South Dakota Car Insurance Requirements

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Minimum auto insurance in South Dakota

South Dakota requires a few types of car insurance: Liability plus uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. None of these required insurance types will cover damage to your own car. Let's look at the required and optional South Dakota insurance choices so you can make the right pick.

Minimum liability insurance:

Liability insurance is for the damage you do to others if you cause a car accident, including property damage and injuries. The coverage amounts define the limits of payments to others. South Dakota requires these minimum limits:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage per accident

This is usually written as 25/50/25.

Minimum uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage:

These insurance types help you with medical bills if you're hit by a driver who has no liability insurance (falls under UM coverage) or not enough to pay for injury bills (falls under UIM).

  • South Dakota requires both UM and UIM. You must buy UM coverage of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident (called 25/50). UIM is required at coverage levels that match your bodily injury liability limits. For example, if you have liability bodily injury coverage of 50/100, you need UIM for 50/100.

Other car insurance choices

Medical payments (MedPay): MedPay covers medical bills and funeral expenses for you or others who are riding in or driving your car. You can make a MedPay claim no matter who was at fault. This includes hospital, dental and chiropractic bills. MedPay also covers you if you're a pedstrian and hit by a car. In South Dakota you must be offered MedPay, accidental death insurance and disability insurance. You can buy all or some of them.

Comprehensive coverage: For damage caused by hitting an animal, flood, hail, fire, vandalism, falling objects and explosions. It also cover car theft. If you have a car loan or lease you're likely required to have it.

Collision coverage: For damage to your car from by hitting another car or an object such as a fence or tree. If you have a car loan or lease you're likely required to have it.

Rental reimbursement: Pays for a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired for damage from a car accident.

You must show an insurance ID card (or other proof of financial responsibility) when:

  • Law enforcement requests it.
  • Your vehicle is involved in a car accident.

Penalties for not having car insurance in South Dakota

  • Failure to maintain financial responsibility in South Dakota is a Class 2 misdemeanor (punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and/or up to a $500 fine).
  • Providing false evidence of financial responsibility is a Class 1 misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year imprisonment and/or up to a $1,000 fine).
  • Both result in a suspension of driver's license for a period of not less than 30 days and not to exceed one year.

Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Complaints against the biggest auto insurance companies in South Dakota

A "complaint ratio" reflects the number of complaints in the country against a company, relative to its size. Shown below are complaint ratios for the largest auto insurance companies in South Dakota.

South Dakota auto insurance complaints comparison

Updated Aug. 15, 2018

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