The Best South Dakota Auto Insurance Companies

South Dakota’s low population density keeps its average auto insurance premium at a mere $767 per year— that’s one of the lowest rates in the nation. But you may not find it so affordable if you have a less-than-perfect driving record. The good news is, it’s still possible to find a great deal on your insurance. Start with our rundown of the best auto insurance providers in South Dakota, and then use our quote tool to see what each of them can offer you.

How We Found the Best South Dakota Auto Insurance Companies

We rated the best auto insurance providers in South Dakota using a methodology similar to the one in our national auto insurance review. We started by focusing on the largest insurers in the state by market share. Then, we checked with independent financial ratings agencies like A.M. Best to ensure that these companies would be able to pay out their claims if necessary.

After that, we looked into coverage options, policy limits, and discounts. We made sure that each company we recommend offers all the protections a South Dakota driver could want, plus plenty of ways to keep costs down. We also took customer opinion into account, looking at the latest J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys to assess how well each company lived up to its marketing promises. Then, just to be sure, we tested a few online quotes for ourselves.

The 6 Best Auto Insurance Companies in South Dakota

South Dakota Auto Insurance Reviews

State Farm

State Farm makes an appearance in our roundup of the best nationwide providers, and for good reason. Not only does it write the most auto policies in South Dakota, it also boasts one of the highest ratings for financial stability. With an “A++” from A.M. Best, you can rest assured State Farm is able to pay out any claim.

In terms of customer satisfaction, State Farm brings in a solid 89/100 from Consumer Reports, with “excellent” marks in “ease of reaching an agent,” “timely payments,” and “agent courtesy.” J.D. Power gives it an “average” score (three out of five) and 824/1,000 for the region. This means most people are generally pleased with the service.

State Farm’s discounts for South Dakota drivers are respectable, but a tad slimmer than other companies on this list. While you’ll find several discounts for vehicle safety and an option to enroll in its Drive Safe and Save program — which, by the way, could earn you up to 50% off your policy — you won’t find discounts for seniors, being a loyal customer, or owning a new car.

While State Farm makes a name for itself in our nationwide review for offering rideshare coverage to the vast majority of the U.S., South Dakota is not on the list. So if you’re an Uber or Lyft driver in the Mount Rushmore State, you might want to check out Progressive.

We also hit a small roadblock when trying to test State Farm’s online quote tool. You’re required to enter either your Social Security or driver's license number — neither of which we felt comfortable entering for a test. If you’d rather not input that information online, you can always contact an agent for assistance.

Progressive

Progressive is another solid option for South Dakota residents. It fares well in the financial stability realm, with an “A+” from A.M. Best. It also earns an 87/100 from Consumer Reports — which is about average — with “excellent” ratings for its timely claims payments. That said, Progressive ranks below average with J.D. Power, scoring just two out of five Power Circles.

Ratings aside, Progressive stands out for a couple reasons. First and foremost are its generous discount options — including savings for getting an online quote, signing online, paying in full, and “continuous insurance” (meaning they’ll count your time with a previous insurer towards your loyalty discount). Progressive is known for being friendly towards “riskier” drivers, and even offers discounts for teens (18 years or younger).

This company shows up in terms of coverage, too. You’ll find accident forgiveness (if you’re a newer customer — your first claim under $500 won’t raise your rate), and a unique custom parts coverage option. Progressive also offers ridesharing coverage in South Dakota. Uber and Lyft drivers can include that information in the online quote process to see how much the added coverage will cost. Just note this will shift your limits and pricing a bit, as Uber/Lyft drivers are required to carry higher liability limits of at least 50/100/25.

Speaking of quotes, we found Progressive’s online system to be simple and easy to navigate. We were able to get a quote in less than ten minutes. Progressive also gives you three different options in terms of pricing and coverage, making it a breeze to see how much protection fits within your budget. Additionally, if you want to start the entire quote process with a desired price in mind, Progressive’s Name Your Price Tool allows you to do just that.

American Family Insurance

American Family is the third largest auto insurer in South Dakota, and boasts strong ratings for customer experience. Consumer Reports gives it an 89/100, with “excellent” marks for “ease of reaching an agent,” “timely payment,” and “agent courtesy.” In terms of financial stability, it’s slightly lower than our other contenders, with an “A” from A.M. Best (still a good score, just not as rock solid as State Farm’s “A++”).

We appreciate that AmFam’s website is easy to navigate. You’re likely to find all the auto insurance knowledge you need, especially with the help of its extensive blog. American Family also offers a live chat option and 24/7 customer support via phone, both of which are extremely helpful when you have questions or need claims assistance outside of normal business hours. On top of that, AmFam is one of the few companies that lets you search for coverage requirements by state. This can be helpful when figuring out how much insurance you need.

It’s worth noting that American Family offers the most discounts out of all our contenders, too. From safe driving, safety equipment, and age-based discounts, to savings for driving under 7,500 miles in a year, AmFam makes saving money on your policy pretty reachable.

It also provides a solid list of supplemental coverage, including gap insurance and rental reimbursement. Heads up, though: Uber and Lyft drivers won’t be able to purchase rideshare coverage through American Family in South Dakota.

Nationwide

Nationwide falls in the middle of the pack as far as ratings go. Consumer Reports gives it an 88/100 with “excellent” marks for agent courtesy — about average when considering the other players on this page. J.D. Power gives it a lower score, two out of five, for the central region of the U.S., but A.M. Best gives it an “A+” for financial stability. While these scores aren’t across-the-board stellar, they’re indicative of a reliable company overall.

We were especially impressed with Nationwide’s coverage options — including rental car reimbursement, gap coverage, accident forgiveness, and a vanishing deductible. Slightly different than Progressive’s Deductible Savings Bank, Nationwide allows you to shave $100 off your deductible every year you drive without an accident, for up to $500.

Nationwide isn’t quite as robust in the discount arena as some of our other contenders, but it does offer a few easy-to-reach ones, like going paperless or having anti-theft devices installed in your car. The insurer also provides a service to help you make sure you’re maximizing coverage and discounts. Known as the On Your Side Review, Nationwide will give you one free consultation per year so that you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your insurance.

When we tried to pull a quote for our Sioux Falls test profile, we were directed to speak with an agent. Although you’ll have to speak with an agent eventually — when you’re ready to buy a policy — we prefer companies that give you the freedom to compare prices on your own first.

Farmers

Farmers boasts solid ratings in the customer service realm, with an 89/100 on Consumer Reports and a three out of five Power Circles from J.D. Power’s regional assessment. In terms of financial stability, Farmers holds a strong — but not exceptional — “A” from A.M. Best.

One thing that did stand out was Farmers website, which makes it easy to find all the information you need when researching policies. For example, coverage options we looked for like new car replacement, accident forgiveness, and customized equipment coverage were clearly listed. (Though we noted the lack of ridesharing coverage in South Dakota.)

We could also see that Farmers has a wide variety of discounts, including one for teen drivers, being employed or retired from an approved business, or driving a car with eco-friendly fuel options. If you’re 55 or older and complete a safe driver program approved by Farmers, you could qualify for a discount, too.

Like Nationwide, Farmers denied us a quote online, instead directing us to contact a local agency and speak with a representative. Again, this is only a small setback — but it makes the quote comparison process a little more time-consuming.

USAA

USAA is the the most highly-regarded insurer on this list. With an “A++” from A.M. Best, there’s absolutely no need to worry about USAA’s ability to pay out on claims. USAA takes home gold for customer service, too: Consumer Reports gives it a 95/100 and “excellent” marks in every category, while J.D. Power gives it 906/1,000 in the region and a rare five out of five Power Circles. It’s clear that South Dakotans are happy with their USAA insurance.

So what’s the catch? USAA is only available to current or former military members and their families. If you have served, are currently serving, or have close relatives in the military, we highly suggest getting a quote from USAA. Along with stellar customer service ratings, the company offers a robust list of coverage and discounts, and is known for saving military members money on their car insurance.

Guide to South Dakota Auto Insurance Companies

South Dakota minimum car insurance requirements

By law, every driver in South Dakota has to carry liability insurance in case they cause an accident. In order to drive legally you must have at least:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident

South Dakota is also one of the few states that requires you to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in the same quantities listed above ($25,000/$50,000). These protect you in case you’re hit by another driver who doesn’t have insurance or who doesn’t have enough to cover the full extent of the damages.

Car repairs are expensive in South Dakota

If you’re in a serious accident, you can expect to pay a few grand at least to get your car fixed. The most recent data available on auto repair costs — conducted by the NAIC — found that South Dakota residents had the fifth highest average auto repair costs in the nation.

Make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, even if you aren’t required to purchase it by your lender. These add-ons will help pay for repairs after an accident — but they’ll also cover you in cases of theft, vandalism, natural disaster, and so on. That way, no matter what happens, you won’t have to worry about paying for repairs out of pocket.

South Dakota Auto Insurance FAQ

What are average auto insurance rates in South Dakota?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ latest report, auto insurance costs around $767 per year for South Dakotans. That’s far below the national average of $1,009. In fact, according to more recent data supplied by The Zebra, citizens living in the Great Plains tend to enjoy lower auto insurance rates than the rest of the country.

What makes auto insurance rates in South Dakota so low?

South Dakota has one of the lowest population densities in the country. On top of that, its drivers spend the least amount of time on the road. Insurers love to hear that because fewer drivers and less time spent on the road means a lower chance of accidents. Another perk of having such a low population density is that there are fewer car thefts in the state. Because insurers don’t have to pay out on these claims often, they’re willing to offer South Dakota residents a lower rate on their premiums.

How much coverage do I need?

It’s always best to purchase more than the state minimum coverage, if you can afford to do so. Say that you cause $50,000 in property damages. If you go with minimum coverage, your insurance will only pay for half of that, leaving you to come up with the rest on your own — a tough (and expensive) position to find yourself wading through. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this scenario by purchasing as much liability coverage as you can comfortably afford.

How can I know I’m getting the best deal on my auto insurance?

You can find a great deal on auto insurance by doing a little comparison shopping. Every company weighs the various factors of your application differently, which is why they all give you different quotes. Start with the six companies we’ve reviewed, and set aside some time to compare what each offers in terms of options and pricing — then go with the one that will give you the most coverage for the best price.

The Best South Dakota Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up

A.M. Best Rating
J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Score
Consumer Reports Overall Satisfaction Rating
State Farm
A++
824/1,000
89/100
Progressive
A+
815/1,000
87/100
American Family
A
823/1,000
89/100
Nationwide
A+
803/1,000
88/100
Farmers
A
821/1,000
89/100
USAA
A++
906/1,000
95/100

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