Have you recently gotten into an accident or had a driving violation? If so, chances are you will need to file an SR-22. This is the reason why many people turn to car insurance companies that offer this type of insurance. However, before you do that, it’s important to know exactly what SR-22 insurance is and whether your state requires it.
What is SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 insurance is a legal requirement in most states for drivers who have had their license suspended due to major violations. Being forced to carry this very specific form of coverage can be an added expense that can be easy to avoid, which makes it even more important that you understand why you need it and how it works.
Why You Need SR-22 insurance
When your license has been suspended due to drunk driving arrests or other violations, the DMV will review your case before allowing you to reinstate your licenses. This process could take several weeks or months to complete, depending on state laws and regulations. During this time period, there are certain things you are forbidden from doing. Among these are:
Driving a car – If your license has been suspended, it is against the law to drive a vehicle of any kind under any circumstances. Driving without a license can lead to fines or jail time.
Any driving at all – Many states have laws on the books that state you cannot be in the driver’s seat of a car while your license is suspended for whatever reason. This means walking to work, getting rides from friends or catching public transportation so you don’t get stuck spending money on cabs or rental cars just to get around town until your license is reinstated. Without insurance coverage, someone who allows you to use their car also opens themselves up to potential legal problems if you are caught behind the wheel.
Proof of insurance – Most states require you to prove you are carrying the proper insurance before your license can be reinstated. SR-22 insurance is a special type of coverage that proves you have at least the minimum required amount of liability insurance on your vehicle. Regular auto insurance providers will not write an SR-22 for any driver who cannot legally drive, so finding one that fits your needs may take some time and research.
Why You Might Not Want To Have An SR-22
SR-22 insurance comes with its own set of rules and requirements. This means filing paperwork each year verifying that your insurance provider carries this form of coverage, paying higher rates because you are considered a high risk driver by most companies and being forced to pay more if you fail to submit your paperwork on time, or at all. You might also end up with less coverage for the same price if you are not careful about choosing an SR-22 provider.
The good news is there are some ways to avoid having to buy this type of insurance if it goes against your financial or personal situation. Most states will not require you to have an SR-22 insurance on file if you meet certain conditions every year. These include the following:
At least three years without another major violation – If you have stayed clean for at least three years after having had your license suspended, most states will allow you to choose one of these options instead of buying SR-22 insurance coverage. Depending on your state laws and regulations, this may be possible even sooner than three years.
Under the direct supervision of a licensed driver – Some states allow you to drive under someone else’s license and insurance just as long as they are able to keep an eye on your vehicle at all times while it is in motion. This can be difficult if you do not have family or friends who own their own car and are willing to let you borrow it for such occasions, but for some people this might be a possibility.
Driving only during business hours – If your job requires that you drive between locations, or if you work from home and need to commute back and forth each day, some states will allow you to get an exemption that allows you to drive only during certain hours, usually daylight, until your eligibility has been met.
Proof of enrollment in a drug or alcohol treatment program – This is only available to people who get their licenses revoked due to an addiction, such as drunk driving. Your insurance provider will require you to submit proof that you are attending regular sessions with a counselor or other mental health professional before they agree to provide SR-22 insurance coverage for your vehicle.
Skipping the required SR-22 policy and risking it on your own may seem like something some people would do even though it’s against the law. However, most drivers opt for this option because:
SR-22 usually includes more expensive rates than what is offered by standard auto insurance providers – Most consumers pay more money each month just so they can maintain their right to drive legally than they would if they were charged a “normal” rate for their SR-22.
You could be required to carry this type of insurance for a set amount of time after getting your license back before you will qualify for any benefits – You may need to stay on the plan longer than you had planned, which means you will most likely end up paying more money.
Your SR-22 insurance coverage is only valid when you are driving with your license reinstated. As soon as your suspension period is over, your SR-22 will no longer protect you in an accident or at traffic stops. This means that anyone who lets you use their car is also taking a risk by doing so because your insurance policy won’t cover them in case of an accident.
The extra cost and inconvenience might not be worth it for some people, but if you find yourself in a tough situation and need to drive again as soon as possible, having an SR-22 on file could help you get back on the road more quickly. Even though it may come with more restrictions than other types of insurance, choosing to buy this coverage is better than trying to start driving without any kind of protection at all.
Finding An Insurance Provider That Writes SR-22 Policies
If you cannot afford the rates that most regular providers are offering because you have had your license suspended in the past or if you are facing financial hardships right now, then finding an insurance company that will write SR-22 policies can be hard. Unlike standard auto insurance providers, there are companies that specialize in writing these policies. This means they set their rates according to the specific requirements that are needed to maintain them.
Driving while your license is suspended will lead to penalties, fines or even jail time if you get caught or involved in an accident so if you want the security of knowing you will always have car insurance no matter what happens, it’s important to find an affordable SR-22 provider as quickly as possible.
Some people take their chances and buy a plan that covers all cars regardless of who drives them because it is much cheaper than paying for separate policies every month. This can be very dangerous because anyone who has access to your vehicle could end up getting into an accident while behind the wheel without being insured.
If you are looking for affordable SR-22 insurance, you need to get quotes from several providers before making a final decision about which company to go with. Shopping around and comparing rates is the best way to ensure that you get the lowest possible price in addition to meeting your state’s eligibility guidelines and other requirements. Look for companies online or in the phone book and don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members who they use because their experiences could save you time and money when it comes time to renew your policy each year.
Do You Need SR-22 Insurance?
If you need SR-22 Insurance, we can help. Give us a call and one of our friendly insurance specialists will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process or your options for coverage. We offer several different types of plans that are tailored to meet all budgets and needs.