How does workers' comp work in North Carolina?

North Carolina is unique in that the state calculates its own Experience Modification Factors through the North Carolina Rate Bureau. Most NCCI states require these factors to be promulgated by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. North Carolina does report all claims information to NCCI for the purpose of determining interstate modifiers. An interstate modifier is only applicable for employers who have coverage outside of North Carolina.

Contractors may face unique challenges in the state. Waivers of Subrogation are no longer required in North Carolina because NC law indicates that a principal contractor is not responsible for subcontractors. However, general contractors may be liable for injuries and coverage for employees of uninsured subcontractors. In some cases, a general contactor may charge subcontractor for the cost of workers compensation while working on various jobsites.

Workers' Comp Rules & Information for North Carolina

NC Employer's Responsibilities for Inured Workers

Employer must immediately report to its Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier any injury or occupational disease, or allegation by an employee of an injury or occupational disease, sustained in the course of employment for which the attention of a physician is needed or actually sought.
If an injury causes the employee to be absent from work for more than one day, or the employee’s medical expenses are greater than $2000.00, the employer or carrier must file with the Industrial Commission a Form 19 “Employer’s Report of Employee’s Injury to the Industrial Commission” within five days of learning of the injury or allegation..
If a Form 19 is filed with the Industrial Commission, the employer or carrier must also send a copy of the Form 19 to the employee, together with a blank Form 18 “Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee” for use by the employee.

North Carolina Contractors

If a contractor subcontracts work to a subcontractor who does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the principal contractor may be liable for the work-related injuries of the subcontractor’s employees, regardless of the number of employees you or the subcontractor employs.

NC Truckers and Owner Operators

North Carolina requires most trucking companies and owner operators. This is the case even when an owner operator is deemed to be a 1099 contractor. If the owner operator doesn't have workers' comp coverage, the motor carrier must provide coverage. An Occupational Accident Insurance policy (OAI) is not a lawful substitute for workers compensation in North Carolina.

Employers Who Fail to buy Workers Compensation in NC

The North Carolina Industrial Commission is authorized to fine employers who fail to secure workers’ compensation coverage one dollar per employee per day, but not less than $50 per day and not more than $100 per day. So if an employer does not have workers’ comp in North Carolina for a year faces a fine between $18,250 and $36,500 per year, even if there are no workplace injuries.

Failing to purchase workers' compensation in North Carolina is considered criminal. Employers can still be held liable to pay all medical expenses and lost wages for injured employees. Business owners can either be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. They may also face financial penalties and imprisonment.

Medical Treatment for Injured Workers in NC

In most cases the insurance company must provide and direct medical treatment for injured employees. The employee does not get to choose the provider unless they petition to change physicians with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Written permission to the employees is required prior to guaranteeing that any payments will be made for treatment rendered.

NC State Insurance Directives Regarding Covid-19

Consistent with prudent insurance practices, NC “urges” insurers to consider relaxing premium payment due dates, extending grace periods, waiving late fees and penalties, and allowing payment plans for premiums payments to help prevent a lapse in coverage.  Insurers should only consider cancellation/nonrenewal after exhausting other efforts to work with policyholders.

Discretionary order in effect from 03/24/2020 - further notice.

State Orders Regarding Insurance Claims Related to Coronavirus

No current state orders.

Specialized Programs for Select Industries

We work with our national insurance partners to develop targeted programs with easier underwriting requirements and lower rates. We offer a broad range of business class codes that help streamline the quote process so you get the lowest price for coverage.

Knowing the North Carolina workers comp requirements can help lower the cost of coverage.

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North Carolina Work Comp Information

Getting the Best Deal on Coverage

North Carolina is a good state for workers compensation insurance. Prices have remained relatively stable over the past 5 years and there are numerous carriers offering coverage in the state.

Pricing can vary significantly by insurance companies because they are allowed to file rates with the state and apply credit and debits on coverage. Business owners should shop 3 or more carriers to ensure they are getting lower rates on their coverage.

Let Workers Compensation help your business navigate workers' comp insurance in North Carolina.

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Workers' Comp Includes Employers Liability Insurance?

Employers liability insurance is an additional layer of coverage included as part of a workers' compensation insurance policy. Employers Liability is known as Part 2 of the policy. It adds two additional coverages for employers:

Employers Legal Liability and Legal Defense Costs

In today's world, there are a variety of reasons employees and third-parties sue employers for damages. Here a some common types covered by employers liability insurance:

Third Party Lawsuits

Your employee sues another party that may have contributed to the injury, In turn, the third party sues your business.

Consequential Bodily Injury

Another party or individual is injured while providing care for the injured employee.

Dual Capacity Legal Action

An employee files a claim but also attempts to sue the employer for being responsible in other ways outside of the employment relationship.

Loss of Consortium

A spouse sues for damages caused by the loss of companionship or relations.

Employers Liability coverage is not included with coverage in the four monopolistic states. Employers in these states can endorse this coverage onto their General Liability policy. That coverage is commonly known as Stop Gap Coverage.

Workers' Comp Covers NC Employers from Injury Related Expenses & Lawsuits
Employers liability insurance is included under a workers' comp policy in most states.
  • Employers liability coverage is not included in all monopolistic states.
  • All NCCI and most other states' coverage includes employers liability insurance.
Visit NCCI for more resources and information about workers' compensation class codes. Visit United States Department of Labor for more information about government agencies managing workers compensation insurance rates.

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