Washington Workers Compensation policy information

Related Pages: More About Washington Workers Compensation Rules

State: Washington – A Monopolistic State

Updated: 01-19-2019

Authority/State Rating Bureau: Washington is a monopolistic state. They make their own rules and operate the only source for insurance, the Washington State Fund. How to secure Washington State Workers Compensation Coverage.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
PO Box 44000
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
Switchboard: 360-902-5800 Fax: 360-902-5798
Washington Department of Labor & Industries

Compulsory: Yes

Private Insurance: Not Allowed

Self-Insurance: Allowed if state standards are met

State Fund: Labor & Industries Washing State Fund is an exclusive state fund. Insurance in Washington must be purchased through this fund unless the entity is a qualified self-insurer. Contact is made through the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries at:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
PO Box 44000
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
Switchboard: 360-902-5800 Fax: 360-902-5798
Washington Department of Labor & Industries

Assigned Risk: All work comp coverage in the State of Washington is provided by the WSF. To contact, see state fund information above.

Numerical Exceptions:None. Generally, employers of one or more employees must provide industrial insurance coverage. There are two ways to provide this coverage, depending on the size and financial resources of your business. Most businesses participate in the states industrial insurance program, the Washington State Fund. The largest, most financially secure companies in the state and some governmental entities may qualify for self-insurance.

Individual Waivers Allowed: No waivers permitted.
Sole Proprietor: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included – A sole proprietor of a business is excluded by statute.

Partners: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included – Partners are excluded by statute, like sole proprietors they may elect to be included in coverage.

Corporate Officers: Excluded from coverage/ may elect to be included – Corporate officers of a public corporation are exempt if they meet the following criteria:

A bona fide corporate officer who also is on the board of directors and a shareholder, being elected according to the corporations bylaws and articles of incorporation, AND
Has the substantial control in daily management of the corporation, AND
Primary duties do not include manual labor.

LLC Members: Excluded/may elect to be included – Members of a limited liability company (LLC) if they manage the company (and there are no managers), or managers of a LLC who are also members and who exercise substantial control in the daily management of the company are exempted. Only eight managers may be exempted unless all managers are related by blood within the third degree of marriage.

Washington Election or Rejection of Coverage Forms:

Other Washington Workers Compensation Forms: This link will take you to the Washington State Website Forms and Publications page for access to other state workers compensation forms. Washington State Workers Compensation Forms.

Notes About Forms: Be sure to check with your insurance company for additional forms they may use for inclusion and exclusion.

Contractors:If you enter into a contract with an independent contractor who does not have employees or doesnt provide major equipment, you are probably required to provide industrial insurance coverage.

Special Notes: You are not required to provide coverage for the following employees. These are the only exceptions allowed. However you should always check with the governing authority in the State of Washington in case there have been changes.

  • A domestic servant in a private home. However, if two or more are employed regularly for 40 or more hours each per week all must be covered.
  • A person employed to do gardening, maintenance, repair or similar work at an employers private home.
  • A person who is not a regular employee of the trade, business or profession of the employer and is not working at the employers private home. This exemption refers to a person hired to perform a personal errand or chore that benefits the employer as an individual, but not the business. For example, someone hired to repair a flat tire on a personal car not used for business.
  • A person working only in return for aid or sustenance from a religious or charitable organization.
  • A child under age 18 employed by a parent in agricultural activities on the family farm.
  • A jockey who is participating in or preparing horses for a racing meet licensed by the Washington Horse Racing Commission.
  • An employee who gets workers compensation benefits through the Federal Employees Compensation Act, Longshoremens and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, Jones Act, or Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Compensation Plan.
  • A musician or entertainer who is working at a specific engagement and performing no other duties, who is not regularly employed by the purchaser of such services. The term purchaser does not include the leader of an entertainment group who regularly employs musicians or other entertainers.
  • A newspaper carrier who sells or distributes papers on the street or from house to house.
  • An insurance agent, broker or solicitor.
  • A cosmetologist, beautician or barber who rents or leases booth space.
  • A student volunteer (K-12th grade).
  • Family Farms: An adult child between the ages of 18 and 21 employed by a parent in agricultural activities on the family farm comes under mandatory coverage. To exempt the child or children, you must submit an Application for Exclusion/ Inclusion Mandatory Coverage (Family Farm).

Washington Workers Compensation Subrogation: The State of Washington provides statutory information about workers compensation subrogation in it’s state statute 51.24.030. This section of Washington code is titled; Action against third person — Election by injured person or beneficiary — Underinsured motorist insurance coverage. You find this statute under RCW 51, Chapter 24. Using the link provided below you will be taken to a search page for Washington statutes. Once there look for “Find A Law Search” and simply type in 51.24.030 and a list of codes referring to this will be shown. Choose the RCW 51,24,030 and you will be taken to the code for viewing.

Washington Statute – Access to Workers Compensation Subrogation

Washington Workers In Other States; Other States Workers In Washington; Extraterritorial; Reciprocity; Non-Compliance: When a Washington worker is working temporarily in another state, workers compensation coverage for that worker is governed by the extraterritorial provisions found in Washington statutes. If allowed, extraterritorial provisions allow benefits for an injured worker to apply as if the worker was in their primary state. Not all states provide Extraterritorial Provisions. Reciprocity governs coverage for a worker from another state who is working temporarily in Washington. Employers who have employees temporarily working in Washington from another state must verify the coverage requirements of Washington. Compliance of workers compensation laws is very complicated and varies from state to state and it is important for an employer with workers performing duties in other states to be aware of the specific state rules that govern their coverage. Please contact your state authority with your specific questions concerning this topic!

For More Information Contact: The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Workers Compensation in the State of Washington is Regulated By: The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I Headquarters)
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414
Mailing Address:
Washington Department of Labor and Industries
PO Box 44850
Olympia, WA 98504-4850
Phone: (360) 902-5799
Fax: (360) 902-5792

Department of Labor & Industries

Washington Workers compensation statute can be found here:

Access to Washington Workers Compensation Statute

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Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.

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