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Calculating premium

Simplified premium model for employers who pay $1.5 million or less in wages

We have introduced a simplified premium model for employers who pay $1.5 million or less in wages. This new model is based on a claims performance rating and protects these employers from large variances in premium costs that can occur by expensive one-off claims. Employers can only move 1 rating category above or below their current rating from year to year. This caps annual variances in premium rates at 10% which provides stability for these employers and makes it easier to more accurately budget for premium costs.

Rating CategoryPremium rate
Rating 180% of Industry rate
Rating 2 90% of Industry rate
Rating 3100% of Industry rate
Rating 4110% of Industry rate
Rating 5120% of Industry rate


  • new employers will start at Rating 3
  • category ratings will be based on an employer's claims experience relative to the industry experience for the preceding financial year
  • claims experience will include statutory and damages claims costs paid in the financial year
  • the first $500 of an employer's total claims costs for the previous financial year will not be included in their claims experience
  • employers can only move a maximum of one category (up or down) each year regardless of their actual claims experience in that year.

For more information on the simplified premium model, read our FAQs.

For employers who pay more than $1.5 million in wages

Your WorkCover accident insurance policy premium is calculated using a wages multiplied by rate formula, called experience based rating. You pay your premium provisionally—that is, you pay for your insurance at the beginning of a period, and adjust it at the end.

Your rate is influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • your claims performance
  • your industry’s claims performance
  • your size relative to your industry.

Using your estimated wages for the current financial year, WorkCover will calculate your provisional premium. If you’re renewing your policy, we use your actual wages for the past financial year and calculate your actual premium.

When you renew your policy, we subtract the provisional premium you’ve already paid for the past financial year from your actual premium for that year. Then we add your provisional premium for the current financial year. GST and Stamp Duty are applied to all policies to reach your final premium amount.

Learn how we use Experience based rating to calculate your premium.


Industrial Industries Pty Ltd are renewing their policy in July this year.

In the last financial year, they estimated they would pay $10,000,000 in wages. Their premium rate was $1.858 per $100 in wages. They now know they paid $12,000,000 in actual wages for the past year. In the current year, they estimate they will pay $15,000,000 million in wages. Their premium rate for the current year is $1.733 per $100 in wages.

Their premium will be calculated like this:

  • prior actual premium = $222,960
  • subtract prior provisional premium = $185,800
  • add current provisional premium = $259,950
  • subtotal = $297,110 (excluding GST and Stamp Duty).

Large Employer Alternative Pricing

From 1 July 2019, WorkCover Queensland will provide employers who are eligible for self-insurance in Queensland (must have at least 2,000 full-time workers) with a choice between two methods of premium calculation:

  • existing Experience Based Rating (EBR) method
  • a new Large Employer Alternative Pricing (LEAP) method.

Further information regarding LEAP is available, or contact your WorkCover Relationship Manager to arrange a confidential briefing.

Last updated
11 July 2019

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