South Dakota Motorcycle Insurance

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South Dakota’s SDCL 32-35-113 requires that the owner of any registered motorcycle must maintain financial responsibility at all times. Financial responsibility can be in the form of motorcycle insurance, a bond with a surety company, or a certificate of deposit or securities in the amount of $50,000 on deposit with the State Treasurer’s office. For most riders, a South Dakota endorsed motorcycle insurance policy is the most affordable.

Additionally, South Dakota is an ”at fault” insurance state. That means you are liable for all damages that occur as a result of an accident if you are found to be at fault. If you do not have sufficient coverage in place, you will face a license suspension, possible jail time, and can be sued for all damages.

To help you understand South Dakota’s motorcycle insurance issues, let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need to be fully protected.

South Dakota Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

The South Dakota legislature has established that the minimum motorcycle insurance coverage amounts are to be:

$25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person;
$50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons; and
$25,000 for damage or destruction of property.

The minimum coverage in South Dakota may seem quite adequate at first glance. However, if you have an accident that results in a serious injury those limits could be quickly exceeded. To make matters worse, if you are at fault and your policy falls short, you will be responsible for all additional costs, potentially draining your life savings. Even if you are not at fault, but the at fault motorist is uninsured, the minimum coverages may not be sufficient.

Additional Coverage for SD Riders

  • Collision coverage: this protects your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage. If it doesn’t, take care to add it.
  • Uninsured/Under-insured motorist coverage: at any given time 8 percent of the motorists in South Dakota are uninsured. With so many uninsured motorists on the roads you can understand the need for this type of coverage. The under-insured aspect of the policy protects you in case the other driver is from a state with lower minimum requirements or the injuries exceed the policy caps of an at fault motorist.
  • Comprehensive coverage: this protection covers items like fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.
  • Bodily injury coverage: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger.
  • Medical payment coverage: this covers items such as prescription drug payments; dental care; medical co-payments and deductibles from other health coverage policies; home nursing care, or funeral expenses.

SD Motorcycle Insurance Cost and Quotes

Wondering how much your motorcycle insurance policy will cost? Rates are determined by a whole multitude of factors, from the type of bike you ride, to your driving record, to the various protections you choose to add to your policy. Fortunately, we can help. We have created an easy to use tool so that you review quotes from various insurers. All you have to do is enter your zip code to get started.

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Motorcycle Laws in South Dakota

To many, defining a motorcycle seems a like waste of time, but every state is required to do so for law enforcement and insurance purposes. According to South Dakota legislation, a motorcycle is:

”Any motorized two or three-wheeled vehicle, except a tractor or farm implement.”

That means that mopeds, scooters, and motorized bicycles are technically classified as motorcycles. The state only requires insurance coverage for those with engine displacement larger than 49cc and a manual transmission.

South Dakota is a very beautiful state to ride in. On the one hand, you have the biker mania of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. On the other, you have a vast amount of open riding through the Black Hills and Badlands. Whether you are competing with congested traffic or riding in wide open country, your bike needs to be street legal at all times. In the South Dakota, the equipment that you and your bike must have includes:

  • Eye protection: required unless equipped with a windscreen.
  • Handlebar height: maximum of shoulder height.
  • Helmet: required for all riders and passengers under the age of 18.
  • Mirrors: one required.
  • Turn Signals: not required.
  • Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
  • Headlight: required, a modulating daytime headlight is approved.
  • Muffler: required, cutouts prohibited. No acoustical requirements set.
  • Safety Inspection: not required.