South Dakota may be the most beautiful state in the country, but life here isn’t for the faint of heart. Anyone who says there’s nothing to do here clearly doesn’t count preparing for ferocious weather as a pastime. Living in South Dakota means having to contend with tornadoes, destructive winds, hail, flooding, derechos and thunderstorms on a fairly regular basis!


Only the boldest of the bold spend their time reading insurance agency blogs, so you’re clearly cut out for life in the Mount Rushmore State. But what about your property? Is it safe against the Midwestern sky? Does insurance cover the kinds of damage Mother Nature inflicts on South Dakota whenever she feels like it, which is often? Here’s what you need to know about insuring your home, vehicle, farm and business against severe weather.


Homeowners Insurance and Severe Weather


Your little house on the prairie is more than a little vulnerable until it is covered by homeowners insurance. Just take care to purchase the right insurance, as a basic HO-1 policy doesn’t cover weather damage outside of lightning, hail and windstorms. You need an HO-2 policy if you desire coverage for frozen plumbing, as well as damage resulting from accumulated snow and ice.


Flood insurance is its own special thing. It is available from all major insurance providers, but if you live in an area that is prone to flooding you may prefer to participate in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. If you believe your home requires flood coverage, act quickly. It costs approximately $945 per year in the state of South Dakota, and the average flooding event results in an average of $4.6 billion in property damage.


Auto Insurance and Severe Weather


Midwestern weather is often unkind to cars, trucks and SUVs. South Dakotan motorists reported more than 3,700 hail damage claims in 2022. Despite being the fifth least populous state, South Dakota has the fourth highest number of hail damage reports annually.


If you want to insure your vehicle against the harsh elements, a basic auto insurance policy won’t cut it. You would need comprehensive coverage, which can help cover the cost of repair and replacement following a non-collision related incident. Comprehensive coverage covers a vehicle in the event of a flood, tornado, hailstorm, and even a fallen branch.


Farm Insurance and Severe Weather


South Dakota’s weather recently gave farmers undeniable proof that they need farm insurance. We are speaking of the 2022 derecho, a billion-dollar disaster event that heavily affected agricultural producers throughout the eastern part of the state. 

More than 85 percent of planted acres for commodity crops in the United States are currently covered by the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIC). The vast majority of American agricultural producers are protected by multiple peril crop insurance policies, which cover hail, frost, wind, flooding, and several other non-weather perils. If you raise crops or livestock, then you can take even greater peace of mind by taking out a crop-hail insurance policy, which provides additional protection against profit loss


Commercial Insurance and Severe Weather


Severe weather can be good news for some businesses. While roofing and siding contractors who specialize in hail damage certainly don’t hope for the worst, they are ready to spring into action when it does happen. And when the kids are celebrating a snow day, the plow companies are celebrating good profits.


But no matter the nature of your business, if it includes property, it is vulnerable to severe weather. Most commercial insurance policies cover a variety of weather damage, although some may omit perils like flooding and hailstorms unless supplemental policies are added. The nature of your property and equipment determine which commercial policy would fully cover your assets against severe weather – an important topic for conversation with your insurance provider.

McKinneyOlson Insurance is standing by to keep you protected when the Great Plains’ weather isn’t so great. If you would like to ensure Mother Nature’s worst doesn’t make you financially worse off, then we welcome you to contact us today. We have proudly served the greater Sioux Falls, SD area for all its insurance needs since our foundation in 1880, and we have dealt with all manners of destructive weather in that time.