South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
From Sassafras Mountain to the Lowcountry, the Palmetto State often gets grouped with its close neighbor, North Carolina
, but South Carolina has much to offer for small and large businesses. In addition to interesting city names like Due West, Quarantine, Wide Awake and Climax, South Carolina has an interesting history and an even more eclectic small business scene. If you’re a business owner in South Carolina, consider workers’ compensation insurance
to help protect your company and employees.
South Carolina requires employers with at least four employees to have workers' compensation insurance. However, there are few exceptions, including:1
- Casual employees, who don’t work regular hours and only when it’s needed.
- Employers with less than $3,000 in annual payroll in the previous year.
- Agricultural employees.
- Railroad or railway express company employees.
- People selling agricultural products.
- Licensed real estate agents working for a broker.
- Federal employees of the state.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Coverage in South Carolina
- Replace some wages from lost work.
- Cover your employee’s medical costs to treat a work-related injury or illness.
- Provide benefits to your employee’s beneficiaries if they lose their life from a work-related cause.
- Pay for legal expenses if a worker's family files a lawsuit against your business.
South Carolina workers’ comp can help protect businesses and employees in the following events:
- A member of your team is helping load a truck or other product into a company car in Myrtle Beach. They injure their back and are unable to work for the rest of the day. Workers’ comp can help cover their treatment costs and some of their lost wages.
- One of your employees in Charleston has an overuse injury from repetitive motion. He goes to seek medical attention. This type of injury needs an emergency room visit. It can take weeks to months to recover. Workers’ compensation can help cover these costs. It can also cover some lost wages for the employee.
- One of your employees in Hilton Head Island is on their way to a client meeting and gets into a car accident. As a result, they’re taken to the hospital. Workers’ comp can help cover their costs of the medical bills as a result of the accident.
- Your employee is traveling to Allendale to meet with a customer. She loses control of the car on a sharp turn and crashes. She breaks her arm and leg in the accident. Workers' comp can help cover her medical costs to treat her broken arm and leg. It can also help cover her costs of physical therapy.
Coverage requirements in South Carolina include employers with four or more employees. Whether they are employees for a for-profit business or a nonprofit business, workers’ comp is essential. Some employees aren't included in this requirement, such as:
- LLC members
- Sole proprietors
Although not required to have coverage, these employees can choose to get coverage through their company.
Proof of coverage
helps prove you have workers’ comp in SC. Also known as a certificate of insurance, this document has details on coverage in your specific policy. Get a quote
to learn more about getting a certificate of insurance.
What’s covered? South Carolina workers’ comp is important because it provides benefits to your employees when they get injured or become sick from work-related causes.
If you are a subcontractor or have hired a subcontractor and they don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, the owner of the company or the principal contractor of the job would be liable for any injuries that happen to the subcontractor’s employees.
Workers’ comp can also provide financial benefits to your employee’s beneficiaries if they pass away from a work-related accident or illness.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers in South Carolina:
Workers’ compensation insurance for South Carolina businesses from The Hartford can help cover:
Accidents or injuries caused by your employee’s work. Workers’ comp can help cover an injured worker’s medical costs.
Illnesses caused by working in an environment with allergens or harmful substances. Workers' comp can help cover your employee’s medical expenses to treat a work-related illness.
Repetitive stress injuries
that develop over time, such as Carpal tunnel. Workers' comp can help cover your employee’s costs to treat a work-related repetitive stress injury
Missed wages if your employee takes recovery time away from work to heal from a work-related injury or illness. Workers' comp can help replace some of their lost wages.
Ongoing care costs if your employee needs additional treatment to treat their work-related injury or illness. Examples of ongoing care include physical therapy and multiple surgeries.
Funeral costs if a work-related illness or accident leads to the unfortunate death of your employee.
Disability benefits if a work-related injury or illness leaves your employee disabled. Workers’ comp insurance can help pay for medical bills and lost wages for disabled or permanently disabled employees.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws
South Carolina workers’ compensation laws require employers with at least four employees to have coverage. You can buy workers' comp coverage through a private insurance carrier, like The Hartford. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission approves self-insured requests. To apply, businesses must:2
- Meet a certain financial standard
- Provide three years of audited financial statements
Employers can also get workers’ comp coverage through the state’s assigned risk program. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) administers the program.3
If you are no longer required to provide coverage, your company can file a Form 38
with the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission.4
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission
Seven commissioners make up the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Commissioners get appointed by the governor, with consent from the Senate. Each commissioner serves a term of six years each. One commissioner will serve as chairman for a two-year term.5
The chairman is the chief executive officer of the Commission. It’s the chairman’s responsibility to put the policies the Commission establishes into action.6
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Rates
The Insurance and Medical Services Department is responsible for the following:7
- Monitoring required workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
- Investigating matters of non-compliance and enforcing compliance with the law.
- Administering the workers’ compensation self-insurance program.
- Establishing the fee schedules for hospitals, physicians and ambulatory surgery centers.
- Overseeing and coordinating the creation of all Commission claim files.
The maximum weekly rate for accidents occurring after Jan. 1, 2019 is $845.74.8 The maximum weekly compensation rate is equal to 66⅔% of a person’s average weekly wage.9 It can’t exceed the average weekly wage for the previous year, according to South Carolina state law.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims
To file a claim in South Carolina, visit our claims
This article provides general information, and should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, insurance, tax or accounting advice. As with all matters of a legal or human resources nature, you should consult with your own legal counsel and human resources professionals. The Hartford shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the use by you or anyone of the information provided herein.
2 South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Self-Insurance Division”
3,4 South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Coverage and Compliance FAQs”
7 South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, “Insurance and Medical Services”