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Premium calculation

WorkCover Queensland

How much your accident insurance policy costs will depend on several things:

  • the amount your business pays in wages
  • your claims experience (the cost of any injury claims against your business)
  • your industry.

You’ll pay your premium ’provisionally’, which means you’ll pay it at the start of the financial year and we’ll adjust it at the end if needed.

What do I need to tell you?

We work out your policy based on several figures, depending on whether you’re taking out a new policy or renewing an existing policy.

New policy

To work out how much you need to pay, we’ll simply ask you to declare your estimated wages for the current financial year.

Apply for a policy

Renewing an existing policy

If you’re renewing your policy, we’ll need to know:

  • your actual wages for the previous financial year
  • your estimated wages for the current financial year.

We also consider your estimated wages for the previous financial year (you’ll have already told us this at your last renewal).

If you under or overestimated your wages for the previous year, we’ll work out the difference and adjust your current premium.

Learn more about Policy renewal and declaring wages.

What else is considered?

Other important factors are your industry rate and your claims costs. The amount of wages you declare determines which model we use to work out your premium. We’ll explain how it works in the sections below. Simply explore the section that is relevant to your business.

GST and stamp duty will also be added to your policy.

Can I reduce my premium?

There are several ways you can lower your premium costs, ranging from improving safety in your workplace to employing apprentices. You can learn more about them by talking to us or visiting our how to reduce your premium page.

If your wage costs are $1.5 million or less, your policy premium is worked out using our simplified model. You’re given a rating based on your claims costs from the previous financial year.

The safer your workplace is and the more proactive you are in managing your claims, the better your rating is and the lower your premium.

What are the benefits to the simplified model?

  • 10% movement limit – your policy rating can only go up or down by one (1) rating each year. This means the percentage of industry rate you pay can only increase or decrease by 10%, making changes predictable and easier to manage.
  • $500 claim cost protection – the first $500 of claims costs won’t count towards your total claims experience. So, if you have small or simple claims they won’t affect your premium.
  • The better your policy rating, the lower your premium. For example, if you have a policy rating of 1, you only pay 80% of your industry rate.
  • No claim discount – if you have no claim costs for the year, your policy rating will automatically improve by 1 rating. This means your premium will go down, unless you are already on rating 1 and benefiting from the best rate.

How is my premium calculated?

We work out your premium by multiplying your wages by your industry rate (you can find this listed in the Queensland Government Gazette. Industry rates are worked out based on the claims costs of all employers in the same industry.

The percentage of industry rate you’ll pay depends on the policy rating you’ve been given.

Policy rating Industry rate (IR) %

Policy rating 1

80% of IR

Policy rating 2

90% of IR

Policy rating 3

100% of IR

Policy rating 4

110% of IR

Policy rating 5

120% of IR

If you keep claims costs down by creating a safer work environment, this can improve your policy rating and reduce your premium.

If your claims costs increase, this will negatively affect your policy rating and your premium may increase. We’ve made sure this is predictable so you can budget for any changes.

If you pay more than $1.5 million in wages, we work out your premium using an experience-based rating (EBR).

This means we look at your wages, industry rate and your performance when calculating what you’ll pay and estimating what your claims costs might be next year.

The difference between this and the simplified model is the number of years of claims costs we consider and the size of your business.

What does performance mean?

When looking at your performance, we consider your claim experience, i.e. the cost of claims against your business.

We consider the total of 4 years’ claims costs as follows:

  • statutory claims costs for the previous 3 years
  • common law claim costs for the 1 year preceding (before) those three years.

What are the benefits to the experienced based model?

  • Lower your premium by improving your performance. You can do this by putting safe work practices into place to reduce injuries as well as supporting your injured workers in getting back to work.
  • 30% limit on annual premium rate increases. This is to help you manage any increase if your performance declines by a large amount.

New employers:

If you’re a new business and don’t have any claims experience, your premium will be worked out by multiplying your wages by 100% of your industry rate for the first 18 months.


If your employing entity changes, your claims and wage history may carry over to your new policy. This is called succession. Call us on 1300 362 128 if your business has changed, to see if succession will be applied to your new policy.

If you want more details on how the EBR is worked out and applied, you can find it in the Queensland Government Gazette.