Canadian Manufacturing

Are you ready for the WSIB’s new premium rate model?

by Janine Dyck, Vice President, Employer Account Services, WSIB   

Canadian Manufacturing
Exporting & Importing Financing Human Resources Risk & Compliance Public Sector

The WSIB is changing how premium rates are calculated for 300,000 businesses across Ontario. Here's all you need to know

PHOTO: Pictures of Money via Flickr

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will introduce a new way of setting premium rates for almost 300,000 businesses across Ontario.

The new model will make it easier to understand how businesses are classified. It will also better reflect the individual claims experience and help businesses plan for the future by providing projected-rate information.

What’s changing in the new model?
First, WSIB will streamline how businesses are classified.

By using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is already used by the Canada Revenue Agency and Statistics Canada, it will be easier for you to understand your classification. Using NAICS will allow us to move 155 different rate groups to 34 classes/subclasses.


Second, WSIB will make your premium rate easier to understand.

WSIB will set an average premium rate for each class based on its risk profile and share of responsibility to maintain the insurance fund.

Each NAICS class will then be broken down into a series of risk bands, and each risk band will have an associated premium rate. The difference between each risk band will be approximately 5 per cent.

Next, WSIB will look at your specific claims history to create a risk profile that compares your risk to the rest of the businesses in your class.

Businesses in the same class, with similar risk profiles will then be assigned to the same risk band and premium rate that reflects their individual risk profile.

Third, WSIB will help you plan for any changes in your premium rate.
Businesses will no longer have to wait for rebates or surcharges. The current retrospective approach to rate-setting, including MAP, NEER and CAD7 experience rating programs will be eliminated.

The new model will introduce projected rates, providing your business with the future direction of your rates, up or down. This change will help you better prepare for the future.

For experience-rated businesses
Since WSIB is transforming how it sets premium rates for businesses, its new model will replace all existing experience-rating programs. In 2020, businesses will receive final NEER and CAD7 statements, as well as final adjustments under these programs, which will include an assessment of the 2019 year. Businesses registered under the MAP program received their final statement in 2018, and will receive any final adjustments in 2019.

Moving to the new model
To help you smoothly transition into the new model, any rate increases will be staggered over time, while rate decreases will be applied immediately.

Here’s how the transition to our new model will work:

• In 2020, businesses will be assigned a risk band and receive a premium rate based on your previous rates, claims experience, size of business, NAICS classification and whether or not you were in an experience rating program previously. Businesses with projected premium rate decreases will move down to their projected risk band.

• In 2021, businesses with projected premium rate increases will move up a maximum of one risk band from their 2020 risk band. Businesses with projected premium rate decreases will move down to their projected risk band.

• In 2022, businesses that have not yet reached their projected premium rate will move up a maximum of two risk bands above their 2021 risk band. Businesses with projected decreases will move down to their projected risk band.

Starting in 2023, WSIB policies for premium rate setting under the new model will be fully in effect. Businesses with projected premium rate increases will see their rates increase up to three risk bands per year until they reach their projected premium rate, protecting them from any sudden changes to their premium rates. Businesses eligible for decreases will see their rates decrease up to three risk bands per year until they reach their projected premium rate.

Health and safety programs
As WSIB moves closer to implementing the new rate-setting model, start making a difference now to improve your safety experience. WSIB has a number of programs and tools to help businesses, including Compass, which allows anyone to find and compare health and safety statistics for workplaces across the Ontario and a new Workwell app, which companies can use to evaluate their health and safety management system. WSIB offers a number of services and resources customized for small businesses, which you can learn more about by visiting our website.

What’s next?
We will be providing businesses with 2020 premium rates this fall. As we get closer to implementation in 2020, we will continue to engage businesses across Ontario to learn more about our new model. For more information or to sign up for one of our monthly webinars and newsletter about our new premium rate-setting model, please visit our website or contact us at


This article was submitted by Janine Dyck, Vice President, Employer Account Services, WSIB.


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