Do You Need an SR-22?
Contrary to what many people think, SR-22 is not a type of insurance coverage. Instead, an SR-22 is a document that provides proof of insurance for certain high-risk insurance policies. It is required by most states, with the exception of Kentucky, Delaware, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and New Mexico. This document is filed by your car insurance carrier, and it provides verification that you maintain at least the minimum amount of car insurance liability coverage required by your state. Not all car insurance companies file this document, but the most popular ones include SafeAuto, Progressive and Acceptance Insurance.
If you are considered a high-risk driver, meaning you have been involved in a major accident or you have been convicted of a traffic offense such as a DUI or reckless driving, you will probably be required to purchase this document. You may also be required to have this document in order to reinstate a revoked or suspended license.
SR-22 Insurance: What to Look For
If you have been notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles or by a court that you need an SR-22, the best thing to do is to start looking at options. You need to see if your existing auto insurance company will file for you. If not, you will need to shop around to find an insurance company that is reliable and one that can file for a low fee.
Most insurance companies require a small filing fee in order to obtain an SR-22. Generally, the cost of the filing fee depends on how much your state charges to file the document. Only your insurance company can file the document with the state; you can't file it on your own. In most cases the filing fee is only $15 to $25. First you will need to have a policy with the insurance company, so it's best to shop around and get the best quote. Chances are, if you are required to file for an SR-22 document then you fall into a high-risk category. In this case your insurance will be higher than those with excellent driving records.
The cost of a high-risk insurance policy can be quite expensive. In order to lower your costs, it's important to ask the potential insurance company about discounts for high-risk drivers. Some discounts include a senior citizen discount, a good student discount and even a multiple policy discount if you insure your home and vehicles with one company. You can also ask if the company provides a discount if you set up auto-pay or when you pay in advance.
Length of Policy
The standard length of time an SR-22 remains valid is three years. Your insurance company may offer an automatic renewal that ensures your document remains active. It's your responsibility to keep the SR-22 up to date, so you need to check with the potential insurance provider to see what its rules are regarding this documentation.
An SR-22 is a document of financial responsibility that you must obtain from your current insurance company. If you find out that you must have an SR-22 in order to drive legally, it's best to shop around to learn about your options.