SR 22 insurance can vary in cost depending on the state you live in and also on the insurance company offering coverage. Here, we take a closer look at what SR22 insurance is, how much it may cost you, getting an SR22 and how long you may need it.
What is an SR22 exactly?
In simple terms, a California SR22 is a certificate of insurance issued by an auto insurance company. An SR22 is also called a financial responsibility filing or a certificate of insurance. It verifies that the insured has met the state’s minimum requirements when it comes to liability coverage. Once issued, the insurance company then forwards a copy to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Drivers must obtain an SR22 if their license has been suspended or revoked and if they wish to have that licence reinstated. The certificate functions as acceptable evidence of liability car insurance in relation to any DMV action requiring you to prove financial responsibility.
When is an SR22 required?
An SR22 may be required in a number of different circumstances. One example is for individuals who were caught driving or involved in an accident without adequate auto insurance or without a valid license. Most commonly, though, it is required for people who are convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All of these incidents will require a person to have a valid SR22 on file with the DMV. The typical length of time is for three years but may be as many as five.
If a driver is required to maintain an SR22, the certificate must indicate that the corresponding insurance policy covers any cars that are registered under the driver’s name and all cars that the driver routinely operates.
A driver does not need to file an SR22 if he does not intend to drive. If that same driver, however, owns a car or has regular access to a car, he would need to file a non-owners SR22 certificate. This gives the driver coverage whenever he is given permission to drive a car not his own.
How much does an SR22 cost?
The cost for an SR22 varies between insurance companies. An individual can expect to spend an average of $300 to $800, depending on factors such as personal driving history, age, driving experience, marital status, and place of residence. Insurance companies that do offer SR22 coverage tend to do so at a high cost.
The certificate itself is not the only cost. SR22 insurance clients also inevitably pay higher premiums for their minimum liability coverage. This is due to the fact that they are now considered high risk drivers. Some insurance companies even require high risk drivers to pay for the entire coverage period at one time. This can be a considerable financial obligation for many. Additionally, a driver requiring an SR22 can lose their good driver discount. California actually prohibits DUI offenders from benefitting from a good driver discount for ten years after a conviction.
Another fee associated with the SR22 is the filing fee. Individual insurance companies will charge between $25 and $50 to properly file an SR22 with the DMV. Further, if a driver has complied with all SR22 requirements, the DMV can charge more than $125 to reissue a driver’s license and reinstate driving privileges.
Obtaining SR22 auto insurance
When first ordered to obtain an SR22, an individual will likely first contact their current car insurance company. Once that happens, it unfortunately alerts the provider to the fact that a significant event has occurred. The insurance company will proceed to access the DMV record to investigate why the driver needs the certificate. Based on their findings, the insurance company will either cancel the current policy or issue the certificate. If the policy is cancelled, the driver will be forced to find an alternate option. If the certificate is issued, the premium rates will more than likely increase.
A driver is not required to obtain an SR22 from their current auto insurance company. He is allowed to shop around for the best option. Every insurance company is different, and many do not even offer SR22 insurance. Experts highly suggest shopping around before making a purchase. Make sure to consider the financial responsibility, service, reliability and reputation of the company when buying a policy.
Fortunately for these drivers, a DUI or suspended license isn't the only factor considered by car insurance companies when determining premium rates. Most insurers will also weigh your age, where you live, whether you are married, and your driving history and experience as well.
How long will an SR22 status last?
Generally, a driver is required to have an SR22 on file for three years after a license suspension due to DUI. The original certificate will remain on file with the DMV as long as either the auto insurance company or the driver does not cancel the policy. There is no need to re-file yearly.
If the policy is cancelled or the driver is dropped from an insurance company, such actions will be reported to the DMV. The driver must immediately obtain a new SR22 from a different auto insurance company. Failure to do so could result in another license suspension. In other words, SR22 coverage must be uninterrupted in order for the DMV to approve the ultimate removal of SR22 status and fully reinstate a driver’s license at a future date.
Finding the Right SR22 Insurance Company
For those drivers dealing with SR22 requirements, finding the right insurance company can be a daunting task. After facing arrest, court dates, and frustrating demands from the DMV, the last thing they want to do is haggle with an insurance agent. The good news is that there are options. Agencies are out there that can help you find the best rates for SR22 insurance.
Breathe Easy Insurance for SR22 Insurance
Breathe Easy Insurance is the SR22 Leader in California. Our helpful staff can electronically file your California SR22 with the DMV within 15 minutes. We shop your policy with hundreds of carriers to find you the best possible rates. Our competitive rates make it possible for you to manage and mitigate life's risks without breaking the bank. Simply provide us with a small amount of information, and we'll give you a personalized quote tailored to your needs! You can trust our excellent customer service. Our knowledgeable agents can answer any questions about your policy, the latest DMV regulations, and even payments. You can get an instant quote online or by calling us at 866.822.7755.