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Are Realtors Covered by Workers' Compensation?

Are you a real estate agent in South Carolina, or are you thinking about becoming one? Either way, it’s important that you understand your rights under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. While real estate salespersons can have safe and lucrative careers, there is no guarantee that something won’t happen to them.

Real estate agents are in a unique position. They are in the practice of holding open houses, and driving buyers around in their vehicles to look at property on the market. In many cases, the realtor is holding an open house to complete strangers. Or, they’ll drive people around town whom they barely know. These scenarios can make realtors vulnerable to sexual assaults, car accidents, robberies, and other violent attacks.

Real Estate Agents Generally Not Covered

If the idea of working from home on occasion, creating your own hours, meeting new people, and being on the road sounds appealing to you, real estate may be the ideal career for you; however, you must be aware of how South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws apply (or don’t apply) to you.

“Every South Carolina employer and employee, with certain notable exceptions, is presumed to be covered by the State’s Workers’ Compensation Act,” according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Some of these exceptions include casual employees (e.g. babysitters and housekeepers), businesses with fewer than four employees, and “certain real estate salespersons.”

What Options Do Realtors Have?

Realtors are vital to the success of a real estate business. Without their efforts, a real estate company would go out of business. Even if a broker isn’t required to cover a real estate salesperson, that doesn’t mean the agent won’t get injured. Realtors can get into car accidents, they can be injured while showing property, or they can get injured while at the real estate office.

The avenues for compensation depend on how the injury occurred, where it occurred, legal liability, and the at-fault party’s insurance and assets. Some of the ways a real estate agent can recover compensation, even if it’s not workers’ comp, include:

  • The agent’s car insurance,
  • The homeowner’s property insurance,
  • The broker’s property insurance,
  • A civil lawsuit against the at-fault party,
  • A civil lawsuit against the broker, or
  • A lawsuit against the property owner where the injury occurred.

Are you a real estate agent who was injured during the course of performing your job-related duties? To explore all avenues of compensation, contact Masella Law Firm, P.A.