Locations in Sioux Falls & Mitchell

What Kind of Car Insurance Should I Get?

Alvine Weidenaar, Personal Injury

If you are involved in a car accident caused by another person, you would expect them to cover the cost of your damages through the auto insurance policy. You could experience serious costs after an accident based on the seriousness of the collision. 

The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover your accident-related costs. However, what happens if the driver who caused the accident does not have insurance or if they don’t have enough insurance coverage? 

In these cases, you have options. However, if you purchase the right type of insurance initially, you can avoid situations where you may have to pay out of pocket or file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. 

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for South Dakota Drivers 

Do you know how much insurance you are required to have in South Dakota? If not, this is where you should start. 

The minimum amount of insurance coverage that is required includes the following:

  • Bodily injury of $25,000 per person
  • A total of $50,000 for everyone involved (passengers and drivers in both vehicles) 
  • Property damage coverage of $25,000 for each accident
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident 

Besides the bodily injury and property damage coverage, you must purchase uninsured and underinsured insurance in this state. The limits are almost the same as the minimum liability coverage you must have. While this is true, drivers can purchase more coverage if they want to. 

Understanding Minimum Insurance Coverage 

The minimum insurance coverage required in South Dakota caters to third-party property damage and injuries that occur if you are at fault for an accident. Also called liability coverage, the minimum amounts are usually the basic amount of coverage that all drivers in this state require. 

However, if the insurance will only cover damages and injuries to other people and their property, you must purchase additional coverage for yourself and your property. 

This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes in. This offers protection if you are in an accident with a driver without insurance to cover your damages or injuries. 

Uninsured vs. Underinsured Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance that will protect you if you are injured by a driver who does not have any insurance. In this case, the driver without insurance is called “uninsured.” If you are hit by someone uninsured, it is possible to collect the damages caused by the accident from your own insurance policy. 

Underinsured insurance coverage is like uninsured coverage; however, with this, the person who hit you has coverage. The issue is that their policy is not enough to provide full compensation for all your damages and injuries. 

Frequent Questions About Auto Insurance in South Dakota

Some questions are frequently asked about auto insurance in South Dakota. The answers to these can be found here. 

Do you have to have car insurance to drive in South Dakota?

Car insurance is required in the state. The minimum amounts are listed above. You must also purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that is the same amount as the minimum amount. You may face penalties if you drive without the proper amount of insurance coverage. 

Do you have to have car insurance to register your vehicle in the state?

You must provide proof of your insurance if you want to register your vehicle in the state. You can present this information and other required documents at the DMV, or you can email it. For a new vehicle, you must register it in person. If you want the policy to be accepted so you can register your vehicle with the state, you must have the minimum coverage. 

What is considered “basic” auto insurance in South Dakota?

The term “basic car insurance” for the state refers to the minimum amounts listed above. If you do not have the minimum amount, then you are considered underinsured. If you attempt to register a vehicle without adequate coverage, it will be denied. 

Will insurance follow the driver or vehicle in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, the insurance you purchase may follow the driver or the vehicle. The factor that determines this is the coverage that is purchased and what insurer it is purchased from. For example, if an accident occurs, the insurance coverage will follow the vehicle, and the owner may be required to pay for damages and injuries. However, medical expenses and PIP coverage follow the driver. 

Can you purchase auto insurance if you don’t have a vehicle in South Dakota?

While insurance companies require your license number to look at your driving record, having a license is not a requirement to purchase auto insurance. Usually, insurance companies will still sell you a policy even if you don’t have insurance coverage. 

Is South Dakota a no-fault state? 

South Dakota is not one of the 12 no-fault states in the U.S. This means that you cannot claim compensation from your insurance provider if you are involved in an accident that is your fault. This also means it is not required that you purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to drive in the state. 

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney for More Help and Information 

Have you been involved in a car accident in South Dakota? If so, you should hire a personal injury attorney to know your rights and what options you must recover compensation. 

As mentioned above, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can turn to your own insurance policy to recover compensation. This type of policy is required in the state. 

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