Workers compensation law, rules and policy information for North Carolina

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State: North Carolina

Updated: 01-09-2019

Authority/State Rating Bureau: North Carolina Rate Bureau

North Carolina Rate Bureau
2910 Sumner Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: (919) 582-1056

Compulsory: Yes

Private Insurance: Allowed

Self-Insurance: Allowed

State Fund: No State Fund

Assigned Risk: Managed by the North Carolina Rate Bureau

Assigned Risk Contact Information: Managed by the North Carolina Rate Bureau. Contact them at:

North Carolina Rate Bureau
2910 Sumner Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27616
Phone: (919) 582-1056
North Carolina Rate Bureau

Numerical Exceptions: If you are a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, estate, or trust, you are required by law to carry coverage once you have three (3) employees who are regularly employed, in addition to the sole proprietor, partners, formulators of the LLC, executor of the estate, and bearer of the trust. It does not matter if these employees are full time, part time, regular seasonal or family members.

If you are incorporated, including all forms of corporations and those which have non-profit status, you are required by law to carry coverage once you have a total of three (3) people in the corporation. Everyone is included in the headcount, including corporate officers.

Businesses with radiation are required by law to carry coverage when they have one (1) employee. An agricultural operation must carry coverage when there are ten (10) or more regular, non-seasonal employees. Any other business entity not mentioned above would use the three (3) or more employees rule.

Individual Waivers Allowed: No. Not allowed since 1995.

Small Deductible Program Details:
Allowed: Yes – However it is optional that insurance carriers make available
Deductible Range: $100 – $5,000
Type: Medical and Indemnity
Effect on Experience Rating: Gross
Available In: Voluntary and Residual Markets
For More Information About How Deductible Programs Work

Sole Proprietor: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. When included a rating payroll of $40,400 is used as of 4-1-11, $40,800 as of 4-1-2013, $41,800 as of 4-1-2014, $42,700 as of 4-1-2015, $43,500 as of 4-1-2016. $44,600 as of 4-1-2017. $46,200 as of 4-1-2018. $46,900 as of 4-1-2019.

Partners: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included. When included a rating payroll of $40,400 is used as of 4-1-11, $40,800 as of 4-1-2013, $41,800 as of 4-1-2014, $42,700 as of 4-1-2015, $43,500 as of 4-1-2016. $44,600 as of 4-1-2017. $46,200 as of 4-1-2018. $46,900 as of 4-1-2019.

Corporate Officers: Included in coverage/may elect to be exempt. When included the rating payroll is banded between a minimum of $41,600 and a maximum of $83,200 as of 4-1-11, $41,600 / $83,200 as of 4-1-2014. $800 per week/$1,600 per week as of 4-1-2015. $850 per week/$1,700 per week as of 4-1-2016. $850 / $1,700 as of 4-1-2017. $900 / $1,800 as of 4-1-2018. $900 / $1,800 as of 4-1-2019.

LLC Members: Excluded from coverage/may elect to be included

Election or Rejection of Coverage Form: These forms are not readily available on the North Carolina Industrial Commission website. Contact the North Carolina Industrial Commission for specific questions about Exclusion – Inclusion and forms they may use.

Notes About Forms: Be sure to check with your insurance company for additional forms they may use.


  • Q: I am a general contractor. Do I have to have workers’ compensation insurance?
  • A: Yes, if you have three (3) or more employees. However, you may want to contact the builder’s permit licensing department to see if you must carry coverage regardless of the number of employees you have in order to obtain a builder’s permit.
  • Q: As a general contractor, am I responsible for covering my subcontractors?
  • A: If the subcontractor has one or two employees, there is liability on the part of the principal contractor for those employees but not that of the subcontractor. Waivers are no longer necessary since N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-19 declared that principal contractors are not responsible for subcontractors, only their one or two employees.Any principal contractor, intermediate contractor, or subcontractor who sublets any contract to a subcontractor without first obtaining documentation that the subcontractor is in compliance with the N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act is liable for payment of compensation and other benefits if any employee of the subcontractor is injured or dies due to an accident arising out of and in the course of the performance of the work covered by such subcontract. If the principal contractor, intermediate contractor, or subcontractor obtains proper documentation at the time of subletting the contract to a subcontractor, he will not be held liable to any of the subcontractor’s employees for compensation or other benefits. The principal contractor, intermediate contractor, or subcontractor may require documentation of workers’ compensation coverage regardless of whether the subcontractor regularly employs fewer than three employees.
  • Q: I am a subcontractor. Do I have to carry coverage if I have no employees?A: Not if the general contractor who hires you does not require coverage as a condition of employment of affording you the opportunity to work. If so, you would either need to produce a certificate of insurance for the general contractor or allow the general contractor to deduct workers’ compensation from what he pays you to do the work.

    Also keep in mind, just because you “1099” for IRS purposes does not mean that those people would be considered independent contractors under the N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act. If you as the employer exercise “right to control” over those individuals by governing the manner and method in the way in which they do their job, then they may be considered employees under the N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act. (See N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-2 Case Notes – Independent Contractors.)


Special Notes: North Carolina calculates its own in state experience modification factors through the North Carolina Rate Bureau. They also report this information to NCCI, which is used in calculating interstate modification factors.

Experience Rating Eligibility: North Carolina employers will receive an experience modification rate or EMR once they meet one of these triggers:

  • $10,000 in policy premium is generated during the last year or last two years.
  • $5,000 is the average policy premium generated for more than two years.

North Carolina Subrogation: Statute 97-10.2 provides you with specifics about workers compensation subrogation for the State of North Carolina. 97-10.2 is titled “Rights under Article not affected by liability of third party; rights and remedies against third parties.” The statute is viewable on line and just below is a link that you can use as direct access for this North Carolina statute.

North Carolina Statute Of Subrogation

North Carolina Workers Working In Other States; Other States Workers Working In North Carolina, Extraterritorial, Reciprocity and Non-Compliance: When North Carolina workers are working temporarily in another state, workers compensation coverage for that worker is then governed by the extraterritorial provisions found in North Carolina statutes. When or if allowed it’s extraterritorial provisions that allow benefits for an injured worker to apply as if the worker was in their primary state. Not all states provide Extraterritorial Provisions so it’s important that an employer or insurance professional be aware of how their state responds to out of state employment. It’s reciprocity that governs how North Carolina workers compensation coverage responds for a worker from another state who is working temporarily in North Carolina. Compliance of workers compensation laws varies from state to state and it is important for an employer with workers performing duties in other states to be aware of the specific state rules that govern their coverage. We’ve provided this general information about extraterritorial and reciprocity as a basic guide. Please contact your North Carolina state authority with your specific questions or applications concerning this topic!

Regulated By: North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Industrial Commission
430 N Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27603-5926
Phone 919-807-2500 Fax 919-715-0282
North Carolina Industrial Commission

The Industrial Commission rules can be found at:

verification of workers compensation coverage Workers Compensation Statute of North Carolina

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Information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. No warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of this information is provided or to be implied. You must verify this data before use with the individual governing authority for this state. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.

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