South Dakota Car Insurance Laws

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Ross Martin

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Auto insurance requirements in South Dakota

South Dakota law requires that all drivers carry auto insurance. Furthermore, you must also carry proof of coverage at all times when driving. This must be shown at the request of a law enforcement official. To learn more about car insurance requirements in South Dakota — as well as optional coverage options — have a look at our guide below.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/25 Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
$25,000 bodily injury per person Bodily injury $25,000 per person
$50,000 bodily injury per accident Bodily injury $50,000 per accident
$25,000 property damage per accident

These limits only reflect the state-mandated requirements. Your lender or leasing company may require extra coverage meant to protect your vehicle against physical damage, often known as full coverage

Liability coverage in South Dakota

Liability coverage is legally required in South Dakota and goes toward paying for bodily injuries and property damage that you cause in an at-fault accident. It will also pay for the injured party’s lost wages and pain and suffering as well. Be aware, however, that your liability coverage never pays for injuries you sustain or for damages to your own property. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a requirement in South Dakota. This coverage will help in the event that you are injured by a driver who does not carry sufficient levels of car insurance.

What are South Dakota's state-mandated car insurance limits?

A car insurance limit is the maximum amount that your insurance company will furnish in the event of a claim. While you can often increase these limits for an additional premium, states set a minimum required amount of coverage which can also be referred to as a limit. These limits are usually split into three categories: bodily injury per personbodily injury per accident, and property damage. In South Dakota, the minimum is listed as 25/50/25 which is explained further below:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is the total dollar amount that will be paid for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is how much an insurer will pay for all injuries you cause in an accident in which more than one person is hurt.
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident is the total amount that will be paid for damage that you cause in an accident.

Do South Dakota’s required insurance minimums provide enough coverage?

South Dakota’s car insurance minimums are roughly on par with many other states. However, only carrying the bare minimum coverage is likely to leave you and your assets at risk. Liability limits can be depleted quite quickly with even moderate injuries, especially if you injure multiple people. The $25,000 property damage limit is also just shy of the average cost of a new vehicle, which could leave you on the hook for the remainder. 

South Dakota also requires no coverage for your own vehicle. If you wanted your own car to be protected, you would need to add extra coverage options. Therefore, if you wanted to ensure that you were properly covered, consider increasing your limits or adding more coverage.

South Dakota’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance

If you are found guilty of driving with no insurance in South Dakota, you are charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor and can expect the following penalties to apply:

  • A fine of $100
  • Up to 30 in jail
  • Suspension of license between 30 days and one year
  • Suspension of license plates and registration
  • Filing of an SR-22 certificate[1]

Optional car insurance coverage in South Dakota

South Dakota law requires liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, but most insurance carriers offer a number of other helpful coverage options. Here is a list of some of the more common options available:

  • Comprehensive: This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle that occur in non-collision circumstances. It covers perils such as theft and damage related to weather events.
  • Collision: This coverage pays for damages that result from a collision with another vehicle or stationary object.
  • Loan/Lease Payoff: Sometimes referred to as gap coverage, this coverage can pay the difference between what you owe on a loan and what your car’s actual cash value. This can help in the event that you owe more than your car is actually worth.
  • Medical Payments: In the event of an accident, this coverage goes towards paying for your medical expenses as well as those in your vehicle.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is rendered undrivable, this coverage can help pay for a rental car until yours can be fixed.
  • Roadside Assistance: Many insurance companies offer some form of roadside assistance that can help with things such as flat tires, dead batteries, and towing expenses.

Why adhering to South Dakota's car insurance requirements is important

While carrying car insurance in South Dakota is a legal requirement, it’s also a good way to protect yourself and your assets. Most insurance experts agree that adding coverage or increasing current limits is a smart way to keep yourself covered. However, if adding coverages has you worried about an increase in insurance rates, maybe it’s time to shop for cheaper coverage. The Zebra can help you get started by providing side-by-side insurance quotes from the nation’s top carriers. Just enter your ZIP below to get started.

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.