If you’re getting back on track after a DUI or lapse in insurance coverage, you might need SR22 insurance. Read on to learn all about it.
So, you’ve made a mistake when it comes to your driving record. Maybe it was actually a series of small mistakes – tickets that added points to your license until it was finally suspended.
Or, maybe you made a bigger mistake, like a DUI or a serious driving violation. Either way, your license has been suspended for a while and you are finally getting it back. Thank goodness!
Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite mean that things have returned to normal. Now you have a notice that in order to keep your license active, you have to carry SR22 insurance.
What in the world is that, and why do you need it? Read on to learn more.
What is SR22 Insurance?
So what is an SR22? Well, it’s not a separate kind of insurance. In fact, your car insurance will be similar to what you had before – although it may be more expensive.
An SR22 filing is a form that your insurance company has to fill out and submit to the state you live in. It certifies that you have at least the state minimum insurance coverage. The insurance company is required to notify the state if your insurance lapses as well.
Generally, you have to carry SR22 insurance for a few years after getting your license back. It’s the state’s way of keeping tabs on your coverage to ensure you’re being responsible about driving.
How Much Does an SR22 Cost?
Having to have an SR22 means that you’re a higher-risk driver. Often, the SR22 itself doesn’t cost very much – the insurance company may charge you a filing fee, but there’s not a monthly cost.
However, because you need to have an SR22 you are likely to have an insurance policy that is a lot more expensive than average. The incident that caused you to have a suspended license – whether it was an accumulation of tickets or a major violation – will impact the price you pay.
Sometimes people wonder, “What does an SR22 cover?” Because it’s not actual insurance, it doesn’t offer separate coverage. It’s simply a guarantee from the insurance company that they will maintain your insurance as long as you meet your payments and obligations.
Where to Buy SR22 Insurance
As you move toward getting your license back, you’ll need to call for quotes to a variety of insurance companies. Even though you have a major stain on your record, it’s worthwhile to compare rates and get the best offer you can.
Most insurance companies will be able to offer you an SR22, although needing one may automatically put you in the high-risk category for your rates. Be completely honest about your driving record when you apply – the company will run your record and adjust your rate if you try to leave important details out.
It is often best to work with insurers who specialize in high-risk insurance. They will be able to help you most effectively because they know the process inside out and are familiar with all the fees and costs.
How to Manage Your SR22 Car Insurance Rates
After you get quotes for insurance, you may be a bit demoralized. If you’ve never had serious problems with your driving before, you are probably a bit shocked how high the rates are!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can get away with not getting insurance coverage. Without an SR22, the state will not reinstate your license. Also, if you’re in an accident, there will be no coverage for damages.
This means you could be at the wrong end of a very expensive lawsuit, which can result in garnished wages, loss of assets, and even the loss of your retirement savings. It also means you’ll face criminal charges for driving without a license.
Instead, take these step to help reduce your car insurance rates.
Although you need high-risk insurance, you’ll find that different companies offer dramatically different rates to you. Don’t be shy about shopping around and calling a lot of different insurers.
You can only benefit from getting as many quotes as possible. However, make sure you choose a reputable insurer – if it seems too good to be true, it might well be!
Drive an Inexpensive Car
Your best option during the time you need an SR22 is to drive a vehicle that is inexpensive so that you don’t need to carry full coverage.
If you have a more expensive car you’ll probably have a loan on it, which means you’ll need to have comprehensive and collision coverage. Those coverages can be extremely expensive for a high-risk driver.
Instead, choose a car you can pay for in full – even if it’s far from fancy – so that you can carry liability only coverage and save significant cash.
Bide Your Time
Ultimately, most incidents are only counted against your insurance rates for three years. Although that seems like a long time, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Often you need the SR22 for about that long as well.
Be patient and keep your driving safe, and eventually, you’ll come out of it.
Get SR22 Insurance in Florida Today
Are you ready to start over after a big mistake? You’re not alone. Needing an SR22 happens to a lot of people every year. But we’re here to help!
At Staybull insurance, we specialize in all types of high-risk insurance, and we’ve helped many drivers get and keep an SR22 on file with the state of Florida. We can help you in any part of the state – get a quote today!