Are you wondering about the requirements for California SR22 insurance? Feel free to read about them here in this detailed guide.
When did you find out you needed an SR22?
Some drivers find out the moment they attend their court hearing. Other drivers don't know if they need an SR22 until they receive a letter from the state. However, you found out the bad news, there is a way to make it better.
By learning the California insurance requirements, you can find the best coverages and rates. To help you out, we've put together this complete guide. We'll go over everything you need to know about finding the best SR22 insurance California offers.
What do you need to know about SR22 liability insurance requirements in California? Read on to find out.
Minimum Insurance Coverages for California
When you're obtaining an SR22, you must meet California's minimum liability insurance requirements.
What are the liability insurance requirements in California? The liability coverage limits are $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident to cover bodily injury damages.
California also requires $5,000 in property damage coverage. Liability coverages are the coverages that kick in if you're at fault in an accident.
Let's say, for instance, that you sideswiped another vehicle. If anyone was injured, the bodily injury liability coverage would be able to help pay for their medical bills. The damage done to their car would come directly out of the property damage coverage.
There are several different ways to file an SR22. There's a motorcycle policy, A non-owners policy, and a car insurance policy. The motorcycle and car insurance policies are for individuals with vehicles registered directly to their name. A nonowners policy is for someone who doesn't own any type of vehicle.
There are over 800,000 motorcyclists alone in California. That means insurance companies are well versed in handling SR22 filings for bikes, cars, and even non-owners.
Who Needs California SR22 Insurance?
Who exactly needs an SR22 in California? The SR22 is a specific type of certificate mandated by the state.
The certificate is a way of proving to California that you've met the state's liability requirements. When you purchase an SR22 policy, you'll be able to have your license reinstated if it was suspended. Typically for an SR22 to impact a license suspension, you'll have to drive with the ignition interlock device.
What are some other situations when you might have to apply for an SR22 in California? Suppose you have over 3 traffic violations or were caught driving with an expired registration. In that case, you might have to obtain a certificate of insurance.
You could also have to get an SR22 if you didn't report an accident or if you failed to carry the right amount of insurance on your car. Once you're confident you need an SR22, you'll want to start the filing process.
Understanding Ignition Interlock Devices
Earlier, we mentioned that you might have to use an ignition interlock device and maintain an SR-22 status. But what exactly do these ignition interlock devices do? It's a unique way of measuring your blood alcohol level in real-time.
The ignition interlock device is also referred to as an IID. If you're dealing with the second conviction of a DUI in the state of California, you'll have to install an IId. You can check out this CDC guide to see the specifics of how these devices work.
Sometimes California courts require you to install an IID on your first DUI conviction. Counties like Sacramento and Los Angeles are known for having stricter DUI laws. However, every court will work with its own discretion when it comes to handling first-time DUI offenders.
It's definitely in your best interest to look for an attorney who can help you create the best defense. You'll also want to work swiftly to file your SR22, so there aren't any further legal issues.
How to File for an SR22
How do you file for an SR22? Reach out to your current insurance provider and let them know that you need an SR22 certificate.
Your provider will either file the certificate for you or inform you they can't cover you any longer. If your insurance provider tells you that they can't cover you because you need an SR22, you'll need to quickly find a company that can cover you.
There are tons of insurance companies out there who work with SR22s; it's all about knowing where to look. Once you find a company, you can request that they directly file your SR22 for you. When the certificate's filed, you can go back to life as usual.
Now your insurance company will be happy to handle all communications with the DMV. If anything else is necessary from you, your insurance company will now be the mediator. You'll have a trusted insurance professional in your corner who can consult you on how to move forward.
Remember, if your current insurance company isn't able to provide you with an SR22, you'll need to get a replacement policy right away! You won't be able to cancel your current policy until you have a new one, and you don't want there to be any lapse in coverage. To avoid any issues, start budgeting for the SR22 cost and get multiple quotes.
Cost of an SR22
How much can you expect to pay for an SR22? It's all going to depend on the type of accident or violation you experienced. For instance, someone dealing with a DUI violation will have a higher payment than somebody dealing with a speeding ticket.
Of course, if you were excessively speeding, that will change things. Check out this guide about California's speeding fines to get an idea of how severe your speed was.
One of the best ways to avoid overpaying for insurance is by comparing multiple quotes. Different quotes will be able to take into account your personal circumstances to provide you with a fair and verified rate.
The difference in your insurance premium could be hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars. The good news is that you're not going to have to maintain your SR22 status for the rest of your life.
Every situation is different. However, 3 years tends to be the average for someone to hold an SR22. If you have a severe infraction, you might have to keep your SR22 for up to 10 years.
You'll have to consult with the court papers to determine how long you're required to hold your certificate. It could delay things if you have another driving infraction while you're still under an SR22 status. Instead, you want to be on your best driving behavior to avoid extra expenses or problems.
Maintain Your Status if Leaving the State
Let's say that you have to file for an SR22 in California. However, after obtaining your certificate, you find out that you need to move out of the state.
Now what? Does that mean that you'll be able to leave your SR-22 status behind?
Unfortunately, your SR22 status will come with you even when you go to the state. You'll also have to avoid any policy lapse, or you'll have to start your SR-22 status all over.
In some situations, new States won't require you to file for an SR22. Instead, you'll be able to obtain a new insurance policy in your new home state.
You'll also be able to maintain your SR22 status by communicating with the California DMV. Just make sure you let the California DMV and your insurer know if your address changes. They'll be able to walk you through the exact process of handling your new payments.
Wisely Adjusting Coverage Limits
Since you'll be reaching out to insurance companies, now would be a good time to review all of your coverage limits. Take a moment to find out if you have full coverage.
Full coverage includes coverages like comprehensive and collision. Comprehensive and collision are the coverages that are going to protect your vehicle.
Remember, your SR22 coverages are only related to liability. It's a way of proving that you have enough liability coverage to meet California's requirements. However, liability coverages won't help pay for any injuries that happened to you in a car accident.
Suppose you want to protect yourself and your passengers. In that case, you'll need to maintain the correct type of personal coverages.
Comprehensive and collision are great for your vehicle. But it's the medical payments and PIP that are good for the people inside your car.
You can also look into getting uninsured motorists coverage or UM. UM helps if you wind up hurt, and the other driver doesn't have coverage. It can also help you if you encounter an underinsured driver.
Find the Right Policy and Rate
We hope that this article cleared up a few of your SR22 insurance questions. It can be overwhelming trying to navigate the insurance world. The good news is that you don't have to go through it alone!
Here at SR-22 Savings, it's our goal to provide customers with the best-verified rates from a variety of providers. Our ability to shop around your policy means that we can find quotes other companies couldn't even dream of.
Reach out to us today to get your free verified rate. You'll be so glad you did.