South Carolina Insurance Questions Answered

Popular Questions About South Carolina Workers' Compensation Insurance

South Carolina’s workers’ compensation law requires all employers who have four or more full- or part-time employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exemptions here, such as for agricultural businesses, railroad employees and commission-paid real estate agents.

If you're an entrepreneur and you're a sole-proprietor or partner of a company, you aren't automatically covered by state workers' comp policies, but you can be. A sole proprietor or partnership that becomes incorporated will automatically cover individuals considered to be employees.

Take note: The state defines full- and part-time workers (including adults and minors) that are hired to do specific jobs under the employer's control. Plus, unpaid volunteers are not covered under South Carolina workers' compensation, but organizations that use volunteers can obtain additional coverages.

Railroad Employers:  Not required

All Employers: Required: Four or more employees
Agricultural Employers: Not required

South Carolina has a private workers' compensation market, which means that you can purchase workers’ compensation insurance from any state-licensed insurance agent. Employers can even self insure with approval from the state, if they meet specific financial and other requirements.

If you cannot obtain insurance through the standard workman's comp market, coverage is available through South Carolina's assigned risk pool. Just reach out to an independent agent or the appropriate state agency to learn more.

Medical Bills
Example: A waiter suffers severe burns and needs to be taken to the hospital.

Wage Replacement
Example: An employee needs to miss three days of work to recover from a back injury that happened on the factory floor.

Death Benefit 
Example: A coal miner's family receives benefits after a work-related accident.

If you're talking about it in basic terms, workers' compensation will protect your business and its employees from the cost of work-related injuries and illnesses. It doesn't matter who is at fault. It even provides death benefits for dependents if the worse happens. Specific situations will depend on what kind of business you're in. For example, a construction company could see more serious head injuries from equipment malfunctions than a retail store where a slip and fall could cause a broken leg.

Classification Code: Each industry and job duty has its own workers' compensation class code. These codes are assigned to differentiate between the various duties or "scope of work" and provide a basis for the prices and rates for coverages. For example, a mason will have much different job duties — and therefore different workers' comp insurance needs — from a cook or a teacher.

Example: Mason = 2051

Base Rate: Related to a classification code, the base rate is specific to each industry and is calculated on the inherent risk of each industry or job function. Boiled down, it's the cost of a given unit of insurance and gives you a good idea of how much you should pay. See how we calculated it for a mason with the example below.

Example: Mason = 4.75%

Calculation: Base Rate % x (PAYROLL/100)

Step 1

  • $100,000 Payroll / $100 = 1,000

Step 2

  • 1,000 X 4.75 (base rate) = 4,750 

Estimated Workers' Comp Premium:

  • $4,750.00

An experience modifier is a supplemental factor that could adjust your workers' compensation premium calculation. It's the adjustment of annual premium based on previous loss experience, and you'll typically look at the past three years to determine it. It represents either a credit or debit that is applied to your premium and can impact how much you pay. Read below to see how each rating varies and how it's calculated.

Average Mod 
1.0 = Does Not Impact Premium

Debit Mod
Greater Than 1.0 = Premiums Go Up

Credit Mod 
Less Than 1.0 = Premiums Go Down

Employers will receive an experience modification factor when they have:

  • $9,000 in policy premium generated during the last year or last two years
  • $4,500 average policy premium generated for more than two years

If workers’ compensation policy is experience-rated, your premiums are determined by:

  • Base Rate x Payroll x Mod


Popular Questions About South Carolina Homeowners Insurance

The average American homeowner pays $1,173 per year for home insurance, but in South Carolina, the average annual premium is $1,284. Even though insurance is more expensive than average for homes in South Carolina, having insurance is vitally important because of the severe weather risks and other hazards faced by homeowners in this state.

Your home insurance gives you a backup plan in case a catastrophe strikes in your neighborhood. Whether it's a fire, heavy winds or a burglary, you're covered if you have a suitable South Carolina homeowners insurance policy.

Pays for repairs to your home and your belongings

  • Example: A tree falls on your house, and rain ruins your 60" Samsung TV.

Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault

  • Example: Your kid is playing baseball and accidentally smacks the ball through your neighbor's window.

Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged

  • Example: You need a hotel while your house's roof is being repaired due to a fallen tree

We can’t be 100% certain, but in 2016, insurance companies spent more than $891 million on home insurance claims in South Carolina. That's a lot of unfortunate events happening to South Carolina homeowners.

Insurance carriers calculate the cost of a home insurance policy by asking "how likely is it that something bad will happen?" The more likely it is that something bad will happen, the more expensive the home insurance policy will be, and vice versa. We call these potential disasters "risk." Let’s take a look at how risky South Carolina is compared to the rest of the US.

Crime:

The burglary rate in South Carolina is significantly higher than the national average. Homeowners should take precautions to protect their property, and should ensure that they have the right coverage in place for all of their valuable belongings.

  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in SC: 6.65
  • Average number of burglaries per 1,000 homes in the US: 4.69

Weather:

Hurricanes that make landfall on or near the South Carolina coast can cause a lot of difficulties for local homeowners. Heavy rains, strong winds, and occasional tornados can all wreak havoc on area property.

  • Number of federally declared disasters since 1953: 28
  • Most common cause of disasters in the state: Hurricanes
  • Average number of tornados in the state per year: 23.3
  • Amount paid in home insurance claims in 2016: $892,835,000

Home Values:

The estimated cost to rebuild your home will play a large role in how much your home insurance costs. In South Carolina, the average home value is higher than the national average, which is one of the reasons why insurance rates are higher-than-average in this state. 

  • Average home value in SC: $297,700
  • Average home value in the US: $188,900

Yes! There are currently 425 independent insurance agencies in South Carolina who are ready to help. Did you know that independent insurance agents can give you multiple policy options to choose from? That way, you'll receive completely customized coverage that addresses all of your unique insurance needs.


Popular Questions About South Carolina Car Insurance

Rates for car insurance in South Carolina are a bit lower than the national average rate. That does not mean you don’t still have room for big savings

On average, Americans pay $1,311 per year for their auto insurance. South Carolina drivers pay an average of about $1,210 per year. To make sure you're getting the best rate on the market, compare quotes from a variety of insurance companies with a Trusted Choice® agent.

Driving on South Carolina roads can be dangerous, and accidents can happen when you least expect it. If you find yourself in one, here's what your car insurance will do for you...

  • Fix Your Car - Not required. We officially call this "comprehensive & collision coverage" and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender.
  • Fix Someone Else's Car – Required/Min. $25,000. We officially call this "property damage liability."
  • Pay Your Medical Bills – Not Required. We officially call this "personal injury protection" or "PIP."
  • Pay Someone Else's Med Bills – Required/Min. $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. We officially call this "bodily injury liability."


Take note: South Carolina requires every driver to have a certain amount of insurance that will pay for someone else's vehicle damage and medical bills. If your auto insurance doesn't meet these minimum liability limits, you could see repercussions and end up paying out of pocket.

The driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering the cost of damages.

The good news is that South Carolina has fewer uninsured drivers than the national average of 12.6%. However, it's still a problem that some people drive without any insurance or financial backup plan.

With "Uninsured Motorist Coverage," you will be protected if you are hit by an uninsured driver. This insurance coverage will pay to fix your vehicle and handle your medical bills after attempting to receive compensation from the at-fault driver.



Popular Questions About South Carolina Business Insurance

In 2018 small businesses in South Carolina made $113.3 billion. Without comprehensive commercial insurance, any business claims that comes your way have to be paid out of your pocket. That means they have to be paid out of your business’s revenue — and that your bottom line could suffer.

40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some things these companies have been using their insurance on:

  • Theft Or Burglary: Average Cost Per Claim - $8,000
  • Water Damage & Freezing Pipes: Average Cost Per Claim - $17,000
  • Wind & Hail Damage: Average Cost Per Claim - $26,000
  • Fire Damage: Average Cost Per Claim - $35,000
  • Customer Slip & Fall: Average Cost Per Claim - $20,000

South Carolina business insurance will pay for covered claims so your business doesn’t have to. But it's important to know what is covered and what isn't in case you run into a liability claim or workers' compensation scenario.

Here’s what a standard business insurance policy should do:

Pay For Damage To Your Building

  • We call this “Commercial Property Insurance.”
  • Example: A tree falls on your office building.

Pay For Damage To Your Business Property

  • We call this “Business Personal Property Insurance.”
  • Example: A fire destroys all your computers.

Pay For Damage To Someone Else’s Property

  • We call this “General Liability Insurance.”
  • Example: A contractor does a poor job of installing a cabinet, resulting in its falling and breaking homeowner's kitchenware.

Pay For Someone Else’s Medical Bills

  • We also call this “General Liability Insurance.” 
  • Example: A customer slips and falls on your recently mopped floor and breaks an arm.

Pay For Accidents in Company Vehicles

  • We call this “Commercial Auto Insurance.”
  • Example: Your salesperson rear-ends someone while driving to an appointment.

Pay For Employee Injuries & Compensation

  • We also call this “Workers' Compensation.”
  • Example: An employee falls off a ladder at work and can’t work for two weeks.

Sometimes, these coverages are not enough. A small business has a wide variety or risks to consider, and the standard commercial insurance policy may not cover all your bases. Your business faces unique risks, and you may need additional coverages as a result.

Make sure you're insured with comprehensive coverage by talking to a local independent insurance agent. We can match you with the right independent insurance agent who specializes in your field and who can get you affordable coverage.

A commercial insurance policy is not required of business owners, but certain aspects of it may be. In South Carolina, businesses that employ four or more people — whether full or part-time — must carry workers' compensation insurance. 

Plus, businesses with company-owned vehicles or employees that regularly drive must carry commercial auto insurance. To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can talk with an independent insurance agent.

It primarily depends on how risky your business is. The riskier your business is, the higher your insurance will be. Here are two examples.

  • A sole proprietor who owns a garment hemming business: $260 per year
  • A commercial landscaper with five employees who operate heavy machinery: $22,700 per year

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the risks to your business property, your liability coverage needs and the amount and types of coverage you want. 

Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a suitable and comprehensive policy for your business.

It’s usually wise to work with an independent agent in South Carolina since they have access to multiple insurance companies. Sometimes its difficult to find an insurance company who will cover your business.

  • There are 409 independent agents in South Carolina who are ready to help.
  • In 2017 our agents helped 3,738 people.