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South Dakota

As per the South Dakota Financial Responsibility Law, drivers are required to hold and maintain proof of financial responsibility to drive. Auto insurance from a verified insurance provider suffices. Like most states, South Dakota has minimum amounts of liability for insurance coverage. South Dakota insurance rules and regulations vary slightly from other states. The various rules and requirements should be followed to ensure drivers have adequate coverage.

South Dakota follows the tort system of insurance coverage regulation. Under this system, a person in the wrong has to be identified and proven as the offender. The offender or the person at fault is then held under obligation for all damages caused in the accident.

Mandatory state requirements

The state of South Dakota insurance law requires that all personal vehicles have the following liability coverages:

  • Property damage
  • Bodily Injury

An additional coverage required by the law is:

  • Underinsured or uninsured motorist bodily injury

The bare minimum for car insurance are:

  • $25000 bodily injury per accident per person
  • $25000 property damage coverage
  • $25000-$50000 underinsured/uninsured motorist
  • $50000 bodily harm for all persons involved in the accident

The state of South Dakota does not require you to carry comprehensive and collision liability coverage. Nonetheless, the driver has other valuable assets, the former is a recommended way of supplementing the bare minimum car insurance requirements in the state.

Optional insurance

Insurance agents strongly recommend all the optional covers provided by the insurers in the state. While the comprehensive part covers all non-collisional claims such as fire damage or car theft, the collision part of the coverage reinstates the driver after an accident.

Medical payment coverage or MedPay helps with any medical and funeral expenses associated with the driver, passengers, and family regardless of their position when the accident occurs. The cover settles all medical expenses, doctors' visits, hospital stays, ambulance fees, ambulance and EMTs' fee, and other similar expenses. The limits of MedPay insurance cover are at $25000.

Penalties for failure to maintain financial responsibility

It is mandatory for every driver to have auto insurance coverage in South Dakota; the proof for financial responsibility should be carried at all times and provided to the relevant authorities when asked. Failure to adhere to these requirements can lead to severe legal penalties. Driving without insurance is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor with fines of up to $1000 and jail time of up to 6 months. First offenses are charged with $100 penalty and jail time does not exceed 30 days. The driver's license will be suspended for one year, and the driver should have an SR-22 form on file for three years after the conviction. Driving a suspended license carries similar charges without insurance. Additionally, a reinstatement fee of $50-$200 will be required.

South Dakota insurance premiums

The payable premiums by drivers in the state are regulated by the Department of Labor and Regulation or the Insurance Division. The licensed automobile insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums on different coverages based on the following considerations:

  • How long the driver has been driving
  • How much the driver drives
  • Their driving records
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Geographic location
  • Vehicle uses
  • Previous insurance coverage
  • The type of car being insured
  • Age

Required Documentation When obtaining an Insurance cover

To be considered for proof of responsibility, you will need to provide one of these documents:

  • Certificate of Insurance
  • A document showing surety bond
  • Insurance card
  • Documentation indicating coverage

You must provide the necessary proof of insurance when:

  • Asked by a police officer
  • After an accident
  • When registering another vehicle
  • Anytime you are on the road

Other proof of financial responsibility alternatives

There are different ways drivers in South Dakota can prove their financial liability such as security or cash deposit. This allows the driver to deposit $50000 with the state treasurer before being issued with an insurance certificate. A surety bond can also be used where the driver files for a surety bond with a licensed surety company to the DMV. If the insured has more than 26 cars under their name, they can file for self-insurance.