Although you pay for insurance to drive, you may not know much about how it works because you’ve never needed to file a major claim. Your car insurance protects you from personal financial risk from driving a heavy and expensive piece of machinery.
If you crash into someone else and total their vehicle, your policy will pay to replace their car. If someone in the other vehicle suffers significant injuries, your insurance will pay for their medical care and possibly for their lost wages. Your insurance protects you from liability when you cause injury or property damage.
When someone causes a crash, you will usually need to make a claim against their liability coverage to pay for your losses. Sometimes, drivers in South Dakota will learn after a wreck that the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage. A drive with only the minimum mandatory insurance coverage may leave you with unpaid bills.
South Dakota doesn’t require as much insurance as you might need
Currently, a driver only needs to have $25,000 in property damage coverage. If you have a newer vehicle, it could cost much more than that to replace it after a wreck.
There may also be just $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for all of your losses related to an injury. Although that coverage doubles when more than one person gets hurt, you may have to split $50,000 with two or three other people.
If the driver only has the minimum amount of insurance, you could have tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages or medical bills that you have no way to cover.
Who pays when insurance falls short?
When the driver at fault for a crash doesn’t have enough insurance, other people could suffer because of their negligence and lack of foresight. However, some drivers add extra coverage on their own policies to protect themselves from this kind of situation.
Your uninsured and uninsured driver coverage can help pay for your costs that go over what the other party’s insurance will pay. The law in South Dakota also permits you to file a personal injury claim against a driver who doesn’t carry enough insurance.
Knowing the rules about car insurance can help you handle the consequences of a recent car crash better.