Obtaining a driver’s license or operating a motor vehicle in South Dakota requires proof of financial responsibility. The vast majority of drivers get behind this mandate by investing in protection. Your requirements for auto insurance will depend on various factors, including the vehicle you drive, your priorities, and your financial situation.
Assessing your driving habits and the potential dangers you face will help you choose the most appropriate coverage level and insurance provider before you shop around.
To Whom Does Car Insurance Apply?
Vehicle collisions are a leading source of death and severe injury and can lead to significant economic instability. Damage to property, medical bills, and legal fees associated with a lawsuit are all potential sources of monetary loss. All car owners should have insurance to ensure these safeguards are in place. South Dakota auto insurance is mandatory in South Dakota. In addition, if you want to keep your auto loan, your lender may insist that you carry insurance on the vehicle.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, bodily injury liability, and property damage liability are the standard components of a comprehensive auto liability insurance policy. It’s important to remember that bodily injury liability insurance won’t shield you or your vehicle from harm. This coverage safeguards you against claims for damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, made by others hurt in an accident you cause through negligence.
In an accident where you cause damage to someone else’s property, such as their car, fence, or tree, property damage liability insurance will pay the bill. Your financial stability is guaranteed by uninsured motorist coverage. If you’re hurt by a driver who doesn’t stop or who doesn’t have car insurance, this policy will help pay for your medical bills. In essence, this protection is a substitute for the liability insurance the other motorist should have had but did not.
Underinsured motorist coverage will kick in if the other driver is at fault but has inadequate insurance to pay your damages. If a driver causes an accident and is only partially compensated, your underinsured motorist coverage will kick in to help you. Bodily injury is the sole damage covered by uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance.
In the event of a loss, you must have adequate protection, which can be achieved by acquiring liability insurance in the amount you select. Limits on how much you can claim per individual and, overall, for a loss are standard when purchasing insurance. For instance, “100/300/50” coverage indicates that you are covered for $100,000 in bodily injury liability per individual, $300,000 in total bodily injury liability per accident, and $50,000 in property damage per incident. Liability insurance coverage in South Dakota must meet minimum levels of $25,000 for each person injured, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.
Insurance for Your Automobile
There are two options for auto insurance that you can pick from.
- If your automobile collides with something, like another vehicle or a tree, and suffers physical damage, your collision coverage will reimburse you for those costs.
- Most types of loss, other than collision, are covered by comprehensive insurance. Theft, fire, vandalism, and natural disasters like hail, water (flood), and broken glass are covered under comprehensive insurance policies, as are damages caused by animals like birds and deer.
The deductible is important when deciding whether to purchase collision or comprehensive coverage. Your insurance policy may require you to pay a certain sum, known as a “deductible,” before the insurance company begins paying for damages. Deductibles often range from $250 to $500 to $1,000.
The other driver’s insurance company has the burden of proving you weren’t at fault in the event of an accident if their client was at fault. Just being present at the site of an accident is not enough for an insurer to apply comparative or contributory fault to your claim.
If you share some blame for the accident that led to your claim, your insurer may limit or even completely deny their payout.
If you do not disagree, the insurance company may make the check payable to you and the repair shop. However, if you object, the insurance company must write the check out to you personally.
Twenty days before the cancellation takes effect, a notice of cancellation of auto insurance must be mailed or delivered to the designated insured. If a cancellation notice is made before the first sixty (60) days have passed from the policy effective date, cancellation of a car policy is permitted for any reason. Any auto insurance policy renewals are excluded from this.
After the initial sixty (60) days, the only reasons for canceling an auto policy are for reasons related to the 24/7 sobriety program, nonpayment of premium, suspension or revocation of a driver’s license or motor vehicle registration of the named insured, or any other operator who either resides in the household or operates an automobile insured under the policy, or a violation of any traffic laws.
The insurance provider must pay for the necessary repairs to get your car back to pre-hail condition if the car is damaged by hail. Some dents can be fixed with paintless repair, but sometimes the damage is too extensive, and traditional bodywork is required.
However, if you do not have access to paintless dent repair in your area or the damage is too severe for this repair, the insurance company is compelled to settle your claim based on traditional repair techniques.
If your car is totaled, your insurance carrier must pay you the cost of repairs or the vehicle’s market value, whichever is less. Unless the policy expressly allows it, the company cannot pay you differently depending on whether or not you repair the vehicle.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Every policy must protect drivers who do not have insurance. When an uninsured or hit-and-run driver causes harm to you or your loved ones, this policy will cover medical expenses. There is no auto damage coverage offered. Coverage for injuries sustained due to an underinsured driver is comparable to that for an uninsured driver. Suppose the other driver only has 25/50 coverage, and you have 100/300 underinsured motorist coverage.
In that case, your insurance will kick in once your medical bills reach $25,000 (for one person), and pay the difference up to the maximum of $100,000 (after subtracting the other driver’s liability coverage of $25,000 and your uninsured motorist coverage of $75,000). You cannot add the liable party’s $25,000 in liability coverage to your own $100,000 underinsured coverage if your medical expenditures surpass $100,000 in the preceding case.
As state law requires, operating a motor vehicle in South Dakota without carrying and maintaining proof of financial responsibility is illegal. Buying liability auto insurance in South Dakota is the simplest way to meet the state’s requirements, but other options exist.