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 Compare.com’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.
How do I Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies 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.
We make it simple by doing the comparison work for you. You just choose the coverage that’s right for your lifestyle.
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
Cheap Liability Coverage in South Dakota
Because South Dakota has such low car insurance rates in general, it’s not hard to find cheap liability car insurance. Here’s how to do it! Enter your info on Compare.com, and select “state minimum” as the coverage you want. This will show you different insurers’ rates for 25/50/25 liability coverage: that means $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $25,000 in property damage liability. (The policy will also include uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury liability, but that doesn’t add much to the cost.)
Once you see all the quotes, just pick the cheapest liability insurance option. How much you pay will depend on your driving record, your age, your credit and more. Our sample driver, a 27-year-old woman with a good driving record who lives in Rapid City, got liability insurance quotes ranging from $48 to $52 per month when she opted to pay her premiums up front.
Is the South Dakota Minimum Insurance Enough or Should I Consider a Full Coverage Policy?
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 or should explore full coverage insurance?
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.
How Can Compare.com Help Me Find Cheap Car Insurance in South Dakota?
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 Compare.com 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.
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.
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).
What Fees Does South Dakota Charge When Buying a Car?
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees and a slew of other costs.
Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in South Dakota.
What are the Penalties for Driving 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.