SR-22 Insurance: Understanding the Essentials and Saving Money
April 03 2023
SR-22 insurance is a topic that often raises questions and concerns for drivers who are required to obtain it. In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of an SR-22 requirement, ways to reduce costs, and how to save as much money as possible if you find yourself needing this specialized coverage.
What is SR-22 Insurance?
Contrary to popular belief, SR-22 is not a type of insurance. Instead, it is a certificate of financial responsibility that your insurance company files with the state on your behalf. This certificate verifies that you carry the minimum required auto coverage after a driving violation or incident.
Drivers may be required to obtain an SR-22 for various reasons, such as:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions
- Reckless driving or at-fault accidents
- Driving without insurance or with a suspended license
- Accumulating too many points on your driving record
The SR-22 requirement typically lasts for three years. However, this period may vary depending on your state and the nature of your violation.
How To Get SR-22 Insurance
If you're required to obtain an SR-22, follow these steps:
1. Contact Your Current Insurance Provider
Let them know about your need for an SR-22 certificate. In some cases, your current provider may not offer SR-22 filing services, in which case you'll need to find a new insurance company.
2. Compare a Few Quotes
As with any insurance, it's essential to compare rates and service options from multiple providers. Keep in mind that some insurers may charge higher premiums for drivers requiring an SR-22.
3. Select a Policy and File the SR-22
Once you've chosen an insurance provider, they will file the SR-22 certificate with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agency. There is usually a filing fee associated with this process.
4. Maintain Continuous Coverage
Whatever you do, don’t let your coverage lapse during your SR-22 requirement period. If you aren’t able to maintain coverage, your insurance company is required to notify the state, which may result in further penalties or an extended requirement on your record.
How Much Does Insurance Cost If I Have an SR-22?
The cost of insurance for someone with an SR-22 requirement can vary depending on several factors, including your driving history, the reason for needing an SR-22, your location, and the provider you choose.
Typically, having an SR-22 requirement labels you as a high-risk driver, which can result in higher insurance premiums. While there is no fixed amount, it's common to see an increase of around 30% to 60% in monthly rates, or about $300-800 annually, depending on the state.
How To Save Money on SR-22 Insurance
While SR-22 insurance can be more expensive than a standard auto policy, there are a few ways to help minimize costs:
Shop Around for the Best Rates
As mentioned earlier, it's essential to compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best possible rate. Look for insurers that specialize in high-risk or non-standard auto insurance, as they may offer more competitive rates for drivers requiring an SR-22.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts for various reasons, such as bundling policies, being a good student, or completing a defensive driving course. Ask your current provider (and any providers you are comparing to them) about any discounts that may still be available to you.
Keep Your Driving Record Clean
The best way to reduce your SR-22 insurance costs in the long run is to maintain a clean driving record. Obey traffic laws, comply with any court orders, and avoid traffic violations or other incidents that could lead to trouble.
Adding any other violations to your record while you have an SR-22 requirement could result in higher insurance premiums or an extended SR-22 requirement period.
Increase Your Deductible
One of the simplest ways to reduce your monthly insurance premium is to adjust your current equation with your deductible. Essentially, a higher deductible equals a lower monthly rate. Keeping a lower deductible means you’ll be paying more per month.
Drive a Less Expensive Vehicle
The make and model of your vehicle can impact your insurance rates. If you’re looking to cut costs in your monthly bills, consider driving a less expensive, older, or safer vehicle while you have an SR-22.
Review Your Current Coverage
Talk to your insurance provider and have them walk you through all the elements of your policy. You may find that certain coverages are no longer necessary or that you can reduce your limits to save money.
Living With SR-22 Insurance
SR-22 insurance can be a complex and potentially costly requirement for drivers who have experienced driving violations or incidents. However, the situation is only temporary, and you still have tools at your disposal to help you save money and take care of the essentials.
At AllCreditAutos.com, we understand that a less-than-perfect record can present challenges when seeking financial assistance in getting a loan. Whether you have bad credit or no credit, let our experienced team help you get started on finding an auto loan quote that fits your budget and your situation.