Getting into a car accident or obtaining some form of road violation is no one's idea of fun. Not only is the accident itself potentially painful and in some cases embarrassing, but the red tape you have to cut through afterwards can be a nightmare. Before you can get back on the road, in most situations, you will need to show proof of insurance; in other instances, you will more specifically need an SR22 certificate. If you are living in Arizona or California, SR22 Savings can help you to understand the process of filing this form.
Before you do that, it's important for you to understand what SR 22 insurance car insurance is, and what it does.
What exactly is SR22 insurance?
SR22 is a certificate of insurance issued by a car insurance provider. An SR22 is also referred to as an SR22 bond or certificate of financial responsibility. It shows that you have met the state's minimum liability coverage. Once an SR22 is issued, the insurance carrier of your choice will send a copy to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will need to submit an SR22 filing if your license has been revoked or suspended, and you need it reinstated. An SR22 works as evidence of liability insurance, and if any DMV action is needed to prove that you have financial responsibility, then your SR22 certificate will act as proof of this. (1)(3)
So, what is liability insurance exactly? This is a kind of insurance that offers coverage to pay for someone else's injuries if caused by an accident where you were at fault. It also includes property damage, including other vehicles, if you are at fault in an accident. An SR22 provides assurance of coverage and is posted on your driving record for a period of time. In most states, this policy is in place for three years, but can reach up to twenty years depending on the offence. (2)
According to which state you live in, the minimum amount of coverage required for liability insurance will differ. For example, in California, it's USD$5000 for property damage and USD$30 000 for injury or death to more than one person. Comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements, and therefore will make getting an SR22 harder; make sure that you understand the policy you currently have and that it meets the state requirements and look around for companies that offer SR22 certificates if you've had any traffic incidents in the past. (4)
What does it cover?
SR22 coverage is for people who have been involved in a traffic accident, obtained a DUI or traffic violation, and are considered 'high-risk drivers.' It's proof of financial stability, that if you find yourself in a similar situation again, you are covered for any liable costs. An SR22 is necessary to get back behind the wheel of a vehicle after any of the incidents mentioned above. It's important to remember that SR22 is not a type of insurance, but a certificate proving that you have the minimum amount to cover any damage you may have caused to others. (3)
The price of this kind of policy can vary depending on age, driving history, and the insurance company who already cover you. Reach out to your insurance provider for their policy restrictions. SR22 Safety offers help for anyone in need of obtaining or understanding an SR22 certificate.
What is the difference between an SR22 and proof of insurance?
Essentially, an SR22 is a kind of proof of insurance, although they are technically not the same thing.
An SR22 is a form that you file with your state that acts as proof that you meet the state's required minimum auto liability insurance. It is specific to cases where the driver is considered a 'high risk driver'. Proof of insurance acts in a similar manner, acting as proof that your insurance meets the states minimum requirements, and will have the details of your policy. However, proof of insurance is a more standard form if you are registering a new vehicle, needing to renew your license, have been in a car accident, or have been pulled over and must provide proof of insurance coverage. Make sure to check with your auto insurance company which document you may need, and if an SR22 has been court-ordered, proof of insurance will not be accepted, and you will need to ask about an SR22 certificate. (5)
Who needs SR22 insurance?
SR22 insurance may be needed in several different situations-for example, if you are caught driving or have caused an accident without the right car insurance or have driven without a valid license. The most common case where an SR22 is required is for those who are convicted of driving while under the influence.
If you are a stranger to getting tickets or being in accidents, chances are that you won't need an SR22 certificate. There are many reasons, however, why you might need one, including if you have been seen driving recklessly, on a suspended license, have gotten into an accident, driven without the proper insurance, or have been convicted of a DUI. For a DUI, generally if you are over 21 years of age, you will be required to take part in a DUI program and file for an SR22 to prove that you can safely return to driving. (6)
The following are some more reasons why you might need an SR22 certificate:
Conviction for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Multiple serious traffic offenses (like reckless driving)
Causing numerous car accidents
Causing an accident while driving without insurance
Having your license suspended or revoked
Having a hardship license, such as a temporary license that restricts your driving hours because of a license revocation or suspension (3)
How easy it to obtain?
Firstly, you must already have auto liability insurance before you can obtain an SR22 certificate. If you do not already have liability insurance, you will need to obtain this before you can get an SR 22 certificate. However, if staying with your current provider, you do not have to purchase a new policy; instead, an SR22 can be added to your existing policy.
When an SR22 is ordered, your first point of call will be to your current car insurance provider. Your provider will then access the DMV records to investigate whatever incident occurred and why you need a certificate. Once they have the information that they need, they will decide whether to cancel your current policy - as they do have a right to - or issue an SR22 certificate. If the policy is cancelled, you will have to find an alternative option, but if the certificate is issued, your premium rates will most likely increase, and there are other costs that you will have to pay-such as the filing fee. (3)
However, you are not required to obtain an SR22 from your current car insurance company. You have the right to look around for the best option. Most insurance companies are different, and some do not offer SR22 certificates. It is highly encouraged that you shop around before making any decisions or policy purchases. Another thing to note is that having a car isn't necessary for this kind of coverage, and in the case that you don't, you can ask your provider about a non-owner SR22 policy. (2)(3)
SR22 Savings offer to make filing for SR22 insurance much easier by walking you through the process. This alleviates the pressure on you to do it all on your own, and if you are shopping around for a better option, SR22 Savings can help you by laying out key factors and information that you'll need to know before making a purchase.
If your license has been revoked or suspended due to reckless driving, a convicted DUI violation, or any other violation of vehicle insurance policies, proof of financial responsibility or an SR22 may be required. An SR22 certificate is filed by your chosen insurance provider and certifies that you have at least the minimum level of liability insurance as required by your state's laws. The certificate also indicates that you have obtained and will continue to maintain state approved SR22 policy for the minimum years required as mandated by the state or court.
It is your responsibility to obtain an SR22 certificate if you need it to get back behind the wheel after causing an accident, receiving a DUI, or having violated road rules, and you have been deemed a 'high risk driver'. This decision is made by either the court or the DMV; either way, you must reach out to your insurance provider and obtain an SR22 to legally drive again. If you have recently gotten a DUI or been involved in an accident, SR22 Savings has you covered, and can offer you more affordable rates to fit your auto insurance needs. Give us a call today, to receive more information about how we can help to obtain and file your SR22 certificate.
1. “SR22 Insurance,” Source, https://www.breatheeasyins.com/sr22-insurance/
2. “SR22 Insurance,” Source, https://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/akol/sr22.htm
3. “SR-22 Insurance: How To Get It(And Get Rid Of It),” Source, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/sr-22/
4. “Insurance Requirement,” Source, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/vehicle-registration/insurance-requirements/
5. “Proof of insurance explained,” Source, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/proof-of-insurance/
6. “California Driver Handbook,” Source, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/california-driver-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs/