What Car Insurance Meets South Dakota Financial Responsibility Requirements?
There are multiple ways to fulfill the financial responsibility requirements in the Mount Rushmore State. Motorists need to be able to cover potential injuries or damages they cause as the result of an automobile accident, and they must be able to provide proof that they are capable of doing so. Drivers may choose to do this by obtaining a certificate of deposit by depositing $50,000 with the state treasurer, purchase a surety bond from an authorized broker or present a certificate of self-insurance if they have a minimum of 26 vehicles registered to them. Most residents, however, choose to purchase an automobile policy from a licensed insurer.
All South Dakota auto insurance policies issued in the state must include at least 25/50/25 liability coverage and 25/50 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. What this means is that, in the event of an accident, an insurer in the state must provide protection for at least up to:
- $25,000 per person that is injured in a crash
- $50,000 total per accident for injuries from a crash
- $25,000 per accident for property damages
- $25,000 per person in the event that an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures the policyholder
- $50,000 total per accident in the event that the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured and causes the policyholder to be injured
In order to ensure that financial responsibility requirements have been met, residents are also required to carry proof of auto insurance in the insured automobile at all times and to present these documents to any law enforcement officer if requested to do so. Being unable to present evidence of financial responsibility may mean 30 days in county jail, a $100 fine, or potentially both. Additionally, offending motorists may have their driver's license suspended for no less than 30 days and no more than one year, and they may have their vehicle registration and license plate suspended as well.
But these penalties are not the only reason SD residents would want to get covered under a policy. In 2010, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety recorded nearly 9,300 automobile crashes, resulting in more than 3,200 injuries and 70 deaths. These accidents have the potential to be very expensive, especially for the driver who is considered at-fault. Having a policy can help keep those at-fault drivers from going into financial ruin.
South Dakota is also home to relatively cheap car insurance in comparison to the rest of the nation. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says the average expenditure in the state in 2008 was only about $502, making SD the third cheapest state for automobile coverage. Even though prices are already fairly low, residents are still encouraged to shop around in order to locate a policy that can provide a sufficient amount of coverage and still remain adequately priced. Comparing quotes can be done quickly with the assistance of the World Wide Web.