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South Dakota Car Insurance Guide

Why is South Dakota so much better than North Dakota? One: It’s warmer. Two: It has the world’s only corn palace. Three: Car insurance is cheaper.

But even if your current SD car insurance bill is manageable, you can probably do better. Try’s step-by-step guide to saving money on South Dakota car insurance. Or, if you don’t have time to read all this right now, just start comparing free quotes to find the best deal for you.

1. How do I Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance in South Dakota?

It’s not too hard to find a good deal. South Dakota has the third-cheapest car insurance rates in the whole country, according to the Insurance Information Institute. (North Dakota ranks fifth — ha!) But it still pays to shop around, because car insurance quotes from individual insurers vary so widely. That’s why, if you want the cheapest SD auto insurance, you have to compare personalized quotes from different insurers. makes it simple.

2. What are South Dakota’s Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements?

If you drive a vehicle registered in South Dakota, you need to carry insurance that meets the minimum requirements (which you’ll see abbreviated as 25/50/25).

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability

3. Is SD Minimum Insurance Enough? Or Should I Buy Full Coverage Insurance?

Unlike North Dakota, South Dakota is a tort state. That means if you’re at fault in an accident, you are responsible for injuries or property damage sustained by the other people involved. (South Dakota is also a comparative negligence state, however, which we’ll explain a little later.) The upshot is that in South Dakota, someone can sue you if your insurance isn’t enough to cover their losses. So is SD minimum insurance enough?

That depends on how much you have to lose. If you have assets like a house or savings account, you’ll want to protect them with insurance that has higher liability limits than 25/50. And if you have a newer car or a car loan, you’ll need insurance that includes comprehensive and collision coverage.

4. How Can I Find the Best Cheap SD Car Insurance on

Here’s what we recommend: Get quotes for state minimum insurance as a baseline, then compare quotes for higher levels of coverage. We’ll show you how to do it.

Let’s run the numbers for a 27-year-old woman with a good driving record who’s shopping for auto insurance in Rapid City. She enters some basic info on and then selects 25/50/25 state minimum coverage. Her insurance quotes range from $48 to $52 per month if she opts to pay her premiums up front. If she prefers pay-as-you-go insurance, her quotes are a little higher: $53 to $62 per month, plus a down payment.

That’s pretty cheap. However, state minimum coverage isn’t going to work for our Rapid City driver, because she needs collision and comprehensive coverage for her 5-year-old Hyundai Santa Fe. So she’ll go back and select Basic coverage, which adds comprehensive and collision with a $1,000 deductible. Now, her insurance quotes range from $112 to $128 per month, paid up front.

South Dakota Lake

Let’s say our driver owns her own home, so she wants a little more liability coverage than Basic can deliver. Now, she’ll get quotes for Plus-level insurance, which doubles bodily injury and property damage liability to 50/100/50 (with the same limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage).

In South Dakota, Plus coverage includes $2,000 in medical payments, which can pay your medical bills after an accident, no matter who was at fault. Plus also cuts the comprehensive/collision deductible to $500, and adds towing/rental car coverage. Our Fargo driver’s quotes for Plus coverage range from $135 to $168 per month. For $13 more per month, our Rapid City auto insurance shopper can have twice the coverage and half the deductible.

You can also click “Customize coverage” to increase and decrease certain limits on your insurance policy, so you can get a plan that fits your budget.

5. How Does South Dakota’s Slight/Gross Rule Work?

Every state has its own quirks related to car accidents and car insurance. South Dakota’s weird law is called the Slight/Gross Negligence Comparative Fault rule.

“Comparative negligence” means that in a car accident, each party may bear part of the blame. For example: Someone hits you while they were speeding, but you were also making an illegal U-turn at the time. If you sue that driver, you may receive less money because you were partially at fault.

South Dakota is the only state that uses a “slight/gross” standard for comparative negligence. It means that you can only sue if your negligence was minor and the other person’s negligence was major. For instance: Maybe you were illegally parked (slight negligence), but the driver who hit you was drunk, speeding and texting (gross negligence).

6. I Can’t Afford Insurance. What Happens if I Drive Uninsured in South Dakota?

If you’re convicted for failing to maintain proof of financial responsibility (aka driving without insurance), that’s a Class 2 misdemeanor with harsh penalties:

  • 30 days in jail, a $100 fine or both
  • Driver license suspension for 30 days up to one year
  • Suspension of your vehicle registration and license plates
  • A requirement to carry SR-22 insurance for three years

We have a much better idea: Just get insured! We’ll help you find an affordable insurance policy.

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