As a driver in the state of South Dakota, you are required by law to carry proper insurance coverage on your vehicle. This guide will help you decide on the best auto insurance policy for you.
Don't settle for the first quote. Although you may be tempted to avoid the stress of shopping around, you could end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars a year in auto insurance premiums if you take the time to get a few auto insurance quotes in South Dakota. This is because different auto insurance companies will offer you different policies at different prices. Call around to a few different auto insurance companies in your state and inquire about coverage. Start your search in the yellow pages of your phone book, or online at popular insurance websites like http://www.allstate.com/ and http://www.statefarm.com/.
In South Dakota, people typically pay around $550 a year for auto insurance.
Understand minimum policy requirements. The state of South Dakota sets out minimum liability coverage limits that you must have in order to legally insurance your vehicle. You must have at least $25,000 single bodily injury, $50,000 total bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage caused by an accident. In addition, you must have $25,000 / $50,000 bodily injury coverage for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM / UMI).
Since South Dakota is a Tort state, it is recommended that you carry more than the minimum suggested amount of liability coverage on your auto insurance policy. Under Tort law, if you were to be involved in an at-fault accident, you and your insurance company would be required to pay all of the fees of the victims (medical, auto, pain, suffering and loss of wages). Having more coverage gives you peace of mind that you won't have to pay out of pocket for an accident that you caused.
South Dakota also allows drivers to meet the minimum auto insurance requirements by leaving a certificate of deposit (or securities) of no less than $50,000 with the state treasurer's office. This coverage would be in lieu of traditional auto insurance coverage in South Dakota.
You don't need to insure everyone in your household. If you are the primary insurance holder in your household in South Dakota, it is not necessary for you to insure every driver in the house. This is because the state of South Dakota allows for certain drivers in each household to be excluded from an insurance policy. Although this will lower you annual insurance premiums somewhat, it is generally not recommended that you agree to this option. If an excluded driver were to be in an at-fault accident while driving your vehicle, he or she would not be covered under your insurance policy. This means that the insurance company claims no responsibility while an excluded driver is driving. It's a pretty risky decision to make, considering the cost of auto repairs, medical bills and lawsuits that may arise from an accident.
Understand how your policy and premiums will be determined. Not all policies come with the same price tag. Each individual premium is determined by a person's specific situation. Auto insurance companies will look at your past credit history (your credit score), as well as your age, gender, location, car and driving record in order to determine the auto insurance policy and premium they will offer you in South Dakota.