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South Dakota Car Insurance

Auto Insurance Basics in South Dakota

The national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the federal Department of Transportation, conducts periodic surveys of car accidents and their aftermath on the American roadways. In their last survey they calculated that the aggregate impact of direct and indirect to the U.S. economy exceeds $800 billion dollars. This figure represents the estimated sum total of medical costs, property damage, loss of life, lost wages, lost productivity and other ono-direct costs. There are more than 6 million vehicular accidents annually on U.S. roads and highways resulting in more than 34,000 deaths annually in recent years. The agency has estimated that the economic cost of each highway fatality is well over $1 million and the medical cost of each disabling injury is approximately $60 thousand. Even your garden variety fender bender results in about $3,500 of damage on average across the nation. Without insurance, the potential economic risk to vehicle owners would be prohibitive. So, it is no surprise that the car insurance industry sprang up soon after the dawn of the automobile age.

When you insure your vehicle, your insurance provider agrees to absorb the financial losses if you cause on accident up to a mutually agreed upon maximum amount. You should know that, in the event that claims from an accident exceed the maximum payout of your insurance you could potentially be held personally liable for the excess amount. For that reason, virtually every insurance provider can provide you higher maximum payout levels in return for higher premiums. Every state sets a minimum amount of financial responsibility that is expected of drivers within their domain, but most financial advisors recommend taking out as much protection as you can comfortably afford.

The primary car insurance product is called liability insurance and, in the vent that you are at fault for causing an accident, it covers medical costs and property damages of the injured party. Keep in mind that before insurance companies pay out on claims for damages the policy holder must first satisfy the out of pocket deductibles outlined in your agreement. Deductibles typically range from $500 up to one or two thousand. As you might expect, lower deductibles require higher premiums.

In order to provide insurance against potential medical bills of your own in case you are injured in a crash you should consider personal injury protection. Known as PIP, this type of policy will help cover your bills subject to the defined maximums and deductibles. A product known as comprehensive insurance helps protect you against risks out of your control such as weather related damages to your car, theft, vandalism and other events.

There are other specialized types of coverage such as roadside assistance, temporary rental car insurance, and others. The price of each of these products will be determined by a variety of factors. For instance, safe drivers enjoy lower prices than those who have had accidents or serious moving violations on their records. Young drivers are seen as higher risks and are charged more for coverage. If you live in an area that is near the coast or a flood plain, you might be charged more for comprehensive insurance. To sum up, South Dakota drivers should carefully assess their risk tolerance and finances in order to choose the right car insurance protections.

Auto Insurance Requirements in South Dakota

South Dakota follows the “at fault” model of car insurance. This means that financial responsibility for accident related damages falls on the party that caused the accident. These damages can be bodily injury, property damage, lost wages and others. After meeting your deductible, the insurance company of the at fault party pays for the balance of the claims. South Dakota requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum liability insurance of $25,000 for bodily injury or death, $50,000 for bodily injury of more than one person, and $25,000 of property damage. In addition, the state requires motorists to to carry $25,000 of Uninsured/Bodily Injury coverage. This last coverage offers protections for medical costs, not for property damage.

Average Cost of Coverage in South Dakota

South Dakota drivers can expect to pay a bit below the national average. Full coverage for good drivers will be in the neighborhood of $1,300 per year compared to approximately $1,400 nationwide. But keep in mind that drivers with safe records get the lowest premiums. By some estimates, having an accident in your recent past can add $500 or more to your bill in South Dakota. Young drivers in the state will pay more for insurance as they are generally categorized as higher risk customers in every state. Having good credit is a very big factor in getting better rates. Those with poor credit histories can up to $1,000 more for similar coverage.

Age Average Premium (yearly)
16 $5,798
17 $5,341
18 $4,847
19 $2,802
20s $1,719
30s $1,249
40s $1,187
50s $1,074
60s $1,068
70s $1,193

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in South Dakota

Most of the big name insurers have a presence in South Dakota, but there are many smaller companies providing insurance as well. With all the variables of coverage levels and personal factors that go into pricing car insurance, it’s hard to tell who will give you the cheapest product. Progressive provide competitive rates to safe drivers, but smaller outfits like Farmers Mutual of Nebraska and North Star also have attractively proceed options. Your best bet is to shop around.

Rank Company Avg. Premium (annual)
1 Allied $1,233
2 Farmers Mutual of Nebraska $1,257
3 Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group) $1,643
4 Progressive $1,795
5 Allstate $1,932

Unique Car Insurance Rules and Penalties in South Dakota

South Dakota does not technically require drivers to buy insurance. They require a set level of “financial responsibility” that can be satisfied by depositing either cash or a surety bond of $50,000 with the state treasurer. This would act as a draw down fund in the event you were liable for claims after an accident. But the overwhelming majority of people purchase insurance for as a guarantee of financial responsibility. Driving without insurance in the state is a misdemeanor offense and will subject you to fines, reinstatement fees, possible suspension of your license and even jail time for repeat offenders.

Violation Avg. Annual Auto Insurance Rate % Insurance Rate Increase $ Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run $2,134 59% $792
Refused Breathalyzer/Chemical Test $2,049 53% $708
DUI $2,049 53% $708
Racing $1,994 49% $652
Reckless Driving $2,056 53% $714
Driving with a Suspended License $1,994 49% $652
At-Fault Accident $1,857 38% $515
Driving with an Open Container $1,764 31% $422
Operating a Vehicle Without Permission $1,635 22% $293
Passing a School Bus $1,658 24% $316
Improper Passing $1,658 24% $316
Following Too Closely $1,640 22% $298
Speeding $1,648 23% $306
Failure to Stop at a Red Light $1,605 20% $263
Illegal Turn $1,639 22% $297
Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane $1,623 21% $281
Failure to Yield $1,640 22% $298
Speeding in a School Zone $1,626 21% $284
Driving Too Slowly $1,574 17% $233
Distracted Driving $1,670 24% $328
Driving with Expired Registration $1,523 14% $181
Failure to Show Documents $1,523 14% $181
Not-at-Fault Accident $1,419 6% $77
Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint $1,350 1% $8
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt $1,407 5% $65
Driving Without Lights $1,342 0% $0

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in South Dakota

The secret to getting the best price for car insurance in South Dakota isn’t actually much of a secret. Do some good old fashioned comparison shopping in order to get the best rates. At General.com, we have a free online tool that will get you no cost, no obligation quotes from multiple vendors. We’ll help you do the legwork and get multiple quotes quickly and simply. Save money now!

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