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Workers Compensation insurance

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance

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Is Workers’ Compensation insurance required in South Carolina?

South Carolina businesses with four or more employees are required by state law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This includes full-time and part-time workers and family members. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Continue reading to learn more about South Carolina workers’ comp requirements and other important details.


Who is exempt from Workers' Compensation insurance in South Carolina?

South Carolina workers’ compensation laws don’t require coverage for all employees. Exceptions include: 


  • Sole proprietors, partners and members of limited liability companies (LLC).
  • Employers who have a total annual payroll below $3,000
  • Certain real estate agents who work on commission
  • Casual employees (non-permanent and not part of the regular course of business)
  • Owner-operator drivers
  • Agricultural employees and individuals who sell agricultural products
  • Employees of state and county fair associations
  • Federal employees
  • Employees of railroad and railway express companies

Although workers’ compensation isn’t required by law, you can opt into coverage, extending protection to yourself, your business and your employees. 

For example, if you are a sole proprietor, you may want coverage in case you get hurt while you are at work. By getting a policy, you could qualify for benefits so you wouldn’t have to pay your medical expenses out-of-pocket and could collect your lost wages.


What types of businesses buy Workers' Comp in South Carolina?

South Carolina businesses of all types carry workers’ compensation coverage. Many are not-exempt and have more than four employees, so coverage is mandatory. However, others want protection for themselves and their employees. 

Even if you feel like your business is low risk, accidents can happen at any time, regardless of your line of work or industry. Without coverage, you could be held financially responsible for workers who get hurt on the job, which can cause huge setbacks for your business. 

The state had almost 20,000 workers’ compensation claims filed in 2020, resulting in over $1 billion in paid benefits from insurance providers, according to data from the Department of Labor

How does Workers' Compensation work in South Carolina?

If an employee gets injured or becomes ill due to their job, South Carolina requires them to report it to their employer within 90 days and seek medical treatment. After the incident is reported, the employee has two years to file a workers’ comp claim for benefits


Employers often file the claim on behalf of the employee. However, if they don’t, employees can do so using Form 50 or Form 52 in South Carolina. 


Once a claim is approved, the injured or ill employee will begin receiving benefits. Benefits are equal to 67% of their average weekly wage, which is calculated based on the four quarters before the injury, up to the maximum set by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

What does Workers' Comp cover in South Carolina?

Workers’ compensation coverage protects your business from unexpected expenses if an employee gets injured or sick while on the job. The covered costs can include but are not limited to: 

  • Emergency hospital and other forms of treatment
  • Medical bills
  • Ongoing medical expenses
  • Lost wages due to injury or illness
  • Death benefits for an employee who dies on the job

In South Carolina, workers’ compensation settlements are typically paid out in either lump sums or weekly, for workers who are permanently disabled by a workplace injury.

Workers' Comp death benefits in South Carolina

Sometimes, an unfortunate accident can happen at work that leads to the death of an employee. In that case, the employee’s dependents— usually spouses or children — can file a claim. If the individual has no dependents, then their parents can file a claim. Any claim must be filed within two years from the date the employee passed away. 

Employers or the insurance company may also be required to pay for funeral and burial costs, up to a maximum limit established by the state.

How much does Workers' Compensation insurance cost in South Carolina?

The cost of South Carolina workers’ compensation insurance varies depending on your industry and other factors, including: 

  • How your employees are classified in their jobs (this is known as a workers’ comp class code)
  • How many employees you are at your business
  • Your insurance claims history
  • The location where you operate your business

Start a free instant quote online with Next Insurance to get an idea of what workers’ comp will cost your business. You’ll just need to answer a few basic questions about your operations and payroll to get a quote in less than 10 minutes.

How to apply for Workers' Compensation in South Carolina

If you’re a small business owner or contractor in South Carolina and need workers’ compensation coverage, Next Insurance is here to help. Our painless and seamless process is entirely online. You can get the affordable coverage you need, plus a certificate of insurance, in less than 10 minutes.

To get started, you’ll answer a few questions online to get your quote. From there, you can purchase the coverage that’s best for your business. If you have any questions, Next Insurance has a team of licensed, U.S.-based insurance advisors who are ready to help.

Start your online instant quote today.

Other business insurance coverage that is important in South Carolina

In addition to workers’ comp, many small business owners opt for additional types of insurance for South Carolina businesses through the following policies: 


General Liability insurance

General liability insurance protects your business against common accidents that involve non-employees. For example, if a client slips and gets hurt in your office. Policies cover property damage and bodily injury claims as well as defense costs against accusations of slander or libel. 


Professional Liability insurance (E&O)

Professional liability insurance is also known as error and omissions (E&O) insurance. It helps protect your business from expenses related to professional mistakes or claims of negligence.


Commercial Auto insurance

South Carolina has a variety of commercial auto insurance requirements for business-owned vehicles. You’ll need at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $25,000 per accident for property damage liability. Additionally, you’ll need uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident.

Note, if you are insuring passenger vehicles or property carriers, you’ll also need single-limit liability coverage with limits that can range from $1.5 million up to $5 million. The amount of coverage will depend on the number of passengers, weight of the load or hazard level of the load you are transporting. 

With a commercial auto policy, your coverage can help pay for property damage or medical costs if an accident happens while you or your employee are driving for business.

Contact us today at Next Insurance for a quote.


How does Live Certificate work?
When you log in to your account at the Next Insurance website, you’ll see an option to “Share Proof”. Clicking that will give you an option to either put in an email address and have us send your certificate, or copy a link which you can send to anyone you like that will take them to your Live Certificate.
How long will it take to get my policy after I buy?
In case you purchase your policy online you will receive your policy documents via email within one business day of purchase. In case you purchase through an agent your agent will let you know when to expect your documents.
Can I add to or change my coverage?
If you’ve expanded your business and need coverage for more kinds of work (or higher amounts of the same coverage), please let us know. One of our support agents can discuss your business's changing needs, and in most cases, we’ll be able to set you up with a new policy on the same day (so there will be no gaps in your coverage).

If you're a customer, your policy documents and changes can be accessed and managed in your online customer account.

The quickest way to talk to our U.S.-based customer service team is through chat.  You can reach us by clicking “chat with us” at the very bottom of the help center page.

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