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Workers' Comp Retro

L&I workers’ comp rates

Every local jurisdiction pays insurance premiums for workers’ comp to L&I. Premiums are determined by rates based on the type of employee work performed, and then multiplied by the jurisdiction’s experience factor. A jurisdiction’s experience factor can go up or down based on claim history and costs.

View 2016 rates by worker type.

Significant rate increases for some public safety employees

On Thursday, September 22, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced a 0.7% average increase to the rates employers pay for workers' comp insurance. As with previous years, the average increase across all workers' comp rates is far less than the increases for work performed in cities, counties, and special purpose districts.

For 2017, rates for firefighters will experience a double-digit increase for the fourth year in a row. The cumulative increase for firefighters is 53% over the past four years. Law enforcement officers are close behind with a 5% increase in 2017 and a 34% cumulative increase over the past four years.

On the other hand, rates for public works/parks and recreation will see a 1% decrease for 2017. The cumulative four-year increase for this group is only 10%. AWC Retro works with approximately 65% of all the public works/parks and recreation employees in Washington. This rate decrease demonstrates that training, workplace safety, and proactive claims management helps keep rates steady.

Base rates by worker type


2017 increase/decrease

4-year increase


10% increase


Law enforcement

5% increase


Public works/Parks

1% decrease