What Is an SR 22 and Who Needs It?
What Is SR 22 Insurance?
What is an SR 22 really? You keep seeing it in your paperwork ever since you got in trouble driving your car. Unlike what most people assume, an SR 22 is not really a form of insurance. It is actually a form that must be filled out by an insurance carrier as a way of keeping the government aware of your insurance status.
In other words, it's a statement of financial responsibility in case you have an accident. Usually, it is permission to drive after reinstating a driver's license. Insurance companies are the ones who do the SR 22 filing.
An SR 22 may be required for serious or repeat traffic offenses or after getting too many tickets in a short period of time: In short, if your license has been suspended you may need one. SR stands for "statement of responsibility," which really means financial responsibility.
Why Do I Need SR 22 Insurance?
Chances are that if you require an SR22 filing, you are just getting your license back after a DUI, OWI, or DWI or you had several moving violations or were caught driving without insurance or even a license. You can even be forced to file an SR-22 if you have a traffic violation that results in severe losses while uninsured, especially if it was a DUI charge.
Basically, if you're filing an SR22, you're considered a very high-risk driver and need to prove that you can pay for damages if you get into an accident, which is considered a likely scenario based on your history. Usually, the SR-22 form is required to reinstate a suspended license or to keep driving privileges that you're at risk of losing. Sometimes, reinstating your license requires an SR-22.
Is an SR 22 Required by Law?
An SR22 is often required for people who have a DUI, DWI, or OWI on their driving record or had an at-fault accident while driving without insurance. Drivers working on getting their license back after having it revoked may be required to get an SR22 certificate.
Did you have multiple traffic violations in a short amount of time? You may need to file one if you aren't careful. Have you fled the scene of an accident? That could make a judge rule that you need an SR 22 too.
So an SR 22 Isn't Insurance?
The SR22 certificate ensures that you're fully covered. So, no, an SR22 is not insurance. It's a form your insurance carrier has to file. An SR22 tells the government that you are now driving legally. This is why it's expensive because it's extra paperwork on the part of the insurance company. Someone who needs to file an SR22 form will likely need to file it for several years.
Finding Cheap SR22 Insurance to Prove Financial Responsibility
The SR22 form itself is not expensive, though your auto insurance may be, especially if you have a DUI. Your rate may be very expensive due to the reason(s) you had to get the SR22 in the first place. For instance, if you had 15 speeding tickets and had to get one, your rates are high because you've had an obscenely high number of moving violations. If you're caught drinking and driving, you'll need an SR22 but you probably got points on your license for reckless driving (a moving violation).
The more points you have on your license, the higher your car insurance rate will be regardless of the SR 22. However, it is possible (in some cases highly likely) that your insurance company may add surcharges to the policy for having to file an SR 22. There's also a processing fee tacked on, which runs anywhere between $15 and $25.
How Long Do I Need an SR 22 with My Car Insurance?
The good news about the SR22 is that you only need it for 2 to 5 years. With that said, you cannot escape that fate by avoiding driving during that time. As soon as you get back behind the wheel and buy the insurance you're back on the clock.
SR 22 Insurance Quotes
The best way to get competitively priced insurance is to shop around for SR22 insurance quotes. SmartFinancial has a great search engine that can get you multiple SR22 insurance quotes when you fill out one simple form. Afterward, you will get a chance to choose the coverage that best fits your needs. You'll also be paired up with a trustworthy agent who will be able to get you the right SR22 car insurance filing. SR22 insurance quotes are tricky and not all insurance agents will be able to write a policy for you, so this is a great resource to use.
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Non-Owners SR22: Keeping Your Insurance Rate Low
Avoid having an expensive car during the timeframe in which you are required to have an SR-22. You'll want a car that doesn't need physical damage coverage, which may be expensive. The most cost-effective way of making it through the mandated time you're required to carry an SR22 filing is to get a non-owners SR 22 car insurance policy.
The difference between a regular SR 22 and a non-owner SR 22 is that with the latter you are not able to own a car during the policy term and you cannot be living in a household where a car is accessible to you. You'll definitely pay the least this way and should consider it if you can use someone else's car or use public transportation until your rates dropdown.
With a non-owner SR 22 insurance policy, you will be covered against liability claims on any car that you drive. If you had an ignition interlock device requirement, a non-owners SR-22 is not an option.
Is it Difficult to Get an SR-22?
No, it's actually very simple. You get a car insurance quote just as you normally would. Just tell your new insurance agent that you need to buy the SR 22 insurance along with car insurance. They should be able to add that on without delay.
With that said, you may not know what the filing fees are until after you purchase the policy. Some insurance agents and insurance companies specialize in high-risk drivers and SR 22 filing and may be able to save you money.
How Long Does it Take to Get an SR-22?
Each state has its own guidelines for how long it takes to get your SR22 filed. It can take anywhere between 10 to 14 days.
Remember that a license reinstatement doesn't necessarily mean that you don't need an SR-22. In most cases, you're required to carry the SR-22 to the end of the mandated term so check with an agent if you're unsure.
The department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state will have a record of whether or not you are filing each year based on your driver's license number. An SR 22 is a state filing for suspended or revoked driver's licenses. It is also a certificate of financial responsibility.
What if My Insurance Policy Is Canceled During the SR-22 Mandated Term?
In most cases, you have to finish out your mandated term. For instance, if it's 3 years, you have to carry the SR-22 for 3 years. Let's say you cancel your insurance policy or your insurer drops you after 2 years. What happens is that your insurance company will report the cancellation to the authorities.
You will probably see a suspension of your driver's license unless you secure another form of insurance before canceling your original policy.
Getting an Insurance Company to File an SR 22
It's not easy getting an insurance company to file an SR22 on your behalf. Not only is it more paperwork but it also means that you are a high-risk driver. Insurance carriers need to balance how much risk they incur. Otherwise, they run the risk of not having enough money for coverage when people file claims.
Each company has a unique formula for determining how much risk they assign drivers and how many high-risk drivers they are willing to take on as clients. Your best bet is to work with an agent who specializes in SR22 forms. You can be paired up with a reliable agent by visiting the SmartFinancial Auto Insurance page.
Saving Money with an SR 22 Insurance Requirement
Because an SR 22 insurance is expensive, it's highly advised that you find the most inexpensive car to insure while you file one. Find a car that does not require collision and comprehensive insurance. Your overall cost for auto insurance will be much lower this way. Another option is to purchase a non-owner SR 22 car insurance policy. You'll be filing this if you do not own a car and do not plan on owning one until it's more affordable. This is a much cheaper alternative to driving with SR 22 insurance.
Having Auto Liability Insurance as a Driver with an SR 22
If you own a car and are required to have an SR 22, it's also required that you have auto liability insurance along with other state-required coverages, such as personal injury protection, depending on your zip code.
Buying Cheap Insurance with an SR 22 Form
Enter your zip code below to get multiple car insurance quotes for free. SmartFinancial will then give you access to an agent in your area, after letting them know you need an SR 22 form with a cost-effective car insurance policy. They'll help you find the cheapest way to get insured while also proving financial responsibility with SR 22 insurance.
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