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The A-Z guide to South Carolina Workers' Comp

How does Workers’ Comp Work in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina requires that any business with four or more employees carry workers’ compensation insurance. South Carolina does have some exemptions, but far fewer than other states, and even part-time employees are counted in a business’s tally.

Required with



Part-time employees, nonprofit employees, and unpaid family members are included in the employee count.

Who can be exempt?

  • LLC members
  • Business partners
  • Sole proprietors
  • Corporate officers
  • Independent contractors (with limitations)

Is workers’ compensation insurance required in South Carolina?

Most businesses that operate within South Carolina will need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. The state requires any business with four or more employees to purchase a policy. 

However, unlike some states, South Carolina includes part-time, nonprofit employees, and even unpaid family members working within a business as “employees” for the purposes of workers’ compensation insurance.

Are self-employed professionals required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in South Carolina?

The state requires that subcontractors must either have their own policy or be covered by a general contractor’s workers’ compensation policy. 

Who’s exempt from South Carolina’s workers’ compensation insurance requirements?

The following businesses are except under South Carolina law:

LLC members, business partners, corporate officers, sole proprietors and independent contractors.

Again, being exempt from the requirement to carry workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t mean that forgoing this protection is a wise choice.

How much is workers’ comp coverage in South Carolina?

While workers’ compensation insurance will come at a cost, it does not have to be exorbitant. The average workers’ comp rate in South Carolina is $2 per $100 of payroll.

Your South Carolina workers’ comp rate will depend on the following factors:

  • The type of business you have
  • The size of your payroll
  • Your safety record
  • Claim history

You can learn more about South Carolina’s workers’ comp rates here.

workers comp policy cost

How can South Carolina small business owners save money on workers' comp?

All business owners are interested in reducing their overall costs. There’s good news when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance – you can cut your costs there, too. 

Here are just a few ways to do that:

How does workers’ comp work in South Carolina?

South Carolina’s workers’ comp process is very similar to other states. It begins with purchasing a workers’ compensation policy based on your estimated payroll. Then you’ll pay your premium and have a one-year insurance policy for your business and employees. 

Once the year is over, you’ll have an audit. This is done to determine the accuracy of the payroll estimate. If you paid too little, you’ll receive a bill for the additional money. If you paid too much, you’ll receive a refund.

What does workers’ comp cover in South Carolina?

Workers who file a workers' comp claim in South Carolina can receive benefits for the following:

workers comp covers medical bills

Medical bills

workers comp covers lost wages

Lost Wages

Workers' comp coverage also protects employers from legal action. This means that if an employee sues your business because of a workplace injury, the insurance will cover the legal costs of the case.

How to get workers’ comp insurance in South Carolina

Obtaining workers’ compensation in South Carolina is pretty simple. You have three choices:

  1. You can buy a policy from an insurance company. At Kickstand Insurance, we can help you get an online quote in mere seconds.
  2. You can buy through the state fund if commercial carriers won’t insure you. This is usually much more expensive than getting your own policy from an insurance company.
  3. You may also choose to self-insure if your company is large enough. 

What happens if you fail to carry workers’ comp insurance in SC?

South Carolina takes an unusual approach to those that flout its workers’ comp laws. The state can seize business assets to pay for medical care. The business can also face a range of fines for failure to file the correct documents in a workers’ compensation case. 

However, failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance is not a criminal offense in the state.

FAQ talk bubbles


What are South Carolina’s workers’ compensation death benefits?

Workers’ compensation death benefits vary widely from state to state. In South Carolina, they look like this:

  • Burial expenses up to $2,500
  • Up to 2/3rds of the employee’s average weekly income paid out for up to 500 weeks from the date of the injury
  • Support for surviving spouses and qualifying dependents
  • Coverage of some funeral expenses

Can workers’ comp claims end in a settlement in South Carolina?

Yes, South Carolina allows employees to settle their claims. For this to occur, the employee, employer, and insurance company must agree on the settlement amount. 

However, there are two types of settlement in the state. One is the agreement and final release in which the employee receives a lump sum settlement but releases the employer and insurance company from further claims regarding the injury. 

The other is a Form 16A settlement, which is designed specifically for employees who’ve been permanently disabled. In this situation, the employee can request additional compensation within one year of the final payment if their condition deteriorates, and continuing medical expenses are also covered.

What is the statute of limitations for South Carolina’s workers’ compensation claims?

Workers have two years to file a claim with the state’s workers’ compensation commission. However, employees must notify an employer within 90 days of the injury. Failure to do so forfeits the right to file a claim.

How do workers’ comp claims work in South Carolina?

The workers’ comp claims process for South Carolina is pretty similar to most other states. The employee must report their injury to the employer. They can choose to pursue a workers’ comp claim then, or they can choose to wait up to two years. 

Once filed, the workers’ compensation insurance policy pays for emergency medical care, lost wages, temporary and permanent disability, medical travel, physical and occupational therapy, and more.

How do I get a workers’ comp insurance policy with Kickstand Insurance?

Start by filling out a short online form about your business. We’ll use that info to get you an estimated quote. Then, one of our experienced agents will contact you to review the quote and make sure you are getting the absolutely lowest rate possible for your business. Once the quote is finalized, you’re ready to buy the policy - often with coverage starting that day!

Learn more about Workers' Comp in South Carolina

Why use Kickstand to
get workers' comp insurance?

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here your quote is reviewed by experts

Why does it matter?

  • Avoid surprise bills at audit
  • Make sure all your employees are properly covered
  • Protect yourself from lawsuits

What do we check?

  • Business categorized correctly
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