How Long Do I Need SR-22 Insurance?
There are a lot of difficulties associated with having a DUI or DWI that can quickly become a real burden on your life. Along with the never-ending fees, tickets, and restrictions, you’ll likely need an SR-22, which is certificate you file with your state. Keep in mind that it is not a type of insurance by itself.
Having a DUI will quickly get you categorized as a high-risk driver by insurance companies. They will require that you file an SR-22 with your state to guarantee that you meet the minimum liability insurance coverage. Remember that said minimum is 15/30/5 ($15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage) in California.
Also, there are other reasons insurance companies may require an SR-22: suspended license, reckless driving, several traffic violations, driving without insurance or a license, among others.
I Need an SR-22, What Should I Do?
The first question you should answer is how to get SR-22 insurance. Since the only way to get an SR-22 is through an insurance provider, you’ll need a policy to obtain the certificate. If you already have one, your provider may be able to add it on. If you don’t have one, or your insurance company doesn’t file the SR-22, you’ll need to shop around for a new policy. Keep in mind that it will be high-risk auto insurance, and your premiums may go up.
What Can I Do if My Provider Doesn’t Offer SR-22 Coverage?
If you already have good coverage with a provider you trust, filing non-owner SR-22 insurance with another company could be an excellent way to go. This policy would be secondary, and it won’t cover any cars (as it excludes any owned vehicles, so it’s not double coverage). Also, your SR-22 non-owner insurance should have the same liability limits as your primary policy.
I Moved to Another State, Do I Still Need an SR-22?
Some states don’t require an SR-22 filing and have their version of the certificate. Remember this if you move to any of these:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
However, never assume that you’ll be off the hook if you move to a state that doesn’t use SR-22 as verification. In that case, you have to work with the state requesting the certificate to get permission and provide valid documents that prove your insurance meets the minimum liability limits.
How Long Does SR-22 Last?
This is a common question that raises a lot of concerns among high-risk drivers, but it’s important to note that it won’t last forever. So, how long do you have to have an SR-22? It depends on your state, most require that you keep it for three years, but it can vary from one to five.
Keep in mind that your insurance company is required by law to notify the state if you cancel or let your insurance lapse, resulting in a license suspension. Be careful, and keep track of your policy.
How Much Will an SR-22 Cost Me?
While the certificate itself is not very expensive (it ranges from $15 to $25, and it’s usually a one-time fee), the high costs come from the infraction that led to its filing. An SR-22 requirement will increase your rates, and you’ll likely need to get high-risk auto insurance, which is way more expensive than a regular policy. Several years with an SR-22 is bothersome enough, so make sure you don’t make it longer than necessary:
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Avoid driving if you’re under medication or drugs.
- Take a defensive driving course.
- Respect speed limits.
- Stay away from distracted driving (like texting, eating, etc.).
Another way to get through an SR-22 is by having a great insurance company by your side. Being a high-risk driver doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for car insurance, find out how much you can save at Cost-U-Less today. We can help you get back on track with a free SR-22 quote online or over the phone by calling us at (800) 390-4071.