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South Carolina: Auto Insurer May Not Offset Personal Injury Protection by Workers’ Comp Benefits Received by Policyholder

August 31, 2019 (1 min read)

Auto insurers that provide no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) may not reduce their obligation to a policyholder based upon that policyholder’s receipt of workers’ compensation benefits, held the Supreme Court of South Carolina. In its decision, the Court dealt with an apparent inconsistency between the no-fault insurance law and the workers’ compensation act. The Court stressed that PIP benefits were part of a first-party coverage scenario; workers’ compensation benefits were not. The key concept utilized in PIP coverage was to provide prompt payment of expenses under the terms of a purchased policy. While workers’ compensation benefits were provided also on a no-fault basis, the availability of benefits was subject to the provisions of the state’s Act, pursuant to which benefits might not be awarded until protracted litigation had been completed, or in some instances, not at all.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Cothran v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 80 (Aug. 7, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 110.02.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see