South Dakota Auto Insurance Requirements
South Dakota has strict auto insurance and financial responsibility laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in South Dakota are mandated by state law and the South Dakota Division of Insurance. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: South Dakota Division of Insurance)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in South Dakota is a class B misdemeanor for the first offense, and could result in a $150 fine, suspension of driving privileges, and license points (14 if involved in an accident). Subsequent offenses are classed as misdemeanors and subject to higher fines, reinstatement fees, and jail time.
The South Dakota Automobile Insurance Plan is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the AIPSO website.
Alternatively, drivers not wishing to carry basic liability insurance in South Dakota may deposit $25,000 cash or securities in the amount of $30,000 with the state treasurer, or obtain a surety bond, and provide receipt of same to the Department of Public Safety, who will issue a certificate of financial responsibility in lieu of an insurance card.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in South Dakota
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in South Dakota requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though South Dakota ranks just below national averages for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in South Dakota include:
– South Dakota is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– South Dakota requires UM/UIM insurance
– Vehicle repair costs are generally more expensive in South Dakota than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are much higher than national averages
– A lower percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates below national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in South Dakota is $1,707 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in South Dakota
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in South Dakota
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
South Dakota Statistics
– Auto Theft: South Dakota has a relatively low vehicle theft rate, and it has remained fairly constant over the past 10 years. A slight drop in the theft rate over the past few years can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in South Dakota has increased in recent years, but vehicle accident fatality rates have remained fairly constant. South Dakota is well above the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes, despite having a fairly low population concentration.
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