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South Dakota Car Insurance Requirements

In the state of South Dakota, financial responsibility is a requirement for every driver. In car insurance terms, what this means is that each driver must be financially ready to deal with liability claims. For most of us, that obviously means carrying auto liability policies. But there are some folks who have the resources necessary to meet alternate requirements allowing them to forgo compulsory auto insurance in the state of South Dakota. This article discusses those options in brief, and then highlights the mandatory areas of coverage for those drivers in the state who elect to fulfill their financial responsibility through the contracting of an auto policy.

Alternate Auto Insurance Compliance Options

For the majority of motorists in the state, the most economical way and the most realistic one to get them on the road legally is to simply purchase auto insurance. But this is not the option everyone chooses. For those with the cash resources on hand to self insure, there are some ways to go about complying with state regulations without actually buying auto insurance. Fleet owners with 26 or more vehicles can opt to self insure, but all vehicles must be registered in a single owner's name. South Dakota drivers who fail to meet the fleet requirement can either place a certificate of deposit in the amount of $50,000 with the state treasurer or buy a surety bond with an in state broker authorized by the state [1]. But clearly, most auto owners and state residents do not have this kind of cash on hand, so auto insurance is the only suitable option for the majority.

Required Coverage for State Drivers

Those of us who do opt for auto insurance, even budget car insurance, must purchase policies from state licensed carriers, and these policies must be compliant with state regulations and requirements for protection. Auto liability insurance is required for every driver. The state of South Dakota uses the three part split limit liability insurance, which breaks down coverage and payouts into categories based on loss type. These categories are broken down into property damage and bodily injury or death losses, with bodily injury or death being split once more into single victim or multiple victims per accident coverage. The advantage of split limit liability is that it is less expensive than single limit. But it is more restrictive in that the money you have has to go to a certain area of coverage, so a split limit policy with the same overall value in truth is not worth as much as an equivalent single limit auto plan.

In South Dakota, drivers must carry a minimum 25/50/25 auto liability policy. This means at least $25,000 in coverage for single victim bodily injury, $50,000 for multiple victim bodily injury liability, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage [1]. These levels are fairly typical measured against other states around the country. Some state legislatures have recently worked to increase some of these limits due to the ever rising cost of medical expenses especially but also to a lesser extent based on the higher prices we all pay for our vehicles to buy and repair them. For these reasons, many South Dakota drivers choose to increase their liability protection above the minimum threshold advised by the state.

Compare Quotes from SD Companies

When motorists are looking at their different options for car insurance, it is wise for them to talk to different companies and get multiple quotes for insurance before they make their final choice. Often people find that simply switching carriers can save them enough money on their rates to help them at least partially pay for increased protection like higher liability levels or extra coverage like collision or comprehensive. There are multiple areas of coverage worth considering. It's good to have an open mind and get educated about what is available so that you know for sure what you're looking for in an auto insurance plan and don't get oversold or undersold by an agent.

In financial responsibility states like South Dakota, it is very important to be aware of the law so that you can always be sure to remain compliant with it as a driver. Driving without insurance, for example, is a misdemeanor and can result in both jail time and fines. Those who get caught driving without insurance can also have their license suspended as well. This is in addition to possible civil litigation in the wake of auto accidents, and having to possibly deal with high risk SR 22 car insurance policies as part of a judgment handed down for non compliance.

Car insurance in South Dakota is important because of legal compliance considerations. But it is even more important simply because of the protection it provides you as a motorist.



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