SR-22 Insurance – Why Is It Usually More Expensive?

SR-22 Insurance is actually a state filing requirement for high risk auto insurance policies.  It is more accurately known as an SR-22 certification or an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility. This form is filled out by the auto insurance company and filed with your state as a proffer of proof that you possess adequate automobile insurance coverage. SR-22 Insurance is typically required for people who have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked. Because SR-22 Insurance is a filing for high-risk drivers, auto insurance for drivers who need this filing tends to be more expensive.

MORE: SR-22: What is it? Do you need it? And where can you get it?

Why Does Someone Need SR-22 Insurance?

States typically set their own laws for when a person is required to have SR-22 Insurance.   You typically need SR-22 Insurance after you have committed a serious violation of driving rules.  You may have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked for a period of time due to the infraction.  In this instance, you typically need to make the SR-22 filing to get your driver’s license back.

Convictions for drunk driving, reckless driving, previously driving without insurance, a very serious at-fault accident, getting a significant number of tickets in a short period of time, or getting into too many smaller accidents which cause you to be reflected as a high-risk driver on your driving record can trigger the need for SR-22 Insurance.  Therefore, if you either have a habit of operating a motor vehicle in an irresponsible manner or you have even one seriously irresponsible incident behind the wheel, you may be required to get SR-22 Insurance.

Why Is SR-22 Insurance Usually More Expensive?

The primary reason that SR-22 Insurance is more expensive is due to the reason that you need SR-22 Insurance in the first place.   If you have a DUI or reckless driving conviction on your record or a number of speeding tickets, this is the reason that you must pay more for car insurance.   High-risk drivers automatically are charged more by auto insurance companies than safe drivers or average drivers. The state filing fee for SR-22 Insurance, on the other hand, is generally only approximately $25.

Furthermore, SR-22 filings are accompanied with mandatory coverage limit minimums which may differ from that of your state.  The required additional coverage may also add to the increase in your rate.

Where can you buy SR-22 insurance?

As a high-risk driver, you may find it harder to obtain insurance from many insurance companies.  Even though car insurance companies can charge high- risk drivers higher rates, many prefer not to insure them at all.  If you can not get auto insurance from your normal auto insurance company and you can not find insurance from one of the larger auto insurance companies, you may want to try a high-risk auto insurance company.

Here are some auto insurance companies that insure high-risk drivers:

  • Bristol West Insurance Group – A subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, Bristol West provides auto insurance in 42 states.  Bristol West offers low down payment plans. Furthermore, the company offers flexible payment options so that you can afford the insurance.   You must get this auto insurance through a Farmers agent.
  • Titan – A subsidiary of Nationwide, Titan insures high-risk drivers that cannot obtain insurance from other companies.  People who have been convicted of drunk driving and other high-risk offenses can secure insurance through this company.  This company offers minimum coverage options which may save you money so long as your SR-22 requirements are met.
  • The General – The General provides insurance for high risk drivers.  In fact, this company is known to insure just about anyone. This auto insurance company tries to make auto insurance affordable by offering low down payments and affordable monthly payments.
  • Acceptance Auto Insurance – Acceptance Insurance specifically serves drivers who need SR-22 Insurance.  This company offers several different coverage options and great customer service. One drawback, however, is that Acceptance is a small company that only operates in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.

Tips To Find Cheap SR-22 Insurance

If you are required to get SR-22 Insurance, you may have to make some compromises in order to make your car insurance more affordable.  One of the first compromises that you may consider making is driving a used car instead of a newer car for which you do not need collision coverage. This means that if you are in a collision, your auto insurance company will not pay the cost of your repairs for your car. You may also want to consider lower limits for comprehensive coverage.

Another way to get less expensive SR-22 Insurance coverage is to purchase non-owner SR-22 Insurance.  This will save you a lot of money. However, you are not allowed to own a car or drive any car regularly if you have this type of policy.  It is basically used to simply fill your SR-22 requirement until this time period expires and you are no longer required to make the SR-22 filing.

>>MORE: Do I still need SR-22 insurance if I don’t have a car to drive? (non-owner SR-22 insurance)

Since SR-22 Insurance can be expensive, one of the best ways to find the lowest price on this type of auto insurance is to go through an auto insurance broker.  An insurance broker may already be aware of which insurance companies offer the best rates on SR-22 Insurance.

>>MORE: Pros and Cons of buying car insurance from an insurance broker

What Do You Need To Do When The SR-22 Requirement Expires?

If you need an SR-22 certification, there us some good news.  You normally only need an SR-22 filing for one to five years.  The most common length of time for an SR-22 filing is three years.  

After the required time for you to have SR-22 Insurance has passed, you first need to contact DMV to verify that you have met the requirements.  You may receive a letter from the DMV regarding this fact as well. Next, you need to contact your auto insurance provider so that they can take the proper steps to drop your SR-22 filing.  This is done by an SR-26 filing.

Tips To Decrease Your Car Insurance Premium After The SR-22 Period Is Over

After your SR-22 filing has been removed, you can shop around for the best auto insurance rate just as everyone else does.  The underlying offense that caused the SR-22 requirement may have fallen off of your driving record when the SR-22 requirement expired, or it may still be present. Keeping a clean driving record is the best way to get your auto insurance rates to go down after the SR-22 requirement has been lifted.

MORE: Which companies has the cheapest car insurance?

Final Thoughts

SR-22 Insurance is a type of state filing that is required for drivers in the high-risk category.  This typically results from multiple offenses or egregious offenses such as driving under the influence. Although the filing is typically only $25, being in the high-risk category makes auto insurance very expensive.  It also makes obtaining car insurance difficult. You should try one of the high-risk insurers to obtain the SR-22 certification and get insurance with low down payments and affordable monthly payments.  And remember the SR-22 requirement does not last forever. As soon as the time period has passed, notify the DMV and your insurance company to get your SR-22 filing removed. After this, you may want to shop around for the lowest rates on car insurance.

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