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3 Important Facts You Need To Know About SR22 Insurance

by Raymond Gibson

If you've been told that you need SR22 insurance, it's likely that you've been convicted of a fairly serious driving violation, like a DWI or driving without insurance. Although it's often referred to as SR22 insurance, an SR22 filing is simply an additional form that your insurance company files with the state, verifying that you are maintaining insurance as ordered by the court. What else do you need to know about SR22 insurance? Take a look at some of the most important points that you need to know about your SR22 filing.

It Will Cost You

Carrying SR22 insurance will cost you, but not because of the SR22 certificate itself, as many people assume. The actual cost for your insurance company to file an SR22 certificate on your behalf is only about $15 to $30 – not a giant bump in your insurance costs. So why is everyone telling you that SR22 insurance is so expensive?

The answer is simple – your insurance company is going to raise your rate. This is not so much because of the certificate itself, but because of whatever driving offense caused you to need the SR22 certificate. If you were convicted of a DWI, for example, your insurance company will consider you a higher risk for another DWI or for other types of accidents, so it will raise your rates accordingly.

You may be able to lower your rates in one of several ways. For example, you may still be able to qualify for one of many different discounts that often lower car insurance rates. Common things that can get you a car insurance discount include membership in certain clubs or community organizations or qualifying safety upgrades to your vehicle. You may also be able to get a lower rate by shopping around and choosing a different car insurance company. However, you are almost certain to end up paying a higher rate than you did before your driving violation, no matter what you do.

You Can't Let It Lapse

If you've let your insurance lapse in the past, that may be one of the reasons that you need SR22 insurance now – driving around without proper insurance is one common way to end up with an SR22 requirement. You need to be careful to prioritize your insurance payments so that your insurance doesn't lapse during the time period that you have an SR22 requirement.

If you do allow your insurance to lapse, your insurance company is required to notify the DMV, and your license will be suspended immediately. That means that if you're caught driving, not only will you face the penalties for driving without insurance, but also the penalties for driving without a valid license. You'll end up having to pay even more money to get your driving privileges back, and you may also have to carry SR22 insurance for an even longer period of time than you were originally required to.

You Can Carry It Without A Car

What happens if you're ordered to carry SR22 insurance, but you don't have a car? It's not that unusual – you may have incurred a driving violation while driving someone else's car, or you may have gotten rid of your car while your license was temporarily suspended. However, you can still carry SR22 insurance without a vehicle.

You will need what's known as a non-owner policy. This protects you when you don't own a car but may occasionally drive someone else's vehicle, and an SR22 certificate can be attached to a non-owner policy the same way that it can be attached to a regular driver's policy. A non-owner policy is often less expensive than a typical policy, so it may be to your benefit to go without your own car and maintain a non-owner policy for the time period that you're required to carry SR22 insurance.

If you maintain your SR22 certificate without interruption and avoid any more moving violations, you'll get through the required SR22 period quickly and you'll be able to carry regular insurance again. For more information, contact a local insurance company like Illinois Automobile Insurance