South Dakota Life Insurance

In this article...
  • Life insurance transactions are governed by state laws. Learn about South Dakota life insurance regulations and the resources available to consumers.

South Dakota residents receive about $4.6 million in benefits daily from life insurance and annuity policies, helping families and businesses carry on financially in the wake of devastating loss. Whether you're a current policyholder or you're researching the advantages of coverage, you can benefit from understanding how life insurance is regulated in the state and what resources you have available. In this article, you'll learn about the laws governing life insurance in South Dakota and where you can reach out for help.

South Dakota Life Insurance Rules and Specifics

The rules governing South Dakota life insurance are consolidated under Title 58 of the state's codified laws, with supporting administrative regulations outlined in Section 20:06 of South Dakota's administrative rules list. Using these guidelines, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation's Division of Insurance oversees the state's 420 licensed life insurance and annuities providers to foster a fair, competitive marketplace for consumers and businesses. 

Under the South Dakota Insurance Code, state policyholders, beneficiaries and other consumers can expect to receive protections in the following areas: 

  • Privacy: Life insurance companies may not legally share your medical information with other entities without signed, written permission from you. 
  • Genetic testing: Life insurance providers can't legally require genetic testing and may not use pre-existing genetic testing results to determine an individual's eligibility for coverage.
  • Coverage review: Life insurance policies sold in South Dakota must include a free look period of at least 10 days. This review period gives policyholders time to thoroughly read through their contract and lets them cancel their policy for a full refund if they aren't satisfied.
  • Timely claims payment: Once a beneficiary files a claim, the issuing company has 2 months to pay out the benefit. If a claim isn't paid within the specified time frame, interest begins to accrue and the provider may be fined.
  • Insolvency: South Dakota life insurance policies are backed by the South Dakota Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. Through the organization, consumers with policies in good standing may recoup up to $300,000 in death benefits if the issuing company goes bankrupt.

Life Insurance Resources in South Dakota

If you have questions or complaints while conducting business with a life insurance company in South Dakota, you may contact the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation's Division of Insurance. Consumers may reach out for help with:

  • General information about life insurance and annuities
  • Questions about life insurance companies and agents
  • Finding financial and licensing information for providers
  • Filing a complaint against an agent or company
  • Reporting suspected insurance fraud

Consumers who need help locating a deceased relative's policy may also reach out to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which hosts a lost policy locator service. The organization also offers educational materials, including a glossary of life insurance terms, so consumers can make smarter buying decisions.

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