Industrial insurance is for work related injuries and illnesses, and pays for approved medical, hospital, and related services essential to an injured worker’s treatment and recovery. It also provides partial wage replacement for injured workers who are temporarily unable to work.
Coverage is mandatory
Employers are required by Washington State law to carry industrial insurance (also known as workers’ compensation) for employees. In return, the employer ordinarily cannot be sued for damages if a work-related injury or illness occurs.
Excluded types of employments
Some types of employments are exempt from the industrial insurance requirements. Excluded employments include:
- Sole proprietors, partners, or LLC members with management responsibility.
- Corporate officers who are directors and shareholders. If you select elective coverage for your executive officers, all executive officers must be covered.
- Domestic servants in a private home if less than 2 employed, and those performing gardening, maintenance, or repair around the home.
- Persons who provide services in return for aid or sustenance received from a religious or charitable organization.
- Minors under 18 employed on the family farm.
- Racing jockeys.
- Entertainers and musicians.
- Volunteer law enforcement officers.
- Volunteers for private non-profit charitable organizations or local government.
- Student volunteers (K-12).
- Community service workers.
- Cosmetologist, barbers, estheticians, or manicurists who lease stations.
- Newspaper carriers.
- Insurance agents, brokers and solicitors.
- Other employment as defined by RCW 51.12.020.
Self-insurance is an alternative to industrial insurance in which the employer is responsible for paying all appropriate benefits to the injured worker. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) oversees the program to ensure employers provide benefits properly. You may qualify for self-insurance if your business:
- Is profitable and can post a bond guaranteeing the financial resources to pay all insurance costs.
- Has an effective accident prevention program.
How to get industrial insurance
To get mandatory industrial insurance coverage through L&I:
Optional coverage for exempt employments
If you like, you may choose to provide industrial insurance for exempt types of employments. To sign up for this optional coverage:
|Industrial insurance registration
|Other fees that may apply
|State tax registration
|Registering your business name as a trade name
| Business License Application fee
Questions about industrial insurance
Department of Labor and Industries
Business Licensing Service
State of Washington
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please remember to enclose all necessary documents and fees with your completed application. Incomplete submissions will result in a delay in your licensure. It is important that you contact our office, in writing, with any changes in address.