What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in South Dakota?

How much car insurance do you need in South Dakota? The minimum required amount of car insurance coverage in South Dakota is as follows:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for all the people injured in the accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for uninsured/ underinsured motorists coverage

Apart from bodily injury and property damage coverage, it is also compulsory to have uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance in South Dakota. The limits are similar to the minimum liability coverage, but drivers can purchase more if they need added coverage.

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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

South Dakota’s minimum car insurance coverage caters to third-party injuries and property damage incurred if you are involved in an at-fault accident. Also known as liability coverage, the minimum coverage is typically the basic coverage required by all drivers within the state. However, this insurance only covers injury and damage to other people and their property in an accident where you are at fault. Therefore, to get protection for yourself and your car, you will need to purchase additional coverage.

Minimum car insurance coverage in South Dakota comprises $25,000 in bodily injury per person up to $50,000 for each accident and up to $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

You also need uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage in South Dakota, which protects you if you collide with an uninsured driver and suffer injury or damage to your property. The amounts should match the liability coverage limits. Uninsured coverage covers you and your passenger during an accident if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. In contrast, underinsured motorist coverage will protect you if the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance limits.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in South Dakota?

Different insurance companies charge different costs in South Dakota for minimum car insurance. Factors that contribute to this variation include credit score, age, ZIP code and driving record. So while the average cost per year is $817, you may pay more or less depending on the insurer you choose.

Based on the MoneyGeek scores, Farmers Mutual of Nebraska has the lowest rates on car insurance in South Dakota for minimum coverage, at $257 per year.

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average South Dakota driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

The costs used in this study were derived from a policy that meets the state minimum coverage of 25/50/25 and uninsured/ underinsured motorists coverage of the same limit. The sample driver is a 40-year-old male driving a 2010 Toyota Camry and has a good credit score and driving history.

If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in South Dakota.

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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in South Dakota While Leasing a Car?

South Dakota’s car lease requirements may vary from one leasing company to the other. While the standard liability coverage applies across the state, leasing requirements may differ. You will need to purchase a full coverage car insurance policy with 100/300/50 as the minimum limit in most cases. Ensure you find out what is required before signing the lease agreement.

Liability car insurance coverage meets the state’s requirements but does not cover you under all circumstances. Based on MoneyGeek, a 50/100/50 full coverage is the minimum car insurance policy you should get if you want protection for accidents involving an uninsured motorist. Less coverage than this amount means you may not be covered in certain situations involving uninsured motorists.

South Dakota has one of the least number of uninsured motorists, at 7.4%, but that does not mean you are safe from being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in South Dakota

South Dakota car insurance requirements apply to all drivers. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will be penalized and may end up losing your license. You may also end up paying huge fines and reinstatement fees for your car’s registration.

During an accident investigation, you will need to provide proof of insurance to the state’s traffic officers. This can be a copy of your policy or an insurance ID issued by your provider. You should always have one of these with you each time you drive within the state.

The following penalties apply in the state should you be caught driving without insurance:

  • A fine of between $100 and $500
  • $50 to $200 reinstatement fee
  • 30 days imprisonment inclusive or exclusive of the standard fine
  • Maintain SR-22 for three years. Not maintaining the SR-22 as required can lead to the suspension of your driving license, license plates and vehicle registration for a period of between 30 days and one year.

South Dakota only has one set of penalties, unlike the majority of the states. The above penalties apply regardless of whether it is your first or subsequent offense. If you get sentenced, you will have to complete the jail term before requesting your privileges to be reinstated and filing your SR-22 form through your insurer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in South Dakota

Here are some answers to questions people ask about car insurance in South Dakota.

Yes, car insurance is a compulsory requirement in South Dakota. The minimum limits are 25/50/25, and you also need uninsured/ underinsured motorists coverage with the same limits. You risk being penalized for driving around the state without insurance coverage.

Yes. You will need to provide proof of insurance to register your car in South Dakota. You can present this together with other requisite documents at the state’s DMV or send it by email. For new vehicles, you will need to do the registration in person. For the policy to be accepted, it should meet the 25/50/25 minimum limit threshold.

Basic car insurance in South Dakota refers to the minimum car insurance requirements of the state, which are 25/50/25. For your policy to be accepted, it must cover at least $25,000 in bodily injury per person up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage costs. You also need to have uninsured/ underinsured coverage with the same limits as the liability coverage.

In most states, including South Dakota, insurance may follow the car or the driver. The determining factor includes the type of coverage purchased and from which insurer. For example, in case of an accident, insurance coverage follows the car and the owner might pay for any injuries and damage. On the other hand, PIP coverage and medical expenses mostly follow the driver.

If you are involved in an accident while using a leased car, insurance requirements for the leasing company will apply.

While insurance companies will need your license number to assess your driving record, this is not a mandatory requirement in South Dakota. However, most insurance companies may hesitate to sell insurance to you without one.

No. South Dakota is not among the 12 no-fault states. That means you will not be able to claim compensation from your insurance company if an accident occurs and you are the one at fault. It also means that it is not compulsory to purchase personal injury protection coverage in South Dakota.

No. You do not need PIP coverage in South Dakota. However, you can purchase it under optional insurance coverage if you wish to get personal injury protection in an accident.

Yes. South Dakota drivers need to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their policy. The amounts are at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, which is the same as the minimum car insurance limits of the state.

With the uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage, you will get injury and property damage coverage if you are in an accident where the at-fault party has no or limited car insurance coverage.

Yes. South Dakota is a diminished value state. Drivers can file diminished value claims for their vehicles after an accident for up to six years. However, there is no uninsured coverage for diminished value, and you cannot submit a claim if you are the one at fault.

In most states, there is no law dictating car insurance requirements after a DUI. However, in South Dakota, car insurance premiums may spike after a DUI. Typically, most insurers consider drivers with a DUI a high risk to insure, hence the increase in car insurance rates.

The purpose of doing a CARCO inspection is to assess the condition of a car and its accessories and mileage. The process is free and takes about fifteen minutes or less. However, it is only compulsory in five states, excluding South Dakota.

Learn More About Car Insurance

About Mark Fitzpatrick


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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


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