A Guide to Life Insurance in South Dakota (SD)

The nature of looking for South Dakota Life Insurance Quotes that work for you and offer you the best value for money is that it can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle to evaluate the possibilities. In this article I am going to explore both the specifics of life insurance in South Dakota, and also the different options that are available with your choice of life insurance in general.

Let’s begin by taking a look at a little background information about South Dakota.

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South Dakota – A Little Background

South Dakota is the 17th largest state in terms of its physical size in the United States with an area of 77,116 square meters (approximately 210 miles wide by 380 miles long); but is only 46th in terms of population with 814,180 people in 2010.

The population has grown by 7.9% since 2000, but between 1930 and 1990 the population numbers remained virtually stagnant (692,849 in 1930 and 696,004 in 1990), and many of the smaller rural communities in South Dakota have noticeably shrunk over the years as people have increasingly moved to the larger towns and cities.

The state lies in fertile land and agriculture and ranching are both big sectors for the economy. But increasingly in recent years the service sector has been the biggest contributor to the economy, and finance, retail and health care are all important providers to the states GDP of $39.9 billion in 2010 (which is roughly equivalent to the GDP of Lebanon - $39.15 billion – by way of a curious fact to ponder).

The Capital of South Dakota is Pierre with a population of just 13,646 making it the second least populated Capital (behind Montpelier in Vermont) in the United States, and one of just five Capitals NOT to be served by an interstate highway.

The largest city in South Dakota is Sioux Falls with a city population of 153,888 and a metropolitan population of 228,261 in 2010.

Sioux Falls is one of the fastest growing city populations in the Midwest region with each of the last three census’s showing the population growing by over 20% every 10 years, and much greater growth even then that at the beginning of the 20th Century. By way of comparison, in 1900 the population of Sioux Falls was just 10,266. So the population has roughly doubled every 30 or so years on average since the turn of the 20th Century reflecting the bigger drift to bigger cities.

South Dakota Life Insurance – The Facts About SD Life Insurance

There are 461 South Dakota Life Insurance Companies who are licensed to sell life insurance in South Dakota, and there are approximately 3,000 people who are directly employed by South Dakota Life Insurance Companies and in addition, there are a further 3,000 non-insurance jobs which are supported by the sector.

The finances of life insurance in the state are also impressive, with the residents of South Dakota having $70 billion worth of death benefit cover, group life insurance cover of $10 billion, and over 500,000 individual life insurance policies, each with an average of $110,000 worth of cover for the average policyholder.

The amounts invested in Life Insurance in South Dakota every year are equally as impressive, with $6 billion of individual life cover purchased in 2009 alone.

This translated into $830 million being paid out in the same year to South Dakotans through policy dividends, surrender values, matured endowments and death benefits. And a further $170 million of annuity benefits.

Taken together the life insurance sector is worth a billion dollars to the South Dakota economy directly every year.

If you then add in the fact that $12 billion worth of cumulative money is invested into South Dakota by the insurance companies, then it is easy to see its importance for the state as a whole.

The Top Ten Largest Life Insurance Companies in South Dakota

In terms of the top ten largest life insurance companies in South Dakota, here is the top ten from 2009 based on the amount of direct life insurance premiums written in that year.

1/ John Hancock Life Ins Co (USA) - 34,282,693
2/ Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins Co - 27,081,343
3/ Pruco Life Ins Co - 19,088,517
4/ Principal Life Ins Co - 15,518,472
5/ State Farm Life Ins Co - 12,813,242
6/ Metropolitan Life Ins Co - 9,939,770
7/ American Gen Life Ins Co of DE - 8,192,119
8/ AXA Equitable Life Ins Co - 7,547,796
9/ Farm Bureau Life Ins Co - 5,130,458
10/ Genworth Life & Ann Ins Co - 4,261,742

Three Things To Bear In Mind Before Buying Life Insurance

1/ Choosing Between Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance

It is important to realise that you have a choice when it comes to life insurance and that this usually comes down to a choice between term life insurance and whole life insurance.

The names may alter a little e.g. Guaranteed Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance etc. But at the end of the day you either buy life insurance with a savings element and for your whole life (a whole life policy). Or you buy a term life insurance policy which is for a specified period of time, has no savings component, but will be much cheaper.

Remember that the figures that life insurance companies give for whole life insurance savings rates are usually just projections on how investments may perform. So feel free to take them with a pinch of salt.

Both can work well, and it is worth getting South Dakota Life Insurance Quotes for both so that you can compare.

But either way be sure to read the policy details carefully before committing to buy.

You do have a ‘free look’ of a minimum of ten days after you have purchased a policy, but you are better off to read the policy through first, and save yourself the hassle of having to cancel the policy later.

2/ Even If You Go The Term Life Insurance Route You Can Still Invest Extra Yourself

Whole life insurance can be attractive when the company has a track-record of growing investments.

But remember that you may decide that you can do a better job yourself.

In that case you could get term life insurance but invest the money you save in either a dedicated investment fund, or else do it yourself.

Either way don’t forget the fundamental value of getting enough life cover.

Term life insurance is quite cheap in comparison to whole life insurance, and so there is no excuse for not getting covered.

3/ Health Matters And So Does Telling The Truth On The Life Insurance Application

Life insurance is best bought when you are younger and healthier. No exceptions. It will always be cheaper that way.

Secondly, don’t be tempted to lie or omit key medical details on your life insurance application. It may be accepted and you get the policy, but paying out for the premiums is considerably different to receiving the cash from a claim.

The insurance company will happily take money from you with very few checks. But as soon as they have to pay out on a policy, every little detail will be investigated. And so you will find that if you have lied that the claim simply will not be paid out.

You could end up putting your dependants in a very nasty position, so don’t play Russian roulette with your families’ future by lying on the application.

South Dakota Life Insurance – The Details…

The rules and legal framework that governs how insurance is regulated in South Dakota are laid down in The State Insurance Code of South Dakota.


If you ever find yourself in dispute with an insurance company in South Dakota then you can check these rules to see if you have any redress.

South Dakota Life Insurance Resources

South Dakota Division of Insurance

It is the SD Division of Insurance that deals with enforcing the State Insurance Code of South Dakota, and which lays down the rules for consumers, insurance professionals and insurance companies who want to operate in the state.

You can find the South Dakota Insurance Department here:



South Dakota Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association

It is the South Dakota Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association that provides a safety net for South Dakotan policy holders in the event of a life insurance company becoming insolvent in the state.



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