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
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:
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:
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.
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.
Once the SR22 is filed with the state, the policyholder does not
have to do anything except maintain the coverage.
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
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?
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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