WCB insurance protects you and your employees in the event of a workplace injury or illness. Workers compensation insurance covers wages while your worker recovers, pays for extended healthcare benefits and protects you from lawsuits.
WCB premiums are based on a combination of the risk of incurring claims cost and the value of what is insured. We define risk as the potential cost of future workplace injuries (based on the costs of past claims) and determine value using the assessable payroll of your workforce.
Premiums and Risk
WCB premiums are based on risk, just like your home or vehicle insurance:
- If your workplace’s risk (potential injury costs) is higher than other employers, you will pay higher premiums.
- We assess your risk based on your past claims costs or experience with us. If you are a new customer, we assess your risk based on the past claims costs of other companies with similar business activities. We put your business in a group of similar businesses called a classification.
- Workers compensation is a blend of collective and individual liability. This means your premium is based on a combination of the risk of potential injury costs at your workplace and the risk at workplaces with similar business activities.
- There are steps you can take to reduce your risk and potentially reduce your premium.
Premiums and Rates
Your risk is expressed in your WCB rate, which is multiplied by every $100 of your payroll to determine your premium.
Every November, we send rate letters to our customers to let them know their WCB rate for the upcoming year. This helps customers estimate their premiums and prepare for their payments. Questions about the rate letter? See our FAQ.
How You Can Reduce Your Premium
Your WCB premium will likely increase or decrease based on the number and duration of injuries at your business. You can manage your WCB rate and premium by:
- Putting in place a safety and health program to reduce injuries
- Putting in place a return to work or disability management program to reduce the length of time employees are off work after an injury
- Getting involved in your industry’s safety program to reduce injuries in your classification group
These programs can have many other benefits for your business, such as increasing productivity, improving morale and retaining a skilled workforce. Learn more about how you can improve business performance and reduce costs.
How the WCB Sets Premiums and Rates
Every employer’s WCB rates are set based on a mechanism we call a rate model:
- The rate model determines how we balance collective and individual risk when calculating rates.
- The rate model sets limits on how much your WCB rate can increase or decrease in a given year based on changes in the costs of injuries at your workplace. These limits are designed to protect employers against sharp increases in their WCB rate.
We are introducing changes to the rate model to improve the fairness and flexibility of WCB premiums for employers of all sizes. This process began in 2016 and will continue through 2020.