South Dakota Car Insurance

Last Updated on January 19, 2021

Whether you’re moving to South Dakota, registering a motor vehicle for the first time, or just thinking about adding some extra auto insurance coverage to your existing policy, there are a few things you need to know before doing anything!

The Best Car Insurance Company in South Dakota

south dakota car insuranceSouth Dakota car insurance prices tend to be very competitive. South Dakota drivers pay lower-than-average prices for car insurance compared to the rest of the country.

Certain car insurance companies, however, are known for offering particularly affordable rates to drivers in South Dakota. State Farm, Buckeye, GEICO, Farmers Mutual, and Allied, for example, all seem to offer particularly affordable rates to South Dakota drivers. Western National, Farm Bureau, Unitrin, Progressive, and Allstate also tend to be affordable based on our analysis.

Good Car Insurance for Young Drivers in South Dakota

Car insurance is always going to be expensive for teen drivers, and prices don’t change much among major insurance companies in your teens.

However, certain car insurance companies in South Dakota are known for offering affordable car insurance prices to drivers in their 20s.

American Family Insurance, for example, offers some of the best rates to drivers in their 20s. State Farm and Farmers Mutual are two other South Dakota car insurance companies known for offering cheap prices to young drivers.

Drivers in South Dakota Cities Pay More for Car Insurance than Drivers in Rural Areas

Generally speaking, drivers in urban areas will pay more for car insurance than drivers in rural areas. Urban areas tend to have higher crime and accident rates than rural areas. Drivers in urban areas are more likely to make a claim than drivers in rural areas.

That’s why drivers in Sioux Falls, the largest city in the state, will pay slightly higher rates than drivers in rural areas. Drivers in Rapid City, Aberdeen, and other urbanized areas may also pay slightly higher rates.

The difference in car insurance prices between urban and rural areas isn’t as significant in South Dakota as it is in other states. Even in the largest cities, South Dakota’s car insurance prices remain affordable.

Car Insurance for Teen Drivers in South Dakota

Teen drivers in South Dakota need to abide by the state’s multi-stage licensing process. At age 14, a teenager in South Dakota can apply for an instruction permit by completing a driver exam. Teens must pass a written driver’s knowledge test and a vision test to receive an instruction permit. Teen drivers with an instruction permit can drive between 6am and 10pm as long as a licensed driver 18 years of age or older is in the vehicle. Between the hours of 10pm and 6am, the permit holder must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

After completing this stage, you can move onto your restricted minor’s permit and then your full operator’s license at age 16.

Typically, South Dakota teen drivers will not need special car insurance when they have an instruction permit – assuming they’re driving an insured vehicle. On an instructor’s permit or learner’s permit, the teen driver will be covered under a normal insurance policy. Once that driver has a full license, however, then the insurance policy will need to be upgraded.

Talk to your South Dakota car insurance company to determine what unique car insurance needs you require for your teen driver.

Auto Insurance Requirements In South Dakota

South Dakota is a “Tort” state, meaning that each driver is legally and financially responsible for all damages and injuries during an accident for which they are at fault. With this in mind, the state has some state minimum insurance requirements to legally operate an automobile.

First, liability insurance with minimum levels of 25/50/25 (see chart below) is mandatory. This will help to cover your financial responsibility to the other party if you are at fault in an accident.

Second, underinsured motorist coverage is also mandatory, with the same minimum levels of 25/50. This coverage will assist you in expenses, should you be struck by a motorist without enough liability coverage.

For extra protection, South Dakota drivers may purchase optional coverages like collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and/or medical payments for an optimum auto insurance policy.

Coverage Type Required? Minimum Coverage Amount Required
Bodily Injury Liability Yes $25,000 per person$50,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability Yes $25,000
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Yes $25,000 per person$50,000 per accident
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) No

Auto Insurance for Leased Vehicles in South Dakota (SD)

Most leasing companies in South Dakota typically require drivers to maintain insurance coverage which exceeds the minimums set by South Dakota state law. This is to protect you financially, as well as your leasing company, should they be held partly responsible. Most leasing companies will recommend the following amounts of insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $50,000
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage: $500 maximum deductible

Contacts For Auto Insurance In South Dakota

South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles
445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3185
South Dakota Division of Insurance 
445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501


James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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