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The State of South Dakota requires all of its drivers to provide proof of financial responsibility in order for them to operate their motor vehicle legally. To meet this requirement, most SD residents choose to purchase and maintain an auto insurance policy. There are consequences of failing to comply with this law. So to make certain you avoid these, you should invest in, the very least, the minimum required South Dakota car insurance coverage.


Average cost of car insurance in South Dakota

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $580.99 for car insurance in South Dakota each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$290.24 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$200.83 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$227.50 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in South Dakota

How high (or low) a risk of a driver getting into an accident dictates one’s premiums. We found that in the Mount Rushmore State, a young driver can expect to pay an average of:

  • $728.8 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $1817.6 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $3260.4 for premium full coverage3.

Those new to the road spend more towards insurance because their likelihood of committing traffic violations and getting tickets are high. However, good driving behavior can help push back rates. We also found that the city of Mobridge, with a population of 3,468 (2010, latest data4) offer one of the best premiums, at just around $43 a month.

Female Drivers in South Dakota

Our case study found that a female driver can expect to pay one of these averages:

  • $320.8 for state minimum coverage,
  • $788.8 for basic full coverage and
  • $1475.2 for premium full coverage.

Our methodology5 found that the type of vehicle plays a major role in determining premiums. The safer a car is, the better the premiums. And because statistically, women prioritize safety over speed, they can enjoy lower insurance-related expenditures compared to their younger peers.

Senior Drivers in South Dakota

We found of all three types of motorists, senior drivers can have the best possible premiums. Individuals who belong in this group can expect an annual average of:

  • $306 for state minimum coverage,
  • $696.8 for basic full coverage and
  • $1248.8 for premium full coverage.

Of course, quotes will still vary from individual to individual. To keep your expenditures at a minimum, you should always take the time to compare offers and look at age-specific discounts.

Minimum car insurance requirements

In accordance with the SD motor vehicle insurance laws, you should include these two types of coverage in your policy: liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.

With liability coverage, your insurance company will help you in covering the costs related to injuring other people or damaging their property after an accident you caused. Without this, not only will you receive punishment from the law in the form of penalties, but also pay for these expenses using your own money. You need to maintain the required coverage minimums though, comprised of the following: $25,000/person for bodily injury, $50,000/accident for total bodily injury/death (for accidents that may result in more than one victim), and $25,000/accident for property damage.

South Dakota law also mandates you to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Despite auto insurance being a requirement in the state, many drivers use their vehicles even without a policy (or have an incomplete one). When you get into an accident with one of them, this part of your policy will help cover the costs incurred due to injuries resulting from the incident.

Aside from the two requirements above, there are several other coverage types you have the option to add to your policy. These include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage, auto loan/lease coverage, towing and labor coverage, customized parts and equipment, as well as rental reimbursement coverage.

Violations and Penalties 

When the authorities find out you don’t carry motor vehicle insurance while operating your automobile, they will charge you with a fine of up to $500 and potential jail time of up to 30 days. You will also have your license suspended from 30 days to a year, until you can show proof of insurance. To have it restored, you have to pay a $50 fee.

Driving safety in South Dakota

South Dakota falls way behind the 86% national average of motorists and front-seat passengers who use their seatbelts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that only 67% of these individuals put on these protective gear.

In a 2015 study published by the National Highway Safety Administration, it revealed that 133 driving casualties happened in that year. 43 cases, which makes up 33% of the total, involved alcohol impaired drivers.

Because of this, SD has an overall vehicle occupant death rating of 12.0 per 100,000 residents, as the CDC cited.

Final thoughts

Protect yourself and the other people you share the roads with. Don’t ever underestimate the power and the value of maintaining the proper South Dakota car insurance coverage. And to give yourself even a stronger barrier from legal and financial responsibilities, consider upgrading your policy coverages and their minimums.

licensed drivers in South Dakota, 2014
privately insured vehicles in South Dakota

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source:
5Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
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