Sometimes, life happens. For some, it can happen in the form of a DUI or other serious driving violation that impact your ability to drive legally. When this happens, you may be required to file for SR-22 auto insurance. But what exactly does that mean? How can you get it? And will it make your future monthly premiums more expensive? We have the answers you need.
Depending on where you live, SR-22 insurance may be referred to as either a special type of insurance policy, a certificate, or a bond. Regardless of the name, It’s basically a legal document which tells your state government DMV that yes you do, in fact, have enough insurance coverage to drive legally. At the very least, you should have an active liability only insurance coverage policy which also includes any other legally mandated forms of coverage, if those applying your state. circumstances which might require an SR22 include:
More often than not, SR-22 insurance will be required in order to reinstate a revoked or suspended license. In other words, your state wants you to at least prove that if you get back on the road and get into another accident – or continue to drive in a risky manner – that you will be able to pay for any damages you cause as a result of your behavior. The filing and processing of the SR22 certificate will, in most cases, get you your license back and give you the opportunity to redeem yourself in the eyes of the law while driving legally.
Also keep in mind that, even if you don’t own your own vehicle, you may still be required to file an SR22 in order to reinstate a suspended driver’s license. This is referred to as non-owner SR22 auto insurance, and allows you to drive legally when borrowing or renting a car. However, this type of coverage is difficult to find, especially at an affordable price. Also, if you own non-owner car insurance already, and request your insurance company file an SR22 on your behalf, you run a very high risk of being released from your policy and refused a renewal.
When you go to court in order to deal with your suspended license, they will let you know whether or not you need to file an SR22. It will be your legal responsibility to contact your insurance company and get this done; it will not be automatically completed through the court system or through your local DMV. But once you notify your insurance company, they will handle all the paperwork with the DMV and you will have to wait a few weeks (or less, if the motion is filed electronically) for it to process. Once it is finished processing, you can go back to court and negotiate the validity of your license. Just remember: most courts will only give you a limited time to contact your insurance company and request an SR22. If you fail to get the ball rolling on this process by the court-appointed deadline, it will be much more difficult and expensive to get your license back and restore your coverage.
Costs for the SR22 can range anywhere from $17 to $45, depending on your state. This is a one time fee that you will pay to your insurance company as long as you remain covered by that particular insurance provider. If you switch coverage during your probationary driving period, you will be required to file an SR22 all over again through your new insurance company, and you will be charged the same fee.
Typically, a driver with an SR22 will need to maintain SR22 car insurance for anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Again, this varies by state laws and the severity of your driving violation(s). Any lapse or cancellation of coverage in this time will likely result in an automatic driver’s license suspension, since your insurance company will be legally requirEd to notify state authorities and let them know that you are driving without coverage.
You may also be required to carry SR22 auto insurance for a longer amount of time as a result of the lapse and license suspension. This time may also be extended if you commit any further violations or cause any more accidents. Not only will this raise your rates drastically, but it may prompt your insurance provider to release you from your policy do to your extremely high-risk driver status. Once your SR22 car insurance requirement is complete, your insurance company will then file an SR26 form which lets authorities know that you have served your time and are no longer legally required to carry SR22 auto insurance coverage.
To understand how you get affordable SR22 auto insurance, you need to understand that risk plays a big part in whether or not your insurance provider offers you an affordable rate. If they think you are risky driver – and, therefore, more likely to cost them money on claims filed – then they will either charge you a higher right, or refuse to cover you all together. In fact, it is not uncommon for providers to cancel coverage once you notify them that you need an SR-22.
In the event that this happens, you’ll have to go shopping around for a new auto insurance company. Asking for quotes from major providers can prove time consuming and fruitless, seeing as how many of them will either refuse to sell you coverage or offer you a substantially higher rate. Smaller, local providers, or auto insurance companies which specialize in high-risk auto insurance are more likely to offer you coverage at a lower price than the major providers will. Just keep in mind that it may still be pretty costly. But we can take the stress and the time out of finding you a better SR22 auto insurance policy if you offer up your ZIP code and let us help you find fast, free quotes. You can get affordable coverage and back behind the wheel faster than you think!