North Carolina Workers' Compensation Requirements

Generally, all employers with 3 or more regular full or part-time employees are required to get NC workers’ compensation coverage. All corporations, even non-profits, are required to buy coverage if they have 3 employees, even if they are not regularly employed.

Sole-Proprietors, Partners, and LLC Members are automatically excluded from coverage, but they can elect to be included on the insurance policy.

Corporate Officers are included on every policy unless they specifically exclude themselves on the Acord 130 workers’ compensation application.

Owners need to be very diligent with inclusion/exclusion on the Acord application and policy. Carriers will not allow changes during an workers’ comp audit.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Forms

North Carolina First Report of Injury Form

NC First Report of Injury Form 19. Employers should complete this form and send to their insurance company each time an injury occurs.

Application for Exclusion of Officers and Stockholders

Owners and Officers of corporations should complete this form to exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage.

Workers' Comp Exemptions in North Carolina

Sole-Proprietors and Partners who include themselves on workers’ compensation coverage must use an annual payroll amount of $48,600 for rating their overall workers’ compensation cost.

Corporate Officers who are not excluded from workers’ comp coverage must utilize a minimum payroll of $49,400 up to a maximum annual payroll wage of $98,800 in order to calculate the cost of workers’ comp insurance.

Workers' Comp Verification

The state of North Carolina provides a free online tool for verifying workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Anyone can search by business name or policy number. The results will show the employer name and address. It will also show the workers’ comp insurance carrier, policy number and effective/expiration dates for the coverage. The information is managed by the NC Industrial Commission.

How is Workers' Comp Calculated?

Workers’ compensation is a commercial insurance product categorized as Property & Casualty insurance (P&C Insurance). Even though workers’ comp is calculated using estimated payroll wages and class codes, premium is still a separate business expense from the cost of payroll. North Carolina Employers may treat the cost of coverage as an expense on their taxes.

Work comp rates for all job classification codes are always expressed as a percentage of $100 in wages. An annual policy is always subject to an audit because it was based on estimated wages and not actual wages.

Here is an example using two class codes with different estimated payroll for each class code:

In order to calculate the cost of the policy you only need to multiply each rate with its divided payroll. It benefits employers to re-calculate their premium as their payroll becomes larger than originally anticipated.

North Carolina Workers' Compensation Insurance

Every state has their own laws to determine how employees must be covered and how they must be classified for rating premium. A lot of states use state specific class codes and have different requirements for who is obligated to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

If you have employees that travel out of state for work, or they work in multiple states throughout the year, you may need to buy a policy for each of the states where your employees are located and working. In most cases, you can cover multiple states on one policy.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance in North Carolina can be purchased from private insurance companies authorized by the state to provide coverage. The Assigned Risk Pool, or an alternate State Insurance Fund, is available for businesses that are unable to find coverage from a private company. Our specialists help will help you navigate your best options.

Policy premium is based on numerous factors including: class codes assigned to your business and employees, estimated payroll, covered states, prior policies, owner experience and previous workers compensation claims.

What Does North Carolina Workers' Comp Cover?

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North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance helps pay claim expenses when an employee, or a covered sub-contractor, is injured while working for your business. It also shields your business from other legal liabilities associated with an injured employee. Work comp coverage includes:

Workers’ comp insurance pays for the medical expenses associated with claims or injured workers. The cost of an ER visit, required surgeries and drug prescriptions are some of the covered expenses included under a policy. An employee injured due to a slip and fall would be covered, for example. Coverage for medical benefits can also include longer term expenses such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.

 

Most business owners can’t afford to continue paying employees if they are unable to work while they are injured. Workers’ comp income benefits in North Carolina will replace most of your employees missing income if they are away from work due to an injury or illness. For example, if a construction employee broke his arm and could not perform the job for 8 weeks, the coverage would make payments to the employee to help replace the lost wages.

Sometimes an injury can cause a partial disability or a more permanent disability. Workers’ compensation steps in to help pay the cost of ongoing medical bills and may even replace a portion of wages lost due to the disability. If an employee had a finger amputated due to a work related injury. The employee could be paid a sum (known as an Impairment Rating) for the loss of the finger for permanent disability as well as some temporary disability coverage while recuperating.

Some types of work environments can include occupational exposures that have unforeseen circumstances. A chemical mixing operation, for example, may expose employees to chemical irritants and cause harmful reactions that make them sick. A workers’ comp policy would cover the cost of treating an illness caused while performing the job.

Nearly 50,000 deaths happen at work each year. Many of these are in the construction and trucking industries. A workers’ compensation policy is designed to cover the cost of these funerals and to provide death benefits to the employees family. State guidelines often determine the dollar amount of coverage.

Workers’ compensation coverage is a No-Fault system designed to prevent costly employee lawsuits related to on-the-job-injuries. Many state provisions include Exclusive Remedy rules that protect covered businesses from these lawsuits in exchange for providing workers’ comp coverage for their employees. Claims should be reported to a supervisor with 30 days. Employers should also report any claims or accidents to their insurance company within 30 days from notification

How Does Workers' Comp Work?

Workers' comp coverage protects employees when injured. It makes good financial sense for both parties.

Injuries and accidents happen. A workers’ comp policy is a no-fault system that pays for these accidents and claims. It’s required by law in most states.

Coverage does not protect employers from everything. Sometimes employees and employers can be negligent.

In some instances, workers’ compensation coverage will not protect employers or employees from the legal liability resulting from a workplace injury.