If you call to set up an insurance policy and are told you need SR22 insurance, your reaction will probably be one of surprise and confusion. This type of insurance is not that widely known by anyone who does not require it. But now that you're one of those people who need SR22, you should know these basic facts:
Why Do You Need SR22 Insurance?
SR22 insurance is not needed by most drivers, but it is something the state may require you to obtain if they feel you are a riskier driver than most. Usually, if the state is requesting SR22 insurance, it's for one of these reasons:
- You had a DWI conviction.
- You've been charged with reckless driving or ticketed for reckless driving.
- You were in a serious collision and were found to be at-fault.
- You were caught driving without insurance or a valid license in the past.
What Is SR22 Insurance?
First, take a step back and look at the term. SR22 insurance is actually a bit of a misnomer, as an SR22 is actually just a form that is proof of insurance, and is not an insurance policy in and of itself. The SR22 form is something that your insurance company will send to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles as proof that you carry the necessary insurance for your state and your situation. What you are paying extra for when you buy SR22 insurance is the time it takes your insurance company to send that certificate. You still need to buy normal car insurance and pay for the SR22 on top of that.
Where Can You Get SR22 Insurance?
Most car insurance companies do offer SR22 insurance. However, costs can vary widely. Many companies automatically increase their rates for drivers who require an SR22 under the assumption that if you require this certificate, you are in some way a risky driver. Other companies don't increase your rate just because you need an SR22, but they will increase your rate for the DWI, reckless driving ticket, or other incident that caused you to need the SR22 in the first place. Get quotes from a few different companies; you may be surprised how much they vary.
If you are informed you need SR22 insurance, do not panic. There are many other people in your situation, and insurance companies are used to dealing with this issue. A good agent will make sure everything is taken care of for you.