Should I Purchase Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Written By Jackie Lorick

“I have fewer than four employees. Therefore, per South Carolina law, I am not required to carry workers’ compensation coverage.” This is a comment we hear from our commercial clients all too often.

While they are correct, per South Carolina law, they do not have to carry workers’ compensation coverage if they have fewer than four employees, we do caution our clients to still consider purchasing this valuable coverage. Just because it is not required by law does not mean that it is not a prudent business decision to carry workers’ compensation coverage to protect yourself and your business. 

So why should you consider the purchase of workers’ compensation coverage? Simple. We have seen clients who had fewer than four employees when they start their business. Then they added employees to the payroll once the business started growing and forgot the “four or more” rule. This then caused them to be in non-compliance with the state laws on workers’ compensation and resulted in fees and fines.  A common misconception is that the employees have to be full-time. This is incorrect; all employees are considered for the “four or more” rule in South Carolina.

One thing to remember is that, should an employer not carry the required workers’ compensation coverage and an employee is injured, that employee then has the option of filing a civil lawsuit against their un-insured employer to recover compensation for their damages. This could be expensive for the business owner.  

Another reason would be that you, as an employer, are offering your employees a great benefit should they be injured on the job and unable to come to work or need help paying their medical bills.  In our experience, business owners are often surprised to find out that workers’ compensation coverage is not as expensive as they expected.  

If you are interested in reading more about workers’ compensation compliance, take a look at the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission’s.

For more information or a quote for your business, please contact Livingston Insurance Agency at 803-791-1120, your local agent.