Home What is SR22 Insurance & How Does It Work?

What is SR22 Insurance & How Does It Work?

by Nikola Djurkovic
SR22 Insurance Cover Image

If you recently got a citation, you might be wondering if you need SR22 and what exactly that coverage is. Well, we’re here to help. You’ll find the full guide here, together with advice on how to choose the most affordable company that offers an SR22 certificate.

What Is SR22 Insurance?

First things first—it’s not a form of insurance. It is a certificate that accompanies your regular auto insurance policy. It serves to reinstate your driving privileges and prove that you have adequate liability limits. This is the type of coverage that pays for the property damage and bodily injuries you inflict upon others in an accident.

Most often, your insurance company files your SR22 with the local Department of Motor Vehicles on your behalf. You have to acquire SR22 insurance after a serious violation. In Florida and Virginia, an FR-44 form is used instead of SR22. It usually requires significantly higher liability limits than the minimum in these two states.

How Does SR22 Auto Insurance Work?

The local court or authorities will order you to provide an SR22 certificate. Likely, the nearest DMV department will notify you about the order. Once you’re aware of it, you must inform your insurance company that you need an SR 22 insurance certificate.

Not all US insurers provide this certificate, but the majority of them do. You’ll need to make a one-time payment, which is usually $25 on top of your regular premiums. An SR22 certificate most often lasts for three years. Furthermore, you will not need to make any additional payments at each renewal.

When Do You Need SR22 Car Insurance?

You must get SR22 or FR-44 if a serious violation, such as drunk driving, pushed you into the high-risk driver category. The exact details vary depending on your home state. However, some of the most common violations that require SR22 are as follows:

  • Several offenses in a short period of time (e.g., three or more speeding tickets in six months or less)
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI or DWI convictions
  • Driving without insurance or with inadequate coverage
  • A hardship license or a suspended license
  • Several at-fault accidents or violations
  • Not paying child support ordered by the court

What Are the Three Types of SR22 Auto Insurance?

Owner: This certificate is for drivers who own and operate their vehicle.

Operator: It’s an SR22 certificate for drivers that use a rented or borrowed car. It’s often called non-owner SR22 insurance.

Owner/Operator: This form is a mixture of the previous two, created for those who drive their vehicle but also rent or borrow a car from time to time.

How Long Do You Need to Have SR22 Auto Insurance?

The exact time span varies between two and five years based on your home state. Nonetheless, in most locations, it’s for three years. There are some things you should be aware of if you want to lift the requirement for SR22 insurance successfully.

Namely, you should not let your policy lapse or expire while you have SR22. If that happens, your insurance company will have to notify the government. Likely, the authorities will pause your required time. However, this can potentially result in the suspension of your license. Furthermore, committing additional serious violations will extend your SR22 period and increase your premium even more.

How Much Does SR22 Insurance Cost?

SR22 is a relatively inexpensive certificate, costing anywhere from $17 to $45. In most states it is exactly $25. This is a one-time payment for the entire period a driver needs to carry SR-22. The fee is charged separately for each individual on the policy. You will have to pay more only if you let your coverage lapse.

Table with estimates on How Much Each Violation That May Require the SR22 Certificate increases auto insurance premiumHowever, SR22 insurance quotes are significantly more expensive than regular car insurance quotes. This is because these drivers present a considerably higher risk than ordinary ones. Take a look at the table below to see how much each major violation increases your premium on average.

Companies That Offer an SR22 Certificate

Not all insurance companies offer an SR22 certificate. Nonetheless, there is a sufficient number of them, meaning you’ll be able to choose a high-quality insurer that’s also affordable. Below is the list of well-known insurance companies and whether they provide SR22:

List of companies that offer SR22 Insurance

How to Buy Cheap SR22 Insurance

The price of SR-22 is relatively low and regulated by the state, meaning there’s no difference depending on the insurer. However, because you are a high-risk driver, you will be paying substantially more for any other protection plans.

That’s why shopping around and exploring multiple options is more important than ever. High-risk drivers can save thousands by choosing the right insurer. To get the best results, we would make a list of five companies that provide SR22 insurance quotes and compare their prices.

You can find more information on which companies offer affordable high-risk insurance in our guide and our car insurance reviews. Furthermore, you should be sure to base your final decision on the quality of the company’s customer service and its financial strength. When you find yourself making a claim, you’ll realize how important these two factors are when it comes to finding the best auto insurance.

Alternatives to SR22 Insurance

Many forms of insurance work in a similar manner to SR22, depending on your location and the exact nature of your violation.

SR-21 Insurance

According to the definition by USInsuranceAgents, SR21 is needed after a car crash or a severe violation to confirm you had auto insurance during the incident. Georgia, Indiana, and Florida are among the states that require an SR21 certificate.

SR-22A Insurance

This form of SR22 insurance is used in Texas, Georgia, and Missouri. It’s required for repeat offenders violating financial responsibility law. In Georgia and Texas, they will have to pay a six-month car insurance premium at the beginning of the term.

FR-44 Insurance

FR-44 is required in Virginia and Florida. A policy with FR-44 has to carry much higher limits, due to the low minimum insurance in these states. However, it essentially serves the same purpose as SR22 insurance.

Certificate of Financial Responsibility

This is just another name for SR22, meaning it refers to the same certificate that confirms you are appropriately insured.

SR-50 Insurance

This certificate is used only in Indiana, and it does the same thing as SR22. It provides proof of adequate coverage and enables you to reinstate your license.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my regular insurance and SR22 come from different insurance companies?

Yes, this is possible. Your car insurance company is the one that will be filing SR22 on your behalf, meaning it’s simpler to choose everything from one insurer. The only situation where you should select another company is if the current one is not aware of your recent violations. You can save on your premium if you do that.

Can you drive someone else’s car with SR22?

Yes, as long as you have Operator or Owner/Operator as your SR22 coverage. You don’t even have to own a car to be able to get SR22. Purchasing a policy with high enough liability limits is sufficient.

Does SR22 increase insurance rates?

SR22 by itself usually costs only $25, and it lasts for three years. However, if you’re in the position where you need SR22 insurance, your rates will already be significantly above the average. That’s because SR22 is only a certificate that proves you are adequately insured after a severe violation. The violations themselves will likely cause your premium to skyrocket.

Can I get SR22 without having car insurance?

No, this isn’t possible because SR22 is a certificate that proves you have appropriate car insurance. On the other hand, having SR22 insurance without owning or driving a car is possible. You will need to get non-owner’s SR22, which lets you operate vehicles you are renting or borrowing.

Is SR22 insurance the same as full coverage?

No, it isn’t. Full coverage usually refers to an insurance plan that includes a variety of coverages that provide complete protection for you, your passengers, and your vehicle. Your insurance company has to file your SR22 insurance form with the authorities as proof that you are adequately insured.

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