South Dakota Auto Insurance Laws
All drivers should familiarize themselves with these South Dakota auto insurance laws.
South Dakota is a lead state for auto insurance
South Dakota is a state responsible for auto insurance. This means that in the event of an accident involving two or more vehicles, the convicted driver must pay the medical bills of all parties involved. This is different from no-fault states where each driver bills their own insurance for medical expenses, regardless of fault.
Consequences of driving without insurance in South Dakota
Skipping South Dakota’s minimum auto insurance is a class 2 misdemeanor according to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council. This could lead to the following consequences:
- Up to 30 days imprisonment
- Up to $500 fine
- Suspension of driver’s license
South Dakota Minimum Coverage Requirements
According to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations, all drivers in South Dakota must have at least the following coverage.
Personal injury liability cover
Drivers must have at least:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per accident
Property damage civil liability cover
Drivers must also hold at least $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers must also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in amounts equal to the bodily injury liability coverage requirements listed above. This protects an insured if they are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or who does not have enough insurance to cover the full cost of the damage.
How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in South Dakota
South Dakota drivers looking to get cheap auto insurance can try the following tips:
- Compare the prices: Compare rates from multiple providers to see which offers the best value.
- Claim all possible discounts: Often, insurers automatically apply discounts to an eligible driver’s premium. But motorists should opt for certain auto insurance discounts, such as the Driver Watch Program discounts.
- Choose a higher deductible: Raising an auto insurance deductible generally lowers premiums.
Other Things to Consider When Finding Car Insurance in South Dakota
Here are a few other things drivers should keep in mind when shopping for auto insurance in South Dakota.
Minimum State Coverage Isn’t Always Enough
South Dakota actually requires more insurance than many other states, but even that coverage isn’t enough in all cases. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to buy more than the minimum coverage. Otherwise, if the total costs of an accident exceed the driver’s policy limits, he must pay the difference out of his own pocket.
Drivers have a 1 in 48 chance of hitting an animal
South Dakota has the third highest probability of an animal-vehicle collision in the nation, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Concerned drivers should invest in comprehensive coverage for their vehicles. This allows the insured’s vehicle to be repaired if it is damaged due to bad weather, theft, vandalism or accident with an animal. For assistance with repairs following an accident with another driver, motorists can also add collision coverage.