Apply for coverage
If you hire workers in B.C. and are eligible for WorkSafeBC coverage, you are required to register with us. If you are a partner in a registered partnership or a proprietor, you can also apply for optional coverage for the business owners. To determine if you are eligible for coverage, you must submit an application. This page will help you make sure you have the information you need before you get started.
The application process
The first step in purchasing WorkSafeBC insurance is to complete an application for coverage. We recommend you submit your application no earlier than 30 days before work begins. Once we receive your application, we require approximately 10 business days to gather information, review your application, and notify you of our decision.
Information you need to provide
We’ll ask for the following information in your application to help us understand your situation and/or firm:
|Type of employer|
|Homeowner or renter||Proprietorship or partnership||Corporation, society, association, or similar type of firm|
|The legal name and contact information the person completing the application||✓||✓||✓|
|The legal name, contact information, and birthdates of the people hiring the workers||✓|
|The legal name, contact information, and birthdates of all owners of the firm
|Your Canada Revenue Agency business number (if you have one)||✓||✓|
|Your incorporation number and date, and the jurisdiction in which you incorporated
|The name and WorkSafeBC account number (if known) of any current or previous WorkSafeBC accounts you or any principals of the firm have had; this includes any firms or accounts with whom you are affiliated
|The start date of the first worker, and the number of workers employed (if you have workers)
|Whether the workers being hired are already registered with WorkSafeBC or hired through a third party that is already registered with WorkSafeBC
|The start date of the firm’s operations
|Details about any business vehicle(s) and/or revenue-producing equipment used by the firm; this includes the make, model, and year
|Your estimated payroll (including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, holiday pay, or any other compensation paid to workers and/or active shareholders)
|The name and/or WorkSafeBC account number of the person or business you provide services to (if your firm provides services as subcontractor)
|Address in B.C. where the work will be performed
If you are applying for Personal Optional Protection coverage, you will also need to provide:
- The amount of monthly coverage you would like (this can be between $2,500 and $8,333). To apply for coverage of more than $5,000 per month, please do not use the online application and instead submit an Application for Personal Optional Protection (form 180C) if you’re setting up a new account or an Application for Personal Optional Protection (form 1801) if you’ve already submitted an application or you have an active account.
- The start date of your Personal Optional Protection coverage, which can be today or a future date that is within 30 days of when work begins.
If you operate as a proprietorship and wish to apply for Voluntary Spousal coverage, you will also need:
- An estimate of your spouse’s earnings.
- The start date of your Voluntary Spousal coverage, which can be today or a future date that is within 30 days of when work begins.
Reviewing your application
Once we receive your application, we will review the information you’ve provided and determine whether you are eligible for coverage. In looking at your application, we consider:
- Whether you operate as a self-employed proprietor, partner, incorporated company, homeowner, or renter, or any other type of legal entity
- What services or products your business provides
- Who you provide your services to
- If you have workers and, if so, how much you pay them
- If you supply any major equipment or materials as part of the services you provide
- If you have been registered before under a different business
- If you are working with related businesses
If we need to clarify any of the details you provided in your application, we will contact you.
If you are eligible for registration with WorkSafeBC, we will confirm or determine:
- Whether you are an independent firm or a labour contractor (learn more about contractors and subcontractors)
- Your classification and corresponding premium
- The date your coverage comes into effect
Notifying you of our decision
If you are eligible, we will create an account for you and send a letter confirming your account number, classification unit, the effective date of your coverage, and your premium rate.
If you are not eligible for registration with WorkSafeBC, we will send you a letter outlining why your application was not accepted. If we determine that you are a worker, you will have the benefit of workers’ compensation coverage through the firm(s) you are providing your services to.
Apply online, by mail, or by fax
The first step in applying for coverage online is to create an online services account (or log in if you already have one). Your application will be saved automatically as you go through it. If you need to exit before completing it, we will save your application and you will be able to continue the next time you log in. Please note that to protect the privacy of your data, partially completed applications will expire after 30 days.
Applying online will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Once you've submitted your application, you'll receive a confirmation number by email to confirm that we’ve received your application.
Mail or fax
You can download the appropriate form based on the coverage you need:
- If you're legally required to have WorkSafeBC coverage, complete the Employer's Registration Application Form. If you're unsure if you need coverage, learn more about who does and doesn’t need coverage.
- If you're not required to have WorkSafeBC coverage, but want to – and are eligible to – buy optional insurance coverage, complete an Application for Personal Optional Protection (form 180C).
Then, mail or fax us the completed form(s). Once we’ve reviewed your application, we’ll send you a letter that will either provide your account number or outline why your application was not accepted.
Cost of coverage
Your WorkSafeBC insurance premiums protect you from lawsuits related to worker compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses in B.C.
The cost of your coverage is based on your industry’s base premium rate, your firm’s assessable payroll, and your firm’s net experience rating.
To learn more about each of these factors and see the formula we use to calculate the cost, visit Know how much coverage costs.
Need more information?
We're here to help. Please contact our Employer Service Centre.