WSIB’s new rate-setting model: How it works and next steps

Feb 19, 2019

WSIB's new rate-setting modelA new era of enhanced transparency and clarity in premium rate-setting is on the horizon for Ontario businesses,” says Janine Dyck, Vice President, Employer Services at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

On January 1, 2020, the WSIB’s new rate-setting model takes effect, introducing a standardized classification system for businesses that will better reflect your claims experience. It will also help you plan ahead by projecting future rates for your business, and offer more clarity around how premium rates are set and adjusted.

As part of the shift to its new model, the WSIB is adopting the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is already used by Statistics Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency, and elsewhere in North America. It will help simplify and streamline WSIB classifications from 155 rate groups to 34 classes/subclasses.

This past December, you should have received a letter with a detailed breakdown of your new class information. The WSIB can assist with any questions you have about your individual classification.

How the new model works

The new model uses a two-step approach to setting and adjusting premium rates for businesses. The WSIB:

  • sets an average premium rate for every industry class based on their risk profiles and share of responsibility to maintain the insurance fund
  • adjusts your rates by looking at your individual claims history and then comparing your risk to the other businesses in your class

Risk-banding, another important feature of the new model, will then be used to position businesses within each class. The risk band that your business falls under represents its risk in relation to the other businesses in your class.

Risk band 60 represents the mid-point premium rate in each class. Depending on your claims experience, the risk band associated with your business may move above or below risk band 60. If it moves below, your premium rates will decrease over time, if it moves above, you’ll see an increase. This ensures that premiums in each class reflect the risk and claims experience associated with an individual business.

Resources & how WSPS can help

  1. Contact the WSIB: For more information on the WSIB’s new premium rate-setting model, contact the WSIB at or visit
  2. WSPS Safety Connection: Attend a no-cost Safety Connection session on the new rate framework:
    • Sault Ste Marie, February 28
    • Barrie, March 6
    • Thunder Bay, March 20
    • Cobourg, April 9
  3. Call WSPS: Chat with an on-duty consultant about how you can start improving your health, safety and organizational performance now. Call Customer Care: 1-877-494-WSPS (9777).
  4. Safety Group: Join a local chapter of WSPS’ 2019 Safety Group. Participating firms are able to build or improve their health and safety program while sharing up to a 7% rebate on the group’s WSIB premiums. Deadline for registration: March 31.