Hitting the trails on a snowmobile is a fun family activity and is a prevalent winter recreation activity in South Dakota. If you own and operate a sled in this state, you will need to have a snowmobile insurance policy. Whether you prefer riding across the open prairie east of the Missouri River, or exploring the scenic beauty afforded by the many trails that run through the Black Hills, this state has a lot to offer. Before you take your sled out, be sure you are properly covered by comparing snowmobile insurance policies and rates in South Dakota.
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What Are Snowmobile Requirements in South Dakota?
Snowmobiles are extremely popular in this state, and South Dakota has a number of laws and requirements when it comes to their use.
- All snowmobiles must be registered with the state.
- There is no minimum age to operate a snowmobile, but no person under the age of 14 may cross a roadway on a snowmobile unless under the direct supervision of an adult.
- Helmet use is not required.
- To operate a snowmobile on South Dakota’s trails or on private land that is not your own, you must pay an annual license fee which is $10 for state residents and $40 for a temporary 5-day permit for non-residents.
- You may not operate a snowmobile on private land without the permission of the property owner.
- Snowmobile operators must immediately report any accidents to law enforcement if the accident:
- Occurred on public land, frozen public waters or any private land that is specifically leased for snowmobile use
- Resulted in property damage that exceeds $1,000
- Resulted in an injury that requires medical attention
- Snowmobiles used on state trails must weigh less than 1,400 pounds and must use sled-type runners or skis with an endless belt tread.
- No person other than a law enforcement officer may carry a firearm while operating a snowmobile unless that firearm is not loaded and enclosed within a carrying case.
- You may ride your snowmobile in ditches along the roadways or on the shoulder of the road if ditches are not available.
- It is unlawful to chase, drive, harass, kill or attempt to kill any bird or animal from a snowmobile.
- Snowmobile liability insurance coverage is required.
South Dakota Snowmobile Facts and Statistics
- There are currently 14,845 snowmobiles registered in this state
- South Dakota has 1,052 miles of groomed snowmobile trails
- Snowmobile owners in North America average 1,206 miles on their sleds each year
- South Dakota is one of four states that require liability insurance for snowmobile operators.
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What Does Snowmobile Insurance Cover?
Many insurance companies will allow you to insure up to five operators for your sled, and some will enable you to save money by insuring multiple snowmobiles on a single policy. This eliminates the need to purchase a separate policy for every member of your family. Some coverage options you can expect to find with a snowmobile insurance policy in South Dakota include:
- Liability coverage: This coverage is required in South Dakota. It is designed to cover costs accrued by third parties who are injured or suffer property damage as a result of a snowmobile collision for which you are at fault.
- Collision coverage: This is meant to compensate you for damages to your sled if it is damaged in a collision with another rider or with a stationary object such as a tree or a rock, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This is designed to cover damages to your sled if it is damaged in a non-collision-related covered event. This can include such things as fire, flood, falling objects, extreme weather, vandalism, and theft.
- Medical payments coverage: This is designed to cover the costs associated with necessary medical treatment for you and any passengers if you are injured in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage: This is designed to cover the costs associated with personal injury or property damage you may experience in a collision with an at-fault snowmobile operator who lacks the necessary coverage or funds to cover your losses.
- Trailer coverage: This is designed to cover the trailer you use to transport your sled to or from the trails.
- Breakdown assistance: This is designed to cover the cost associated with help if it is needed while you are out on the trails. Problems that may arise include a machine breaks down, a problem with your battery, and lost or misplaced keys.
- Safety apparel coverage: Some insurance companies will permit you to purchase coverage against loss or damage to any apparel designed to protect you while riding. This includes such things as helmets, gloves, and goggles.
Does Snowmobile Insurance Cost a Lot in South Dakota?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of your particular snowmobile insurance policy, including:
- The make, model and year of your snowmobile
- How much coverage you purchase
- How frequently you ride
- Where and how you store your sled when not in use
- Your personal driving record and claims history
- Whether or not you have completed a snowmobile safety course
Even the most comprehensive policies are very affordable, so rates are not likely to vary significantly from one insurer to the next. On average, South Dakota residents pay less than $15 per month for their snowmobile insurance. Knowing that your investment and your finances are protected make this coverage well worth the cost.
Easily Compare Snowmobile Insurance Quotes in South Dakota
When searching for an affordable snowmobile insurance policy, you can turn to an insurance agent in our network for assistance. These independent agents can work with a number of different insurance companies to help you find a policy that is well-suited to your coverage and budgetary needs. It is easy to find an agent in or near your neighborhood.
Contact a local agent today to learn more about your coverage options to start reviewing a variety of snowmobile insurance quotes in South Dakota.