South Dakota Homeowner's Insurance
Average homeowners premiums in your state are around $609, and provide coverage for the four main sections of your policy against all of the named perils and risks of the policy. Not all of the risks covered by the policy are applied to all four of the main sections of the policy, though, so be sure to read your policy carefully, and purchase additional coverages or increase limits as necessary.
The dwelling is where your family will live on the insured property. The dwelling includes your home and any supporting structures that are permanently attached to home in such a way that removing them would cause serious damage to the home. A sun room that opens off the house would be part of the dwelling, for instance, but a greenhouse located elsewhere on the insured property would not.
Other structures are any manmade structures on the insured property which are not permanently attached to the dwelling. A fence is an "other" structure, and so it the boat house and dock where your boat is stored. Other structures may not always been covered for the same list of perils that the dwelling is covered, nor will they be covered for the same values. Read through your policy carefully and adjust the coverages or values to meet your specific needs.
Personal property includes all of your possessions not covered under the dwelling or other structures sections of the home insurance policy. Personal property is not limited to things inside the dwelling, either, and can include pool and lawn equipment, tools, furniture, and many other things. If you own it, and it is not part of the dwelling or other structures sections, then it is personal property. Making a video home inventory is usually the easiest and most accurate method of putting together a list of your possessions. Simply record a slow tour throughout the property, filming everything and providing a running monologue of what is being recorded. You should save you receipts to verify costs to the insurance company if a claim has to be filed later.
Loss of Use
When some or the entire home is destroyed or otherwise becomes unusable because of a covered condition, you can save your receipts for the things you have to purchase elsewhere. It is not necessary for the home to be completely destroyed to file a loss of use claim. If you have to stay in a motel, eat at restaurants or do your laundry because of insured damages, you have a potential loss of use claim to be filed.
Average South Dakota Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper South Dakota Home Insurance
Since 3.91 out of every 1000 houses are robbed each year, taking steps to make your more secure can earn you discounts on your home insurance. You can also get cheaper insurance by performing regular maintenance, fencing in your pool and improving your personal credit score. All of these things, added together, can amount to a sizable discount on your house insurance, and your insurance company can suggest ways to make those premiums even lower.
Making your home more secure is one of the best ways to lower your home insurance rates. You can do this a number of ways, including having burglar bars installed, putting deadbolts on your doors, or having a fence erected around the property. The best way, however, is to have a constantly monitored security alarm put in that is managed by a professional alarm company.
Reduce Insurance Risks
A fence around your pool may be required by law in your state, but it will definitely save money on your home insurance whether the law requires or not. Make sure that the fence has a lockable gate which prevents children or pets from wandering into the pool area and creating the possibility of accidental drowning. Another way to reduce the long term risks is to keep the property free of dead trees and branches that could fall during heavy winds and cause severe damage to the home or other structures.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
Credit scores are used by financial institutions to determine your financial risk, and the same is true of insurance companies as well. Keeping your credit score above 650 will net you a discount on all of your liability-related policies, including your homeowner's policy, and it will only take you a few minutes each month to keep track of your credit score and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or allowing errors to reduce the score.
Home Characteristics Affecting South Dakota Insurance Rates
Not only do the perils faced by your home affect your premiums, the age and value of it play a part as well. In South Dakota, the average home price is $126,200, and the average age of the homes is somewhere around 36 years. However, if you perform regular maintenance on your home you reduce the costs of insurance by making the home less risky to insure. Furthermore, if you live in a brick or stone home, the rates will be lower than if you live in a mobile home or a wood frame structure.
Local Natural Disasters South Dakota Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
Natural disasters of different types occur in every state in the country. Your responsibility is to know which ones are likely in your area and to make sure that your insurance is sufficient to protect you from them. Some disasters, such as flooding, will require you to purchase separate coverage but others are automatically included in a standard policy.
Ranked at 25 out of 51, South Dakota sits in the middle of the likelihood of earthquake damages. Even though the possibility of an earthquake is rare, it might be in your best interest to purchase the coverage if you feel it is warranted.
South Dakota-wide, there were 334 claims filed in 2009. This may seem like a low number, but remember that flooding is not included in a standard policy and your home is at stake. In most cases, nationwide, the only way to get flood insurance is through high risk insurers, either companies that specialize in high risk, or through agencies like FAIR that provide insurance coverage in places where it would otherwise not be available.
Hail damage happens in every state, and can be either serious or minor. Unless your policy excludes hail, it is part of the standard insurance policy. If it has been excluded, your insurance company can tell you where to turn for the coverage you need.
Hurricane damage is not a problem in South Dakota, but severe winter storms are. In most policies, the only thing that is not covered by default is the flooding, and that will require you to pick up coverage separately.
Tornadoes are rare in South Dakota, and the damage they cause is almost always considered wind damage where insurance is concerned. You need to make sure that tornadoes are not excluded in your policy for some reason, and add a rider policy if they are, but you should otherwise be covered against this particular peril.
74,749 wildfires are fought around the nation each year, including in places such as South Dakota. Fire, though, is part of a standard policy and you only need to worry about adding coverage if your policy specifically excludes wildfires.
South Dakota Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
Home insurance policies typically fall short in two areas: liability coverage and personal property protection. For liability insurance, the most prudent move is usually to purchase an umbrella policy that will cover you for all of your liability needs, not just the home. For your personal property, you can either extend the amount of your homeowners' personal property coverage or purchase a separate personal property policy completely. Either way will work, as long as you understand that a standard home policy often falls far short of covering all of your possessions.
Important Contact Information
South Dakota Department of Insurance
445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3563
Home Insurance Guides for Nearby States
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