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Workers' comp rates to increase 2 percent in 2016

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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TUMWATER - The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced Dec. 1 that the average base rate Washington businesses pay for workers' compensation insurance would increase by 2 percent in 2016.

Washington businesses and employees pay workers' compensation premiums to help cover the cost of providing wage replacement and disability benefits, as well as medical treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses. The money also goes toward building reserves to protect the workers' compensation funds against unexpected costs.

L&I uses wage inflation as a benchmark to help determine workers' compensation rates for the coming year because as wages climb, the cost of providing coverage rises. Washington's most recent wage inflation rate is 4.2 percent. The 2016 premium increase is less than half that amount, in part because of significant cost saving by the agency over the last year.

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Original Publication Date: December 10, 2015

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