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December 23, 2020

Washington employer workers' compensation rates will not increase for 2021

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has announced that the average workers' compensation insurance premiums will not increase for 2021. This is the first time in 20 years that workers' compensation rates have dropped or stayed steady for four consecutive years.

Workers' compensation rates fell by 0.8% for 2020, 5% in 2019 and 2.5% in 2018. According to the Department, while financial projections point to the need for a significant increase to cover all costs for injuries and illnesses that occur in 2021, the agency is using funds from the workers' compensations contingency reserve to keep rates from climbing.

Washington is the only state where workers contribute a substantial portion of the premium cost. For 2021, workers will continue to pay on average about 26% of the premium.

Individual employers may see their rates go up or down, depending on their recent claims history and changes in the frequency and cost of claims in their industry.

According to 2021 rate information posted to the Department's website, out of the state's 323 risk classes, 181 would have lower composite rates in 2021.

The Department offers employers a Claim-Free Discount that can lower their average base rate by 10% or more.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (
   • Kristie Lowery (


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