South Dakota Car Insurance Laws: How Much Coverage Do I Need?

All South Dakota drivers must carry 25/50/25 liability insurance and 25/50 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Written by John Davis
Edited by Amy Bobinger
South Dakota
law requires drivers to carry
car insurance
with minimum limits of 25/50/25 in
liability coverage
, as well as $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

Car insurance requirements in South Dakota

To legally hit the road in South Dakota, drivers need to carry at least the following auto insurance coverage:
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With the
app, you can explore different levels of coverage and see how they impact your rate, ensuring you find the best coverage for your needs at the best price.
All policies will automatically include the state minimum coverage, but you can increase your limits (and add other coverage options) when you’re setting up your policy with your insurance company.

Is minimum coverage the most cost effective option? 

Minimum coverage might be the cheapest option on a monthly basis, but it can leave you financially vulnerable and end up costing you more in the long run.
If your liability limits aren’t high enough to cover the costs of a serious accident, you could be left open to a lawsuit that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket in the years to come.

Expert Insurance Agent Insight

Licensed Insurance Agent, 6 years of experience
As a licensed agent, I highly recommend carrying higher limits than state minimums for bodily injury and property damage coverages. Your coverage limits should always exceed your current net worth. I'd consider limits of $100,000/$300,000 as these coverages can better protect you from the damages and injury you may cause in an auto accident.
  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 of property damage liability coverage
  • Collision coverage and comprehensive coverage to repair or replace the vehicle
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage matching the policy’s liability limits
Keep in mind: If you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender will require you to purchase a 
full-coverage insurance policy
 that includes 
comprehensive coverage
collision coverage
The average cost of state minimum insurance in South Dakota is $1,269 per year or $106 per month while a full-coverage policy costs $2,347 per year or $195 per month, on average. Even though full coverage costs more per month, it is the more cost-effective option overall.
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Remember: Car insurance premiums vary widely depending on factors including your age, location, driving record, vehicle type, and more. The only way to ensure you’re getting the most affordable rate is to compare insurance quotes from multiple providers.
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Optional car insurance coverage in South Dakota

While you’re required to carry liability insurance and UM/UIM in South Dakota, you can get greater peace of mind and financial protection by adding other coverages to your policy:
  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle that results from severe weather, theft, vandalism, or hitting an animal
  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle that results from a collision with another car or a stationary object
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
    : PIP pays for the medical bills and other documented expenses (like lost wages) for you and your passengers following a crash. 
  • Medical payments coverage (MedPay)
    : MedPay covers medical expenses but does not cover other losses after an accident.
  • Gap insurance
    : Gap insurance pays the difference between your vehicle’s
    actual cash value
    and the amount owing on your loan or lease after a total loss.

Penalties for driving without insurance in South Dakota

If you’re caught driving without
proof of insurance
in South Dakota, you may face the followint penalties:
If you commit subsequent offenses, you may face all of the aforementioned penalties along with up to $500 in fines.


Is South Dakota a no-fault state for auto insurance?

No—South Dakota is an at-fault state, meaning that the driver responsible for causing the auto accident must pay for the losses of the other parties involved.

Are you required to have a car insurance policy in South Dakota?

If you drive a car, no matter how often, you are required to have coverage that meets or exceeds the South Dakota minimum requirements of 25/50/25 in liability insurance and 25/50 in uninsured motorist coverage.

How long do you have to get an auto insurance policy after buying a used car in South Dakota?

You must have a car insurance policy in place at the time you pick up your vehicle as it is  illegal to drive without insurance coverage. You can compare insurance rates before purchasing your vehicle and then schedule the policy to begin on the day you take possession of the car.

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