The price of workers comp insurance will drop for many Washington workers in 2019. In a Dec. 3 press release, the state Department of Labor and Industries announced an average five percent decrease in the amount employers pay for coverage — the largest overall drop in about 10 years.

“We’re seeing fewer injuries on the job and we’ve made improvements in helping injured workers heal and return to work. That’s good news for workers and employers, and it’s helping us significantly lower workers’ compensation costs,” L&I Director Joel Sacks said in the press release.

The reduction means employers will pay about $58 less per employee. Workers’ share of the cost will drop by an average of about $6 per year. In all, the savings on premiums will add up to about $136 million in 2019.

Rates differ from industry to industry. Some of Pacific County’s biggest industries will see significant changes.

  • Building and construction workers’ premiums will decrease by 9 percent.
  • Agricultural workers’ and food processors’ premi
  • ums will decrease by 2 percent.
  • Healthcare workers’ premiums will decrease by 4 percent.
  • Forest products workers’ premiums will decrease by 6 percent.
  • Government workers’ and school employees’ premiums will decrease by 3 percent.
  • Restaurant and hotel workers’ premiums will decrease by 6 percent.
  • City and county law enforcement officers’ premiums will increase by 8 percent.
  • City and county firefighters’ premiums will increase by 6 percent.

The biggest increases of 2019 aren’t likely to have much of an impact on locals. Professional tree-care specialists will see a 12 percent increase, resulting in an annual increase of $248 for employees and $949-per-worker for employers.

Arborists are getting off easy compared to professional athletes who play contact sports like roller derby, football and martial arts. Even though their rates went up 18 percent this year, they’ll see a premium increase of 15 percent in 2019. That’s going to cost employees an additional $1,127 and employers an additional $4,692 per employee next year.

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