocational support and assistance much earlier in claims, helping them return to work sooner. With that, the rate of workplace injuries that develop into long-term disabilities is down by more than 18 % from 2012, according to the department.
“We’ve made several improvements that are helping injured workers heal, return to work sooner and avoid long-term disability,” said department Director Joel Sacks in the statement. “We’ve also used small rate increases in recent years to make the workers compensation system healthier and to build our contingency reserve.”
The 2.5% workers compensation premium decrease is an average with individual employers to see smaller or larger drops depending on the industry and claims history. For that same reason, some employers will see increases, according to the statement.
The average amount employers pay for workers compensation insurance in Washington state would drop 2.5% in 2018 under a proposal released Wednesday by Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries.