Cheap Auto Insurance in South Dakota
Auto Insurance Requirements in South Dakota
Though South Dakota requires drivers to establish proof of financial responsibility before registering a vehicle, they make it easy to do so by giving state residents several different options. The most common option is to simply purchase an affordable auto insurance policy from a company doing business in that state. Drivers who wish to avail themselves of one of the other options can choose from among the following:
• purchasing a surety bond through a licensed broker with a business location in the state
• depositing $50,000 with the state treasurer
• self-insuring if you have at least 26 vehicles registered in the same name
The self-insurance option is usually reserved for car dealers who would find individual liability policies to cost prohibitive for business. In the unlikely event you just have 26 or more cars and you’re not a dealer, you can still self-insure if you meet the qualifications for doing so.
Minimum Liability Policy in South Dakota
A liability insurance policy is one that pays for the harm you inflict on other people in an accident that’s your fault. Liability insurance pays for things like medical bills, funeral expenses, and damage to personal property. At minimum, all South Dakota car insurance policies must provide coverage in the following liability amounts:
• $25,000 per crash for a single victim – bodily injury/death
• $50,000 per crash for multiple victims – bodily injury/death
• $25,000 per crash or property damage
Be advised that liability insurance does not cover your medical or car repair bills; it’s only for the harm you inflict on other people. To cover your expenses you’ll need a health insurance plan, collision and comprehensive insurance, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Maintaining Proof of Coverage
It’s important that you maintain your insurance or other means of protection as long as your vehicle remains registered within the state. You also need to carry proof of that coverage in your vehicle to be shown to a police officer after an accident or during a traffic stop. Acceptable documents to show a police officer include a certificate of deposit provided by the state treasurer, a self-insurance certificate, or in insurance ID card provided by your carrier.
Lastly, driving without insurance in South Dakota can be costly if you’re caught. The state considers this a bit more serious than others, classifying driving without insurance as a class 2 misdemeanor with a possible sentence of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine. Depending on the court you may also be subject to a license suspension of up to one year as well as a three-year requirement to maintain an SR-22 affidavit.
The penalties for driving without insurance in South Dakota are fairly stiff. So why take the chance? You can avoid the potential risk by simply purchasing a cheap car insurance policy from a state licensed company.