South Carolina

Buying workers’ compensation for:

South Carolina

State Fund: No. There is, however, an entity called the South Carolina State Accident Fund that was created to provide a cost effective guaranteed workers’ compensation market for state agencies and other government entities.

Insurance Coverage Requirements: Workers’ Compensation is compulsory in South Carolina, some waivers are permitted.

Who is Required to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Employers with less than 4 employees are exempt from the workers’ compensation act. Agricultural employers may elect to secure coverage voluntarily. An employer with four or more domestic workers must obtain coverage. Any sole proprietor or partner of a business whose employees are eligible for benefits under this title may elect to be included as employees under the workers’ compensation coverage of the business if they are actively engaged in the operation of the business and if the insurer is notified of their election to be included.

Factors that Impact Coverage

  • You are a sole proprietor, partner or member of an LLC: In South Carolina, you are excluded from coverage but have the option to include yourself.
  • You are a corporate officer: South Carolina includes you in coverage, but you have the option to exclude yourself.

Failure to Secure Compensation

Any employer required to secure the payment of compensation under this title who refuses or neglects to secure such compensation shall be punished by a fine of one dollar for each employee at the time of the insurance becoming due, but not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for each day of such refusal or neglect, and until the same ceases, and he shall be liable during continuance of such refusal or neglect to an employee either for compensation under this title or at law in an action instituted by the employee or his personal representative against such employer to recover damages for personal injury or death by accident and in any such action such employer shall not be permitted to defend upon any of the grounds mentioned in Section 42-1-510.

The fine provided in this section may be assessed by the commission in an open hearing with the right of review and appeal as in other cases. All fines collected pursuant to this section must be submitted to the general fund.

Any employer required to secure payment of compensation under this title who willfully refuses to secure such compensation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court.

Proof of Coverage is Required

All employers must post publicly and keep posted in their place of business a Form 2, Employer’s Notice of Being Subject to the Act.

The notice shall state, substantially, the following:

"We are operating under and subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act of South Carolina. In case of accidental injury or death to an employee, the injured employee, or someone acting on his or her behalf, shall give immediate notice to the employer or general authorized agent. Failure to give immediate notice may be the cause of serious delay in the payment of compensation to the injured employee or his or her beneficiaries and may result in failure to receive any compensation benefits whatsoever."

Independent Contractors

Mistakenly classifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in significant fines and penalties.

View 20 factors used by the IRS and our independent contractor questionnaire to determine whether you have enough control over a worker to be an employer.

Other Tips

If your insured employs workers in multiple states or your insured’s employees are temporarily working out-of-state, they need to purchase insurance for all the states where their workers are located, according to each state’s laws. Call 1-800-476-2948 and let us walk you through it.

The nature of your insured’s business, number of employees being covered and past coverage and claims are all factors in how much their premium will cost.