Has a court recently mandated you to obtain an SR22 insurance policy in California? Are you unsure of where to find a reasonably priced SR22 policy?
Drivers in California who receive convictions for certain driving violations, such as a DUI, may need to get an SR22 insurance policy before they can get back onto the road. If this sounds like something you or someone you know and love is going through, you should continue reading below. This brief SR22 insurance California guide will cover what an SR22 insurance policy is and who you can reach out to for more information.
What Is SR22 Insurance California?
SR22 Insurance California, isn't a type of insurance. Instead, an SR22 is a certificate also known as a California Insurance Proof Certificate your auto insurer files with the state to prove you carry the state minimum car insurance liability requirements.
It is important to note that not all insurance carriers offer SR22 certificates, and if they do, they will charge you more than the average driver. California requires their drivers to carry bodily injury insurance of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per incident. You also need to carry at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Who Needs an SR22 Policy?
If you recently received a conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated, a court or your state may have ordered you to obtain an SR22 insurance policy. Most people receive a notification that they need an SR22 from a judge or their local California DMV.
Other common reasons you may need an SR22:
Serious traffic offenses such as reckless driving
Repeat traffic offenses
Revoked or suspended license
Not paying court-ordered child support
Causing too many auto accidents
If you need to have your driving privileges reinstated or a restricted license, you will need to obtain an SR22 insurance policy, and you may need to pay fees. Once your California DMV receives your SR22 certificate from your auto insurer, you will receive a copy of their confirmation. If you are an average driver without any serious driving infractions or if you have not been court-mandated to receive an SR22 policy, you do not need to get an SR22.
How to Get an SR22?
As mentioned above, to get an SR22 certificate in California, you will first need to find an insurer who takes on SR22 clients. Many well-known insurance companies offer SR22 insurance policies, but they charge way more than other companies that specialize in selling SR22s.
If you already have an auto insurance company, you can reach out to them to see if they offer SR22s. If they do not, you will need to seek out a different company. Many auto insurance companies only take a number of SR22 clients because they are seen as higher risks than the average driver.
If you don't already have an auto insurer, you will want to make sure to find an insurer who takes on SR22 clients. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a filing fee, which is about $50. There are other companies that only charge around $5 for their filing fees.
How Much Does SR22 Insurance Cost?
SR22 insurance in California will cost more than you previously paid for when you had a standard auto insurance policy. The average SR22 insurance rate in California is about $1800 per year. If you have a severe conviction, such as a DUI with injuries, you can expect your rates to triple.
If you find yourself googling "cheap sr22 insurance near me", make sure that you compare several different quotes before settling on one insurer. It would also be best for you to check out the company's reviews as well to see what their customers did and did not like about getting insurance with them.
California Automobile Law
In the state of California, there are specific laws in place that prevent auto insurers from increasing your rates in the middle of your term or canceling your policy altogether when you have an SR22. This policy protection expires when your policy comes up for renewal, so if you have an SR22 on your policy, your insurer can then cancel your policy or charge you higher rates. California law also prohibits auto insurers from providing good driver discounts to any driver with a DUI conviction for up to ten years after the violation.
How Long Do I Need an SR22?
The length of time you must keep an SR22 on file depends on your conviction. When you receive the conviction, the court should tell you how long you must keep the SR22. In general, most violations require three years, but if you have a more serious infraction, you may need to keep it on file for ten years.
Suppose you move out of California during your mandatory filing period. In that case, you will need to reach out to your insurer to ensure that they do business in California and the state you're moving to. If the state you move to has different liability insurance requirements, you may need to purchase two separate insurance policies.
SR22 Insurance Without a Vehicle
Do I need SR22 insurance if I do not have a vehicle? Yes! If you don't own a car, but are court-mandated to carry an SR22 certificate, you can purchase a non owner SR22 insurance policy.
A non owner SR22 policy provides liability coverage to any vehicle you drive occasionally. It is essential to highlight the term "occasionally." This means that your policy will only provide coverage if you drive cars that you do not consistently have access to.
So if you use your roommate's or your parent's vehicle, your non owner policy will not provide any coverage if you get into an accident. Instead, the original insurance policy on that vehicle will review for coverage.
Non Owner SR22 Insurance Cost
Because this type of policy does not cover a specific vehicle, the cost will be less than a standard SR22 policy. On average, the price of a non owner policy is around $1030 per year. Keep in mind that if you do own a vehicle, even if you don't plan on driving it as much, you will need to get a standard SR22 policy, not a non owner.
How to Remove an SR22
As long as you are mandated to carry an SR22, you cannot drop it from your auto insurance policy. It is also crucial not to let your policy lapse. If you do, you may restart the time that you must carry an SR22. For example, if you are two years into your three-year sentence and you let your policy lapse, you will have to start over again and wait three years until you can remove the certificate.
Once you fulfill your requirement, you can then reach out to your provider and ask them to remove it from your policy. Your insurer will also notify the state that you removed the certificate from your auto insurance policy.
SR1P vs. SR22 in California
If you drive a vehicle with less than four wheels, such as a moped or a motorcycle, you may need to file an SR1P with the state of California. You will file an SR1P instead of an SR22.
SR1Ps are usually required if you had your license revoked or suspended after being convicted of risky driving behavior. You may also need to file this form if you were caught driving without an active insurance policy.
Alternative to an SR22
In California, you have the opportunity to deposit $35,000 with the DMV to show the state that you have proof of financial responsibility. If you were to get into an accident and you needed to pay for another driver's damages, the state would pay out the damages from the bond. Most clients prefer to obtain SR22 insurance policies instead of this option because of the high upfront cost.
Affordable SR22 Insurance
Rates for SR22 insurance California can cost you a lot of money, especially if you have a severe driving infraction. To get back onto the road, you will need to get an SR22, but of course, the cost may tempt you to avoid getting the policy in general.
Getting an SR22 insurance policy should not be a challenging feat. Contact us now for a free quote if you or someone you know needs to obtain an SR22 auto insurance policy. Our rates are very competitive, and our team is prepared to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about getting your policy.