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What are state minimums for car insurance in South Dakota?

Things to remember...

  • South Dakota requires its drivers to show proof of insurance coverage upon request. Failure to do so may result in hefty penalties
  • The minimum amount of car insurance that South Dakota’s drivers are required to have includes liability and uninsured motorist coverage
  • Because the car insurance requirements in South Dakota are minimal in comparison to the requirements in some other states, drivers may prefer to purchase more than the minimum amount of auto insurance required by law
  • Shopping for South Dakota car insurance online may help you to save time and energy with this process

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Each time you get behind the wheel of a car in South Dakota, you are assuming full financial responsibility for any damages you cause.

If you cause an accident, you are therefore required to pay the full amount of vehicle repairs, medical bills, and more for all other parties involved. South Dakota requires its drivers to buy auto insurance coverage to ensure that they have the financial means to comply with this law.

However, in comparison to many other states, the South Dakota auto coverage requirement is minimal, and you may benefit by purchasing additional insurance from a reputable provider. Make sure to compare the best rates for your coverage with our free quote tool above! 

Table of Contents

How to Read Car Insurance Requirements

Before you can accurately determine if you need to buy more insurance than what South Dakota’s law requires, you need to understand what the legal requirement is as well as what some of the optional auto coverage types available are.

  • Bodily Injury Liability – Injuries are unfortunately common in South Dakota accidents, and bodily injury liability coverage provides financial compensation to other people for their medical expenses related to an accident you cause.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) / Medical Payments – Medical payments or personal injury protection insurance pays for your own medical bills if you are involved in an accident, and these benefits may be used in conjunction with your existing health insurance policy.
  • Property Damage Liability – Vehicle damage, property damage, and other types of damage are common with automobile accidents. Through property damage liability insurance, other parties who experience a loss related to your actions behind the wheel may receive financial benefits as compensation.
  • Collision Insurance – With collision insurance, you will receive financial compensation for your vehicle’s repair work after an accident, but this type of auto coverage only pays benefits for a collision event.
  • Comprehensive Insurance – Comprehensive insurance also provides you with financial compensation for your vehicle’s repair work, and it pays benefits for collision events, criminal activity losses, damage caused by severe weather conditions, and more.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Through uninsured motorist coverage, you will receive financial compensation from your insurance provider if you are negatively affected by a hit-and-run driver or a driver who is not properly insured.

When you learn more about the minimum coverage requirements for South Dakota’s drivers, you will learn that this state has auto coverage requirements for both the types of coverage you need to buy and the limits of each coverage type.

You may choose to purchase additional auto insurance at your discretion, and there may be some benefits associated with taking this step.

Minimum Coverage for South Dakota

Car insurance is mandatory for South Dakota drivers, and you should be able to prove that you comply with the state’s legal requirements for auto insurance at any time. The legal auto insurance requirement in South Dakota includes:

  • Property damage liability insurance for $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability insurance of $25,000 for one person or $50,000 for multiple people
  • Uninsured motorist insurance of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident

These are the standard auto insurance requirements in South Dakota for typical passenger vehicles used for private purposes.

If you have a commercial vehicle, an inoperable vehicle, a classic car, or other unique circumstances in South Dakota, other insurance requirements may apply to you.

Speaking with your insurance agent about your unique situation may help you to determine the steps you need to take to properly insure your vehicle per state law.

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Penalties for Non-Compliance

When you drive without the required types and amounts of auto insurance in South Dakota, you are taking your chances that you will not be involved in an accident.

All damages that you cause are your responsibility regardless of whether or not you have insurance to assist you with paying for those damages.

Your risk for having to pay a significant amount of money related to an accident increases dramatically when you do not comply with South Dakota’s insurance requirement.

In addition, drivers who are non-compliant with this law may also face other consequences. These consequences include:

  • The immediate suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration
  • A reinstatement fee
  • A $500 fine
  • An SR-22 insurance requirement

Minimum Requirement vs. Recommended Coverage

You definitely want to buy at least the minimum amount of car insurance required in South Dakota so that you can avoid these penalties. However, some drivers may not feel that the state requirement is sufficient for their needs.

For example, the state requirement for car insurance does not provide any benefits related to the repair or replacement of your own vehicle, and you may prefer to have this benefit if you are involved in a damaging accident.

Getting a quote for different coverage types and limits can help you to determine how to set up coverage that is affordable for your budget.

Buying South Dakota Auto Insurance

While South Dakota drivers want to buy at least the minimum amount of insurance required by law, you also may be focused on finding the best overall value.

You need to determine how much coverage you want to buy, and you also should use the Internet to research the financial rating and customer service satisfaction rating for leading providers.

After you have determined which providers you want to contact for a quote and how much insurance you want to receive a quote for, you can request online quotes.

Shopping for insurance is not a one-time project. Numerous factors are used to determine auto insurance rates, and each of these factors may change over a short period of time. South Dakota residents who are most concerned about saving money on auto insurance will compare rates for new coverage every six months. Get your free quote today with our free comparison tool below! 


  1. http://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/comprehensive-vs-collision-coverage-527402
  3. https://wallethub.com/edu/comprehensive-vs-collision/10023/
  4. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/eight-auto-insurance-myths


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