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Can I exclude owners and officers from workers’ comp coverage in South Carolina?

You already know that workers’ comp is required in South Carolina if you have at least 4 workers. But, depending on how your business is organized, you might be allowed to exclude owners and certain officers from your workers’ comp policy.

Remember, workers’ compensation insurance is an important part of your overall South Carolina business insurance portfolio. It pays out medical benefits and lost wages to injured employees suffering from a work-related injury or occupational disease. (Disability benefits, too, in worst-case scenarios.) Depending on the industry you’re in, an affordable workers’ comp policy can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and millions of dollars in legal fees and medical treatment if an injured worker files a workers’ compensation claim.

Curious how it works? Here’s what you need to know.

First, your employees are covered

First things first: All your full-time and part-time workers are automatically included in your policy, according to SC workers' comp law.

In South Carolina, there is no way for regular employees to opt out of coverage. That’s according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). (Makes things pretty simple.)

Keep in mind that a robust workers’ compensation insurance policy may provide reimbursement for the following potential expenses in the event of an on-the-clock medical event (after you file the first report of injury on the date of injury, of course):

  • Medical fees
  • Legal expenses

For your sick or injured worker, workers’ comp can extend the following benefits:

  • Partial lost weekly wages
  • Medical treatment
  • Travel expenses to and from treatment
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Temporary disability benefits (partial and total)
  • Permanent disability benefits (partial and total)

Is your business a corporation?

Your workers ‘ comp policy will automatically include corporate officers if your South Carolina business is organized as a corporation. Those officers are allowed to reject workers’ compensation benefits, though. If they decide they don’t want to be covered, they’ll need to fill out and file the Corporate Officer’s Notice to Reject form.

You should make sure that this particular workers’ compensation form is forwarded to your insurer. (Note that if you’re a Huckleberry customer, this whole process will be online. It’s all pretty fast and simple.)

Is your business a sole proprietorship?

If you operate your business as a sole proprietor, you’ll be automatically excluded from your workers’ comp policy—unless you indicate otherwise when you sign up for workers’ comp. If you decide you’d like to be covered after purchasing a policy, you can opt into self-insurance by contacting your insurance carrier.

Do know, though, that not every insurance company offers coverage for sole proprietors. (Also: Workers’ comp is not a good substitute for life and health insurance policies.)

What about a partnership?

Business partners will be automatically excluded from your South Carolina workers’ comp policy—but they can get coverage by contacting your insurer.

Is your business a Limited Liability Company?

Just like sole proprietors and business partners, your LLC’s members will be automatically excluded from your workers’ comp policy. (But, like the other categories, they can obtain coverage by filling out a form with your insurer.)

Hey, we hope this was helpful. If you’re in the market for workers’ comp or general liability insurance in Columbia, Charleston, or Hilton Head Island, we can help you out in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee. Tap here for an instant workers’ comp estimate. Everything’s online. Everything’s easy.

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