South Dakota requires every driver to prove financial responsibility in order to operate a vehicle. To meet this requirement, they are required to purchase car insurance. Read more about South Dakota car insurance requirements, rates, programs and discounts.

Car Insurance Requirements

Before operating a vehicle in this state, you are required to purchase and maintain the following insurance coverages: Liability coverage Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is required to cover the cost of property damage and injuries to others resulting from an accident you cause. The minimum required limits for liability insurance include:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 total for death or bodily injury per person
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist

Your insurance policy must include Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. This policy pays for injuries that result from an accident with a driver with inadequate insurance cover, or a driver without insurance.

Optional Coverage

South Dakota car insurance companies also offer optional types of coverages that you may consider purchasing. Remember to add these additional coverages to help protect you further. Optional coverage typically includes:

  • Collision – Insurance cover that helps pay for damages made to your car after an accident
  • Comprehensive – Insurance cover that pays for damages resulting from all accident related events such as fire, floods etc
  • Uninsured motorists – Covers the cost of damage caused by uninsured drivers
  • Medical cover – This will cover medical costs and funeral expenses
  • Auto loan/lease – Covers the amount you owe your lender lease companyCustomized parts and equipment
  • Towing and labor
  • Rental reimbursement.

Proof of Insurance

You are required by the state to carry proof of insurance all the time when you are driving your vehicle. The most common proof of insurance is an insurance ID card which is issued by your car insurance provider. This card must include:

  • Name and address of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • The duration of coverage showing the expiration date.

NOTE: You can choose to show proof of insurance by use of alternative means which includes a Certificate of Self-Insurance or a certificate of deposit from the State Treasurer.

Car Insurance Violations

If you are caught driving without car insurance, you will face the following penalties:

  • $100 fine
  • 30 days in jail
  • Up to 1 year of driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory filling and carrying SR-22 proof of insurance for 3 years.

SR-22

SR-22 is filed if you are caught driving without car insurance. SR-22 insurance guarantees that you will hold and maintain minimum coverage for 3 years. This file can be filed through your insurance carrier. If you fail to file an SR-22, you will face the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle registration suspension
  • License plates suspension.

NOTE: If at a certain point of time you decide to change your car insurance provider, you must request your new provider to re-file the SR-22.

Policy Cancellation

Your insurance provider may decide not to renew your insurance policy for any reason. If they choose to do so, they must provide 60 days notice before the policy’s expiration date. Your insurance provider can only cancel your insurance policy at the middle of coverage term if:

  • You stop paying your premium
  • You lost your driving privileges.

NOTE: If you continue violating traffic regulations, you may find it difficult to renew your car insurance.

South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan

Car insurance companies have a right to deny insurance coverage for high risk drivers. So, if you are considered a high risk driver, you can apply for insurance coverage through South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan. Through this plan, South Dakota car insurance companies share the risk associated with high-risk drivers. To get started, you can apply for coverage through this plan from any local car insurance agent in South Dakota.

Questions and Concerns

The South Dakota Division of Insurance is the body that is responsible for providing assistance with issues related to car insurance complaints. This body also handles car insurance fraud.

Complaints

It is advisable to attempt solving your car insurance dispute with your insurance provider. If the dispute is not resolved through this means, you can then seek help from South Dakota Division of Insurance. You can do so by filling an online complaint form; send it electronically or through mail.

Car Insurance Fraud

Most car insurance companies in South Dakota lose huge amount of money through car insurance frauds. The burden caused through these frauds may trickle down to car insurance consumers to increase premiums. You should therefore report any suspected car insurance fraud to South Dakota Division of Insurance through the following means:

  • By fax at (605) 773-4629.
  • By phone at (605) 773-6325
  • Through e-mail at [email protected]

Determining Car Insurance Rates

When determining your car insurance, most South Dakota car insurance companies look at various factors to determine your insurance rates. These factors include:

  • Driving record
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Credit card history
  • Your car’s make and model
  • Your deductible(s) that include the amount paid for your claim.

Auto Insurance Discounts

If you want to purchase any insurance cover for your vehicle, take advantage of available car insurance discounts such as:

  • Good driver
  • Multiple-policy
  • Good student
  • Driver training
  • Safety device
  • Accident-free
  • Multiple-vehicle
  • Vehicle safety.

Several insurance companies weigh certain factors when determining appropriate discount that may apply in your case. But remember that most companies first look for driving history before giving you an insurance quote.

Most Stolen Cars in South Dakota

Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen cars in South Dakota include:

  1. Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  2. Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer
  3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  4. Buick Lesabre
  5. Pontiac Grand Prix
  6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
  7. GMC Pickup (Full Size)
  8. Pontiac Grand Am
  9. Chevrolet Impala.