Ask Huckleberry

Expert answers to all your business insurance questions.

The Employer’s Guide to South Carolina Workers’ Comp Insurance

  • South Carolina

If you’re confused by workers’ comp, you’re in the right place. We do business insurance—it’s what we know best—and we’ve put together a list of the things you really need to know about South Carolina workers’ comp.

Quick Index:

  1. Is workers’ comp insurance required in South Carolina?
  2. What happens if I don’t get workers’ comp in South Carolina?
  3. Do business owners have to buy workers’ comp for themselves?
  4. How do I get workers’ comp in South Carolina?
  5. What is the cost of workers’ comp in South Carolina?
  6. What are the workers’ compensation insurance limits in South Carolina?
  7. What does workers’ comp cover in South Carolina?
  8. What should I do if my South Carolina employee is injured and needs workers’ comp?

Is workers’ comp insurance required in South Carolina?

Yep. If you hire at least four workers—full-time or part-time—and have a total annual payroll of $3,000 or more, you’re legally required to buy workers’ comp.

You probably won’t need to buy workers’ comp, though, if you only hire independent contractors or workers whose employment is casual and not in the line of your usual business. Let’s say, for example, that you’re the sole proprietor of an accounting business, but you occasionally hire a team of independent contractors to clean your office. In that case, you won’t need workers’ comp.

Still, there are certain cases where you might need to get workers’ comp for independent contractors. Go here to learn more about whether workers' comp might be required for your South Carolina business.

What happens if I don’t get workers’ comp in South Carolina?

It won’t be pleasant. Employers who don’t obtain workers’ comp in South Carolina are subject to fines and possible jail time. In addition, going without coverage exposes you and your business to legal and financial risk, since you’ll be liable for the cost of any damages or medical treatment.

Also, when you do purchase workers’ comp—as you inevitably must—the cost will be much higher than if you’d maintained coverage the whole time.

Going without workers’ comp isn’t a good way to save money. Especially when you can get a quote in about 7 minutes.

I’m a business owner in South Carolina. Do I need to purchase workers’ comp for myself?

Nope. Owners of South Carolina businesses are not required to purchase workers’ comp for themselves. Depending on the organization of your business, though, you might already be included in coverage. (If that’s the case—and if you don’t want to be covered—you’ll need to fill out a form to waive coverage. If you’re a Huckleberry customer, you’ll be able to do this online.)

Learn more about who is automatically included in your South Carolina workers' comp policy and how to exclude owners and officers.

How do I get workers’ comp in South Carolina?

If you’re a small- or medium-sized business, there are two main ways to get workers’ comp insurance in South Carolina:

  1. The traditional way: Find a broker, fill out a bunch of paper forms, provide supporting documents (like payroll information), and wait for a quote. This process sometimes takes a few weeks, so don’t procrastinate.  Learn more about buying workers' comp here.
  2. The digital way: Get a quote in about five minutes.

What is the cost of workers’ comp in South Carolina?

The short answer? It depends. Workers’ comp premiums depend mostly on your payroll—the bigger your payroll, the more you’ll spend on workers’ comp. Your rate will also change based on your industry. For example, a tech startup is going to pay a lot less for workers’ comp than a construction company would—even if they have a similar payroll. (Read more about how workers’ comp rates are calculated.)

That aside, the average cost for South Carolina workers’ comp is about $1.94 per $100 of payroll. And the simplest way to find out what you would pay is to get an instant estimate here.

What are the workers’ compensation insurance limits in South Carolina?

Actually, you don’t really need to worry about limits. All coverages and limits are set by the state of South Carolina. When you buy coverage, your rate will automatically be calculated based on payroll and other factors—there’s really nothing you need to think about or decide. (And, yes, this means that all workers’ comp insurers are selling pretty much the same product. You’ll get the same coverage anywhere you go.)

The amount your insurance company might pay, in fact, is theoretically unlimited. If a worker becomes permanently disabled because of an injury, an insurance company might pay benefits to that worker for the rest of that worker’s lifetime.

(You can learn more about workers' comp laws in South Carolina here.)

So, what does workers’ comp cover in South Carolina?

Workers’ compensation insurance pays out for treatment expenses and lost wages if one of your workers’ has a medical problem related to their job. A worker can claim workers’ comp benefits if they strained their back by lifting a heavy box at work—or for an illness brought on by workplace chemical exposure. And, if the worst happens, workers’ comp will also pay death benefits.

However, workers’ comp won’t pay for ailments that don’t have a physical component. For example, stress and mental illness aren’t generally covered by workers’ comp unless there is very clear evidence of unusual work circumstances.

(Learn more about what workers' comp covers in South Carolina here.)

What should I do if my South Carolina employee is injured on the job?

Here’s what to do in the event of a workplace accident:

  1. If your employee is seriously injured, make sure they get immediate medical care. This is your first priority. Call 911, provide transportation to an urgent care, etc.—do what you need to do to take care of your worker.
  2. Fill out and file Form 12A—the First Report of Injury or Illness. (If you’re not sure how to submit, give your insurance company a call). Then, give your employee a copy of Form 50 to complete.
  3. Tell your insurance company. Immediately. They’ve been through lots of these situations and will be able to tell you what to do next.

Finished? Go here for information on what you should do after an employee injury.

Hey, we hope this was helpful! Keep in mind that we can get you a quote for South Carolina workers’ comp in about five minutes. Everything is online. Everything is easy. Tap here to use our workers' comp calculator.


All content on this page is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific case, is not legal, tax or insurance advice and should not be relied upon. If you have any questions about the situation for your small business or the latest information in your state, you should contact an attorney for legal advice, an insurance agent or broker, and/or your state's labor or industry agency, board, commission or department. Please note that the information provided on this page may change at any time as a result of legislative action, court decisions or rules adopted or amended by any state or the federal government.

Share this post...