Guide to SR-22 Insurance
Driving is not just a trivial activity. In the United States alone, around 38,000 individuals die each year due to road accidents. Over 4.4 million people sustain serious injuries that are serious enough to warrant medical assistance.
When accidents like these happen, it’s important to have a good insurance policy that will help you shoulder your responsibilities, especially if you’re at fault.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have insurance coverage, are not up to date with your payments, or have had a brush with the law, you may have your license and your driving privileges revoked.
The best way you can get your driving privileges reinstated is by getting SR-22 insurance. But what is an SR-22, and how can it help?
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about SR-22 insurance.
What is SR-22 Insurance?
Contrary to popular belief, an SR-22 is not an insurance policy in and of itself.
Rather than a policy, the SR-22 is an official government form attached to your insurance. It tells relevant authorities that you are up to date on your insurance payments and that you have liability coverage – at least the very minimum for your state.
That way, should you get into an accident, the State can make sure that you’re able to pay the minimum amount for all damages deemed your fault.
Because of this, an SR-22 is also often known as the Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
In Florida and Virginia, this form is called an FR-44. The main difference between the two is that an FR-22 usually has higher limits than a traditional SR-22.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?
The SR-22 form is only needed by individuals with very specific circumstances, typically high-risk drivers or uninsured and underinsured drivers.
The most common are those who were part of a driving accident–particularly if they were at fault–and could not meet their financial obligations because of being uninsured or underinsured.
Here are some examples of situations where SR-22 insurance may be needed.
- DUI convictions. Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all states. If you’re caught in an incident where you have been driving under the influence, there’s a big chance that you’ll be required to get an SR-22.
- Reckless driving. If you get into a reckless driving incident, you will be stripped of your driving privileges unless you get an SR-22.
- Driving with no insurance. This is considered illegal in all the states, and if you’re caught driving without a liability policy, you’re considered a risk on the road. You need to have an SR-22 to get your driving privileges back.
Only the court or the state can order an individual to get SR-22 insurance. If you’re unsure whether you need this form, don’t worry, your local DMV should notify you.
Types of SR-22 Insurance
There are different types of SR-22 insurance. This is mainly because your insurance obligations depend on whose car it is you’re driving.
If you own the car you’re driving, and you’re the primary person responsible for its insurance payments, then you should get an owner form.
In this case, the SR-22 will serve as proof – both that you own your vehicle and that your insurance payments are up to date on that vehicle you own.
If the reason for being issued an SR-22 is that you don’t have insurance, that means you need to insure your car first before getting the certificate. Here at Magnum Insurance, we can help you get your SR-22 right from the get-go along with your auto insurance.
If you already have an existing auto insurance policy, however, you just have to contact your insurance provider to tell them about your situation.
Since the SR-22 also serves as a confirmation certificate letting authorities know that you’re insured, even non-owners are required to get this certification. It typically includes bodily injury and property damage liability.
This is because in liability cases, it’s the driver who has to provide liability benefits to the victim, not necessarily the owner of the car.
However, there are some requirements you need to meet in order to qualify for non-owner insurance.
- You don’t have your own vehicle.
- Nobody in your household owns a vehicle.
- You’re not required to have an ignition interlock device.
In other words, you’re only allowed to use non-owner SR-22 insurance if you’re renting a car or borrowing from a friend who doesn’t live in the same residence as you.
If you own or drive multiple vehicles, this is the type of SR-22 insurance that you should get.
For example, you may have more than one car. Or, you may have a different vehicle for work and personal purposes.
If you display high-risk driving habits while driving any of these vehicles you own, you have to get SR-22 insurance to show that you can cover all of them.
This type is typically costlier than usual because it proves that you have sufficient liability insurance for multiple vehicles.
Getting an SR-22 Certificate
Once the court or local DMV orders you to get an SR-22, you will have to either get insurance for an uninsured vehicle or talk to your current insurance provider to add an SR-22 certificate.
This certificate indicates that you’re a high-risk driver, so whichever of the two you end up doing, expect your premiums to be higher than normal.
Additionally, not all insurance companies offer services related to SR-22 needs. Luckily, Magnum Insurance does offer SR-22, so be sure to contact us if you want to get a quote.
Here are a few things to consider when processing your SR-22 certificate.
1. It can take more than a month
Processing will begin as soon as you’ve paid the fee for SR-22. However, the entire process can take more than a month.
That’s because the paper first needs to be sent to the Secretary of State office for acknowledgement and approval. Depending on their backlog, it can take roughly a month to complete.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to drive without the certificate.
2. You will need to carry it with you all the time
The SR-22 certificate proves that you’re now a responsible driver, despite your driving history.
After the certificate has been printed and signed, your insurance company will contact the DMV. This will let them know that you’re now compliant with state laws and meet the minimum financial responsibility for drivers.
As long as you pay your auto insurance premiums, the SR-22 certificate will retain its validity. Make sure you keep it with you whenever you drive.
3. You can be suspended if your coverage lapses
Your insurance provider can report to the DMV if you miss or stop making your auto insurance payments.
Doing so will also render your SR-22 invalid. And without this, your driving license will be revoked again.
Always pay your premiums on time to avoid this from happening.
Understanding SR-22 Insurance with Magnum Insurance
The SR-22 certificate might be a little confusing, but it’s an important piece of document that you need to continue your driving privileges.
If you need to get SR-22 with your auto insurance, you can contact us here at Magnum Insurance!