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Division of Insurance
Obtaining a Domestic or Foreign Insurance Company License in South Dakota
The Uniform Certificate of Authority Application (UCAA) is designed to allow insurers to file copies of the same application in multiple states. South Dakota fully participates in the UCAA process and is designated as a uniform state.
- The Uniform Certificate of Authority Primary Application is for newly-formed companies seeking a Certificate of Authority in this state and by companies wishing to re-domesticate to a South Dakota.
- Please note when forming a new domestic insurance company in South Dakota or re-domesticating from another state, all incorporating documents and fees are sent to the South Dakota Division of Insurance (SD DOI). If approved, the SD DOI will submit the incorporating documents and fees to the Secretary of State.
- Domestic insurance companies are required to obtain an independent audit annually, file regular financial reports to the Division and NAIC, and are financially examined at least every 5 years.
- Domestic insurance companies are required to obtain an actuarial review annually.
- South Dakota has specific investment laws for domestic insurance companies. These can be found in SDCL Ch. 58-27.
- Major transactions affecting the insurance company or the holding company group, if applicable, require SD DOI approval.
- The Uniform Certificate of Authority Expansion Application is for companies in good standing in their state of domicile that wish to expand into South Dakota.
- Please note a company must have 2 years’ operating experience (SDCL § 58-6-13) and have been examined in the last 36 months unless it is wholly owned by a licensed South Dakota company. The Director may waive provisions under special circumstances. (The Financial Exam "as of date" must be one of the three calendar year ends prior to the Current Annual Statement filed with the Expansion Application.)
The following list includes some general guidance to domestic and foreign insurance companies applying for licensure in South Dakota:
- South Dakota insurance laws, administrative rules and bulletins may be found on the SD DOI website.
- South Dakota laws for forming a new insurance company can be found at SDCL Chs. 58-5 (domestic company formation and governance) and 58-6 (company licensure).
- SDCL Ch. 58-7 covers the statutory deposit, which includes a required agreement between the bank, insurance company, and the Division regarding custody of the funds held in deposit. The initial required statutory deposit is $200,000 unencumbered.
- SDCL § 58-6-23 provides the minimum capital and surplus required at licensure. Please also note the minimums amounts will grow as the company grows.
- Most license fees and charges are in SDCL § 58-2-29.
- Insurance companies pay premium tax (roughly 2.5%) in lieu of sales tax (roughly 6.5%). Premium tax is regulated under SDCL Ch. 10-44. Additional information on premium taxes can be found at the Division’s website.
- Rates and forms are filed for Division approval prior to use and must contain all statutory requirements. Filings are submitted via SERFF.
- General information on filings in South Dakota can be found here:
- Producers (agents) must be licensed and appointed by the insurance company. Insurance companies are responsible for agent compliance. SD DOI licensing portals are located here:
Contact the Division of Insurance