All You Need to Know About SR22s
If you’re required to file an SR22 insurance form, it may have been ordered by either the court or state, and is usually required for three consecutive years. So, what the heck is an SR-22?
An SR22 is not an insurance policy; it’s just a form that provides proof you are carrying the minimum auto insurance required by the state. Typically, this means you are identified as part of a high-risk group. Does this change the amount and type of car insurance you are required to carry? Absolutely not. You are only required to carry the state mandatory liability minimums.
What puts me in a high-risk group?
There are several reasons that an SR22 may be required, including:
• Driving DUI or DWI offenses
• Being found at-fault in an accident while driving uninsured
• Driving with a suspended or revoked license
• Several traffic infractions in a short period of time
• Other major moving violations such as reckless driving
Because you are considered as being in a high-risk group, your insurance costs will be higher. However, if you shop around, you can usually find a reasonable rate for SR22 insurance with companies that specialize in insuring drivers with less favorable driving records.
How do I file an SR22?
You don’t. The SR22 is filed with your state by your insurance company and proves that you carry the minimum liability coverage on your car insurance policy. If you do not own a motor vehicle, you must buy “non-owners” liability coverage. If you’re not currently insured, this could cause your driving privileges to be revoked.
If you cancel an insurance policy, your carrier will immediately notify the state that you are no longer covered and your SR22 form will be cancelled. If you plan to cancel your policy because you are changing insurance companies, make sure you have the new policy with an SR-22 in place before you cancel. Be aware, if you have even a one day gap in coverage, your three year time period will start all over again – you will get no credit for the time you did have proof of coverage.
No double dipping
Don’t make the mistake of getting an SR22 form from one company and then buying your insurance from a different company – you are not allowed to have insurance on the same car from two companies at the same time – it is against the law. The company that issues you auto insurance must also be the company that files the SR-22 document.
After probation ends – SR26 filing
If an SR22 expires or is canceled, the carrier is required to issue an SR-26 form, which confirms the cancellation of the policy. If this form is filed before your policy term and probationary period are over — suggesting you may be driving without meeting your financial obligation— the state may revoke your driving privileges.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel
But, this too shall pass. You don’t have to be under SR22 insurance forever. Just remind yourself to drive more responsibly, obey the traffic laws and get on the road to maintaining a good driving record – and, of course, pay your auto insurance premiums on time. You’ll find, in a few years, you will likely be able to get auto insurance without an SR22 form.
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