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2009 premium rates to remain among lowest in Canada

Premium rates for B.C. employers will continue to be among the lowest in Canada during 2009, WorkSafeBC announced today.

The average published base rate will remain at $1.56 per $100 of employers’ assessable payroll in 2009 - the same as 2008 and the lowest rate in 30 years, down from $2.29 in 1996.

The average published base rate is a composite of rates in 67 individual rate groups. Based on projections for 2009, 40 percent of employers will see their base rates go up or down by 5 cents or less per $100 of assessable worker payroll; 24 percent will see their base rates decrease by more than 5 cents; 29 percent will see their base rates increase between 6 and 25 cents; and 7 percent will see increases of more than 25 cents.

View the 2009 rates

Industries with base rate decreases

Rates are decreasing for construction, forestry, waterfront marine carriers, taxis, and barge operators.

Industries with base rate increases

Industries that will see a base rate increase in 2009 include oil & gas exploration, drilling, well servicing; large retail, convenience, furniture and flooring stores; and warehouses. Also seeing increases are shipbuilding firms, paper mills, greenhouses, restaurants and pubs, physicians, tree planters, casinos, engineers, and various types of medical clinics.

General trucking, couriers, and house construction will see their rates remain virtually unchanged or will incur modest increases.

To protect employers from economic instability, in 2007 the Board of Directors of WorkSafeBC established a Capital Adequacy Reserve based on the minimum capital risk requirements of private life and casualty insurers in Canada. It’s designed to act as a buffer during turbulent economic times so that we can continue providing payment security to injured workers and rate stability for employers. While upward rate pressure is likely in 2010, the Capital Adequacy Reserves will permit WorkSafeBC to shelter employers from the full impact of these times of financial uncertainty.

View a summary of the 2009 base rate changes.

Additional resources

View the WorkSafeBC average published base rate trend information in table form (PDF 24kb) or in chart form (PDF 42kb)

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