Best Cheap Car Insurance in South Dakota

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 16, 2020

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Drivers with clean driving records can expect to pay between about $700 and $1,100 per month for state minimum coverage, depending on your coverage provider. Check out our recommendations below for the best car insurance rates in South Dakota.

Best Car Insurance in South Dakota:

Ready to explore South Dakota? Whether you’re headed off on a road trip to see Mount Rushmore or you’ve just moved to the state, you’ll need car insurance. Use our guide to get started and learn more. Here a few South Dakota fast facts:

  • There’s an average of 2 cars per household.
  • Minimum car insurance in South Dakota: 
    • Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
    • Property damage liability coverage: $25,000 per accident
    • Uninsured motorist coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

South Dakota Car Insurance Law Explained

Every driver in South Dakota must have car insurance to legally operate a motor vehicle. You must have at least the following minimum coverage in order to stay on the road:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Bodily injury liability coverage compensates anyone you injure in an accident. You must have at least $25,000 of this coverage per person and $50,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage: Property damage liability coverage compensates anyone whose property you damage or destroy in an accident. You must have at least $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident as a driver.
  • Uninsured motorist: Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you if you’re injured by a driver with no insurance or in a hit-and-run. You must have at least $25,000 of this coverage per person and $50,000 per accident.

South Dakota has some of the harshest penalties for drivers caught on the road without proof of insurance. Driving without state minimum insurance is a class 2 misdemeanor, a criminal offense, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety Motor Vehicle Division. You’ll face up to 30 days in jail, a $100 fine or both on your first offense. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for no less than 30 days and no more than 1 year. 

South Dakota Traffic Laws You Should Know

It’s your responsibility to understand and follow local traffic laws, even if you’re not from South Dakota. New to the state or just passing through? Make sure you know the laws. Here are a few traffic regulations you should know before you hit the road:

  • Headphones: There is no specific law against wearing headphones while you drive in South Dakota. It’s not a recommended practice because it increases your chances of being involved in an accident.
  • Cell phone usage: It’s illegal to text and drive throughout South Dakota. Drivers under the age of 18 cannot legally use a mobile device in any capacity while driving, even with a hands-free device. Drivers over 18 may make calls while driving only if using a hands-free device.
  • Distracted driving: There is no statewide ban on distracted driving in South Dakota. Certain cities have enacted local ordinances that ban common driving distractions like eating or putting on makeup. Cities with the ban include Huron, Rapid City and Aberdeen. Check local driving restrictions before you head to your destination — or avoid distracted driving altogether.
  • Right on red: Right turns at red lights are legal in South Dakota. You must first come to a complete stop and make sure that there’s no oncoming traffic that would make the turn dangerous.

South Dakota Car Insurance Rates Per Vehicle

Did you know that the vehicle you drive can affect how much you pay for your car insurance? Some of the data that car insurance providers consider when they look at how much to charge you for your insurance include:

  • Safety ratings: You’ll pay less for insurance if you drive a vehicle with high safety ratings because you’re less likely to be injured in a crash.
  • Repair costs: You’ll pay more for your car insurance if your vehicle costs more to repair. New cars cost the most to repair, so rates for new vehicles are higher than older versions of the same model.
  • Theft rates: Some vehicles are more likely to be stolen than others. You’ll pay more for insurance if you own a car that’s statistically more likely to be stolen.

Do you own a vehicle with a higher average premium? You may be able to offset some of the additional costs by keeping up with regular maintenance, installing anti-theft features and maintaining a good driving record.

Car Insurance Rates in SD by Credit Score

Your credit score can influence how much you’ll pay in car insurance. You’re less likely to need to file an insurance claim if you have a high credit score. On the other hand, data says that you’re more likely to need to file a claim if you have a low score. Take some time to raise your credit score by working on your budget, limiting your spending and paying down debt to save money on your insurance.

Let’s take a look at how your credit score can influence how much you’ll pay for your insurance. 

Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate for State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300–579Dairyland$2,024
Fair 580–669Dairyland$1,674
Good 670–739AAA$1,307
Excellent 740+USAA$1,224

Insurance Rates in South Dakota for Drivers With a Clean Record

Maintaining a clean driving history is by far the best way to get cheap car insurance. You’re an ideal candidate for insurance carriers when you have a long history of avoiding accidents and traffic violations. This also forces providers to undercut one another to keep you as a client. Following traffic laws, driving defensively and avoiding on-the-road distractions are habits that don’t just keep you safe — they can also save you money.

Let’s compare car insurance prices for drivers with clean records. We’ll look at how premiums can vary, depending on the type of coverage you choose.

  • State minimum coverage includes only the bare minimum coverage you need to stay on the road in South Dakota. This is the cheapest insurance option.
  • Standard coverage includes state minimum coverage plus collision coverage. Collision coverage compensates you for damage to your vehicle after an accident.
  • Full coverage includes state minimum coverage, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage compensates you if your car is damaged in a non-accident context — like a hailstorm or a riot. 
Insurance CompanyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
Liberty Mutual$717$1,121$1,910
Farm Bureau$1,028$1,788$2,487
National General$850$1,377$2,101

Insurance Rates in SD with Driving Infractions

You’ll have a harder time finding affordable insurance if you have infractions on your driving record. Trends show that drivers who have been in an accident or traffic violation are statistically more likely to file a claim with their insurance provider in the future. Insurance companies mitigate this risk by charging you more for your premium. However, not every driving infraction raises your rate by the same amount. Minor infractions may disappear from your record in as little as a year, while more serious infractions may follow you for decades.

Let’s take a look at how your premium might be affected by 3 different types of driving infractions:

  • At-fault accident: An at-fault accident is one that you fully or partially cause.  
  • Speed violations: A speed violation involves driving too far above or below the posted speed limit. Speed violations are usually seen as minor driving infractions.
  • DUI: DUI stands for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense and is one of the most serious driving infractions. A DUI on your record significantly raises your premium. 
Insurance CompanyAt-Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI
State Farm$3,043$1,319$5,875
Electric Auto$2,908$1,600$5,978

Best Car Insurance Providers in South Dakota

You could be putting yourself at legal and financial risk if you drive without car insurance in South Dakota. Let’s take a look at some of the best car insurance providers in South Dakota. 

Shelter Insurance
Best For
  • Replacement Cost

1. Best Overall: Shelter Insurance

Shelter Insurance is one of South Dakota’s — and the Midwest’s — favorite car insurance providers. Shelter scored top marks in J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Survey, which rates car insurance providers based on customer service and the ease of each company’s claims process.

Shelter offers a number of car insurance policy choices, ranging from state minimum protection to full comprehensive coverage and even roadside assistance. There are even special policies available to keep teen drivers safer — all backed by one of the most consistently highly-rated service teams in the Mount Rushmore state. 

State Farm
Best For
  • Rideshare drivers

2. Cheapest Car Insurance in South Dakota: State Farm

A household name, State Farm is one of the top choices for cheap car insurance in South Dakota. Benzinga’s State Farm review returned some of the lowest quotes for some of South Dakota’s largest states, including Rapid City, Aberdeen and Brookings.

It’s clear to see why State Farm often produces lower rates for drivers, as the state has one of the most generous discount policies out of every car insurance provider. State Farm offers a way for every driver to save — from good student discounts to claims-free driving discounts to anti-theft device installation discounts. 

3. Best Coverage for Multiple Cars: Esurance

You’ll spend more on car insurance when you have multiple cars to cover. Esurance, a subsidiary of Allstate, offers a number of discounts for policyholders who insure multiple vehicles.

You can also save when you insure your home, motorcycle, business or boat with Esurance as well. But bundling isn’t the only way to lower your total insurance cost when you choose Esurance. You can receive a discount for everything from getting a quote online to taking a course on defensive driving. 

Best For
  • Active military members

4. Best for Military Personnel: USAA

USAA is a car insurance provider that only offers policies for members of the armed forces and their immediate family. USAA offers some of the lowest rates and ranks consistently high in customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power surveys. USAA offers a number of policy choices, including state minimum coverage to full coverage and from auto insurance to homeowners insurance. 

Driving Off With Safe and Affordable Coverage

Thinking about how to lower your car insurance? The key is in the quotes. Every car insurance provider uses its own unique formula when it calculates how much you’ll pay for coverage. It’s possible to get 10 different quotes from 10 competing companies. Be sure that you’re getting the lowest rate with the best coverage and shop the market before you choose an insurer. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of discounts are usually available?


The most common discounts available are multi-policy and auto-pay, but every company is different. Other discounts that are widely available are loyalty, good student and anti-theft device discounts. See our top providers with the best discounts and get a unique quote.


How do I bundle my car insurance with another policy, and should I?


An agent can help you bundle your car insurance with another policy. You can get a discount on your premium by bundling your home and auto together, for example. Check out the top providers here.


Is there any way I can lower my insurance premiums?


You can often get a lower premium by maintaining coverage without any gaps in coverage. You can also lower your premium with discounts like bundling your car insurance policies, paying in full or setting up auto debit monthly to name a few. Get a customized quote to see if you can lower your premiums.

*Quotes were obtained using the following profile: base 2015 Toyota Camry, male, 40-years-old. Policies reflect state minimum coverage options. We make every effort to provide the most accurate quotes based on the profile above. Due to the many combined variables involved in insurance quotes, the only way to get an accurate quote is to enter your own information through our partners' secure websites.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.