SR-22 Auto Insurance

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SR-22 Auto Insurance


SR 22 Insurance

There is a variety of types of auto insurance that you are likely familiar with - from liability to comprehensive to collision - but one type you may not recognize is SR22 insurance. SR22 insurance is a certification of financial responsibility and is usually mandated by a court order following a conviction for a major traffic violation. Let's explore SR22 car insurance in more depth.

What is SR22 car insurance?

Often referred to as SR22 car insurance, an SR22 is not actually insurance, but rather a certification of financial responsibility submitted to the Department (DMV) or Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on the policyholder's behalf. It states that the policyholder has the mandated coverage limits set forth by a court order after a violation.

Who needs SR22 car insurance?

There are a variety of reasons why a person might need SR-22 car insurance, but it's mainly for those who have major driving infractions on their records. These infractions may include the following:

Police car in rearview mirror
  • DUI - one of the most common reasons for an SR22 mandate is due to a driving under the influence conviction. This applies to those convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs that limit the driver's capacity.
  • Negligent driving - someone who is convicted of a major traffic violation such as driving negligently or recklessly, usually in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit, may be required to have SR22 car insurance.
  • Multiple offenses in a short time period - those who rack up points against their license for things like speeding tickets or other minor traffic violations in a short time period may be court-ordered to carry SR22 car insurance.
  • Driving without insurance - if a driver is in an accident and doesn't have insurance coverage, the court may require them to have SR22 coverage after the accident.
  • Reinstating license after revocation or suspension - drivers seeking reinstatement after having a revoked or suspended license will often be required to have SR22 car insurance before they're granted permission to drive again.

How does SR22 insurance work?

When a court mandates someone to have SR22 insurance, that person should request it from the insurance company they're using. It remains on file with the DMV or BMV until the time period expires. Here are the steps involved in the SR22 process:

Laptop on desk titled Card Insurance
  1. The policyholder is convicted of a major traffic violation or other qualifying offense that requires SR22 auto insurance. These violations may include reckless or negligent driving, too many infractions or at-fault accidents in a short time, driving without insurance, having a revoked or suspended license, history of DUI or DWI, or failure to pay court-ordered child support.
  2. The policyholder can either request the SR22 from his/her current insurance company or shop around for an SR22 insurance quote if they do not have insurance. Those who already have coverage will not need to get new insurance unless the provider drops them.
  3. Once the SR22 is filed with the state, the policyholder does not have to do anything except maintain the coverage.
  4. If the policyholder fails to maintain the appropriate coverage, the insurance company must notify the state DMV or BMV and they may suspend the driver's license until the driver is in compliance.

SR-22 Insurance Providers – Where to get an SR22

Many insurance providers offer SR22 coverage; the policyholder just has to request that a copy of their policy be submitted to the DMV or BMV, depending on the state. Not every insurance company offers an SR22 and some companies may not write a policy for someone with a major traffic violation or someone that requires an SR22. If you are ordered to carry an SR22, it is a good idea to shop around for coverage.

Obtaining SR22 Car Insurance

Obtaining SR22 car insurance is a simple process. Once you select an insurance company for your coverage, it can submit the filing the same day you request it. Many states have digital filing so that policy changes take effect immediately. Those that require a paper filing can take a few days to complete.

How will an SR22 affect the cost of my insurance?

While the filing fee for the SR22 is low or no-cost, it's likely that your insurance rates are going to increase with the mandate. This happens because drivers who are required to have an SR22 are considered high-risk by insurance companies.

  • Typical increases in insurance rates vary between 14 and 40%, but some could increase as much as 89%, depending on the infraction.
  • Some insurance companies may decide that the policyholder is too much of a risk and drop them altogether.

What can I do to lower the cost of my insurance with an SR-22?

Man behind wheel driving with window down

Because SR22 car insurance can be costly due to premium increases, it's only natural to look for ways to lower the premium. There are simple things that you can do such as increase the policy deductible. It is important to remember that you will be responsible for the cost of your deductible if you are involved in an accident so always choose a deductible that you can afford. Another way to lower the premium cost is to consider the type of vehicle you drive. Luxury and sports cars tend to be more expensive than sedans and other vehicles with high safety ratings. Automatic withdrawals and paying your premiums up front can also help lower the cost. Keep in mind that some insurance companies offer certain discounts on premiums so talk to your agent and find out for what you may qualify.

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