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Nov. 23, 2004

L&I adopts 3.7 percent workers' comp rate increase for 2005

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries today finalized an average 3.7 percent rate increase for workers’ compensation insurance in 2005.

The increase takes effect Jan. 1 and will raise an additional $52 million to cover cost-of-living increases required by law and rising health-care costs.

The 3.7 percent increase is an average. Some employers and workers will see rate decreases and others increases, depending on the relative risks in their industry and employers’ claims history. Rates vary greatly within risk classes. For example, residential wood framers pay as little as 79 cents and as much as $5.96 an hour per employee. The difference is based entirely on how effectively the employer prevents injuries.

The 2005 base rates are at www.LNI.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Insurance/RatesRisk/.

Labor & Industries manages the state’s workers’ compensation system, which provides coverage for 160,000 employers and about 1.9 million workers. In addition to providing benefits, the system protects employers from the potentially devastating cost of lengthy injury claims and from tort lawsuits that could result from workplace injuries.

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For media information: Robert T. Nelson, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-5413 or nelq235@LNI.wa.gov or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.LNI.wa.gov/News.

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