Workers' Comp Retro Program

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.

Small rate increase for public safety employees

On September 21, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced a 2.5% average decrease to the rates employers pay for workers' comp insurance. Unlike previous years, the average rate change across workers’ comp rates statewide is more closely aligned with the changes to the rates cities, counties, and special purpose districts will pay in 2018.

For 2018, Firefighters will see a 3% increase (opposed to the previous four years that had a double-digit increase in each year). Law enforcement is increasing 4%. On the other hand, rates for city public works/parks and recreation will once again see a decrease for 2018. These rates are decreasing 5% and the three year cumulative change is a 2% decrease in rates. AWC Retro works with approximately 65% of all the public works/parks and recreation employees in Washington. This continued rate decrease demonstrates that training, workplace safety, and proactive claims management directly affects the rates charged to cities.

Base rates by worker type

Worker type

2018 % change from 2017

3-year increase


3% increase


Law enforcement – City and county

4% increase


Public works and parks – City

5% decrease


Streets and parks – County

3% increase


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