Accidents on the road are inevitable. Therefore, it is important that drivers on both sides of an accident have protection from the financial cost of damages or injuries. This explains why the law in most of the states in the US requires every driver to have minimum car insurance coverage. South Dakota belongs to this category. In this state, once a driver is found to be at fault after a particular accident, he or she becomes liable for the damages or injuries. If the driver has car insurance, it becomes activated immediately. However, if the driver is discovered without one, he would be penalized according to the State’s stipulated car insurance law. You can learn more about car insurance requirements and laws in South Dakota from this piece.
Car Insurance Requirements in South Dakota
Since car insurance is compulsory in South Dakota, it is ideal to expect minimum requirements. This is in recognition of the fact that not everyone can afford to pay for robust car insurance. It also means that road users do not get affected financially after the occurrence of an accident. Driver must ensure that their insurance has the following basic features.
1. Bodily Injury Liability:
One of the possible consequences of a car accident is the injury of one or more of the passengers. The driver at fault will be held liable for the injuries. As such, this individual’s insurance is expected to cover $25,000 per injured person. The maximum amount in the coverage is pegged at $50,000, if more than one person got injured. This coverage will pay the medical bills of the injured persons on behalf of the at-fault driver.
2. Property Damage Liability:
Property damage is another expected consequence of a vehicle accident. Just like the bodily injury liability coverage, this requirement ensures that an at-fault driver is liable for all the property damages. The coverage amount is pegged at $25,000 per accident.
3. Uninsured and underinsured motorist:
This is a very important requirement for car insurance as well. There is always the likelihood that an at-fault motorist is not with car insurance. It is also possible that such an individual does not have sufficient insurance to cover the medical or damages bills. In such scenarios, the other party’s insurance is expected to cover the uninsured and underinsured motorist. The amount for the coverage of both uninsured and underinsured motorist is $25,000 per injury or $50,000 per accident. This requirement is helpful in case you get involved in a hit-and-run situation or a very serious accident.
While these minimum car insurance requirements are essential in South Dakota, additional coverage could come in handy sometimes. There is quite a number of ad-on that are available for uptake depending on every individual’s choice. The common ones are highlighted as follows:
1. Comprehensive Coverage:
This type of insurance covers for loss or damages that result from incidents other than collision. So, if your car gets vandalized or engulfed by fire, for instance, this insurance covers you. It also covers theft under normal circumstances. However, comprehensive coverage comes with deductibles before the benefits are activated.
2. Collision Coverage:
This type of insurance helps at-fault drivers to pay for the damages to their cars. This gives protection against situations like hit-and-run accidents. Like comprehensive coverage, this type also attracts a deductible.
3. Medical Payment
This type of insurance is commonly referred to as MedPay. It is auto insurance that is designed as optional coverage for the policyholder’s benefit. In the event of an accident, the policyholder’s family members driving the car or passengers are also covered. Typically, MedPay pays for medical expenses or funeral of any of the above-listed individuals.
Car Insurance Laws in South Dakota
The minimum car insurance requirements are recognized by the laws of most jurisdictions in the US. If you are found short of the minimum requirement in South Dakota for instance, you could get penalized. Typically, you could be fine or get about 30 days of jail term. It is also possible that your license is suspended for up to 30 days in a year. The law also requires that you produce an SR-22 insurance certificate which will show your proof of financial responsibility. Failure to produce it could lead to the suspension of your driving privileges.
So, why is an SR-22 insurance certificate important in South Dakota? In South Dakota, it is compulsory for drivers to have in their possession SR22 Car Insurance. As stated earlier, the State belongs to the category of “fault” states. Once an accident occurs, you may be asked to produce your SR-22.
Essentially, it stands as proof that you are financially responsible for a future accident. If you are found to be driving without SR-22 Car insurance in South Dakota, you could be penalized. Your license could be revoked and you may have to pay a fine. Besides, owning SR-22 shows you have a fair degree of protection in the event of a car accident.
If you had your driving privileges revoked or suspended, you could be asked to file SR-22. This is only one of the few requirements to get your privileges back. Signing up for new auto insurance having been involved in previous accidents can be tedious. Therefore, you must endeavor to get familiar with Car Insurance Laws in South Dakota. Besides, you will enjoy a lot of benefits if you avoid accidents to the best of your ability. Your insurance premium will continue at the on-going rate. You will also be able to access good loans, given your clean driving history.
By and large, you cannot afford to operate a vehicle without the minimum car insurance requirement. You may choose to get additional coverage. That is up to you. But, the State prioritizes the fact that accidents can happen to anyone. This underscores the essence of making basic auto insurance compulsory for every driver across its cities and suburbs. Therefore, anyone who operates a car without insurance will be penalized.