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Washington Workers Compensation Laws

Workers compensation law, rules and policy information for the State of Washington

State:  Washington - A Monopolistic State

Authority/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.

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

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 state’s 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 corporation’s 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.

Election or Rejection of Coverage Forms:

Access to Other Washington Workers Compensation Forms:  Washington State 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.

Contractors:  If you enter into a contract with an independent contractor who does not have employees or doesn’t 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.
  • 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 employer’s 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 employer’s 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, Longshoremen’s 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 refering to this will be shown. Choose the RCW 51,24,030 and you will be taken to the code for viewing.

Washington Statute Of Subrogation

Regulated By: 

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

Workers Compensation Statute: 

Workers Compensation Statute of Washington

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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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