Earning the Claim-Free Discount

Don't leave money on the table

Small businesses that prevent workplace injuries can earn the Claim-Free Discount. Businesses are eligible if they have no compensable claims during the 3-year experience period. Visit the Experience Rating Questions & Answers for details on the experience period.

Claims that have time-loss, loss of earning power, partial permanent disability, total permanent disability, or death benefits are compensable.

Discounts range from 10%-40% off the base rate* for your industry. As you hire more workers and your business grows, so can your discount rate.

* Your total rate is made up of 4 rates that provide different types of benefits when workers are hurt on the job. The Claim-Free Discount is applied to the accident rate, the medical aid rate, and the Stay at Work rate, but not the supplemental pension rate.

How to earn the Claim-Free Discount (compensable-claim-free experience rating)

Businesses can qualify for a Claim-Free Discount two ways:

  • If your business has no claims, or claims where only medical expenses are paid in the 3-year experience period
  • In some cases, by purchasing an existing business that already has a Claim-Free Discount

See the Free Resources tab for steps and resources you can use to earn the claim free discount and keep your workers safe at work.

See the How Claims Affect your Discount tab for more details.

Free resources

Earning the Claim-Free Discount by avoiding costly accidents and claims

Take these steps and use these no-cost resources to focus on safety and return to work planning, and your business could earn the Claim-Free Discount.

Consultations are considered informational and educational. No fines or penalties will result from issues uncovered during a consultation. However, we will ask you to correct any serious issues and offer help in correcting them

Safety planning

  • Visit Get Started With Safety & Health to learn about:
    • Hazard awareness
    • Hazard prevention and safety training resources
    • Workplace safety and health rules
  • Create an Accident Prevention Program
  • Attend L&I’s free workshops. You can find these workshops at the Workshops & Training Center. Top picks to get started include:
    • Accident prevention
    • Developing safety committees
    • Fall protection
    • Office ergonomics
    • Preventing back injuries
    • Stay at Work program

Schedule your no-cost consultations

  • Safety consultation to:
    • Review your Accident Prevention Program and other required plans
    • Identify hidden hazards in your workplace
      To schedule your safety consultation go to Request a Consultation
  • Health consultation to provide testing of:
    • Worker exposure to chemicals
    • Air quality
    • Noise exposure
      To schedule your health consultation go to Request a Consultation
  • Risk Management Consultation to:
    • Create an Early Return to Work program
    • Understand your Claim-Free Discount and your steps to protect it
    • Learn how to ‘hire smart’
    • Get data and analysis specific to your business that shows how claims can affect the rate you pay and your Claim-Free Discount
    • Show the benefits of claim management strategies
      To schedule your risk management consultation go to Request a Consultation
  • Ergonomics consultation to:
    • Learn how to design your workplace to minimize injuries
    • Find out how to avoid strains/sprains that can cost your business money
      To request an ergonomics consultation go to Request a Consultation

Return to work planning

  • Use the Stay at Work program as a starting point for your return to work planning. Visit the Stay at Work page to learn more about how to:
    • Develop return to work policies to minimize disability payments
    • Create light-duty job descriptions
  • Consider keeping an injured worker on salary during recovery. It may make financial sense for your business
  • Work collaboratively and touch base routinely with both the injured worker and medical provider
  • File the Employer’s Report of Accident online using the Claim & Account Center as soon as possible to minimize administrative and medical delays
  • Read your mail, or sign up for the Secure Message Center in the Claim & Account Center because you have 60 days to protest claim decisions
  • Use these return-to-work documents (Links to these PDF files in Related Resources below):
    • Employer’s Return-to-Work Guide
    • Getting Back to Work: It’s Your Job and Your Future
    • Complete Stay at Work Guide for Employers
  • Go to Help Your Employee Return to Work to learn more
Losing your discount

How your business could lose its Claim-Free Discount

Businesses can lose their Claim-Free Discount in two ways:

  • If your business has claims with these types of benefits (compensable claims) that are either paid or are estimated to be paid at a future date:
    • Time loss
    • Loss of earning power
    • Partial permanent disability
    • Total permanent disability
    • Death benefits
  • If you purchase an existing business that has a history of compensable claims. Their claim experience will influence your rates until those claims are outside the 3-year experience period. Visit the Experience Rating Questions & Answers for details on the experience period.
How claims affect your discount

How claims affect your Claim-Free Discount

Medical only claims or no claims

Businesses with just medical only claims in the experience period or no claims in the experience period qualify for the Claim-Free Discount. Medical only claims are claims where only medical benefits or stay at work reimbursements are paid.

Compensable claims

Businesses with compensable claims in the experience period do not qualify for the Claim-Free Discount. Compensable claims include those claims for which the following benefits are either paid or are estimated to be paid at a future date:

  • Wage-replacement payments:
    • Time-loss payments: Payments made to a worker to replace wages lost from a work-related injury or disease, certified by a medical provider. Time-loss is not paid for the first 3 days from the date of injury unless the worker is off work on the 14th day after their injury
    • Loss of earning power: Payments made to workers when they return to work with fewer hours or at a lower wage due to their work-related medical condition
  • Disability payments:
    • Permanent partial disabilities: Payments made to workers whose work-related injury or disease has reached maximum medical improvement and resulted in a permanent loss of function or an amputation
    • Pensions for permanent total disabilities: Payments made to workers who have been deemed permanently and totally disabled
    • Death benefits: Any payments made when a work-related injury or illness results in a worker’s death

For the 3 years that the compensable claim remains on your account, all claim costs, including the amount over the medical only deduction on medical only claims, are included in calculating your new rate. Because of this, even one relatively inexpensive compensable claim can greatly impact your rates.

Claims stay on your record for the 3-year experience period. When these claims are no longer in the experience period and you have no other compensable claims, you will again qualify for a discount. Visit the Experience Rating Questions & Answers for details on the experience period.

A business advantage: Claim-Free Discounts
The example below shows how employers who actively manage workplace safety and injury claims can lower their premiums.

Employer A and Employer B both started wood-framing businesses at the same time, starting with 1 full-time worker. They both started with the same experience factor, 1.000, and paid the same amount every quarter. As business grew, they both added workers until they each had 3 full-time workers. They took different approaches to safety.

Claim Free Discount Infographic

*These are examples using sample rates. The rates for your business will be different.

Be like Employer A and save money!
Stop workplace accidents before they happen and earn a Claim-Free Discount. See the Free resources tab for actions you can take to prevent accidents and save your business money.