Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insu...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Apr 18, 2022

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Don't Forget These Facts

  • An SR-22 bond is a special filing that must be added to your car insurance policy
  • You must carry SR-22 insurance coverage whether you own a vehicle or not
  • SR-22 filing is not required for every driver, only those considered high risk

If you are required to file an SR-22, you may be wondering what the difference is between an SR-22 bond and a standard insurance policy. 

Not everyone has to hold an SR-22 certificate. This is a special filing that is issued to people who are considered high-risk drivers. 

So what makes a person a high-risk driver? How is regular insurance different from SR-22 bond insurance? Who provides coverage for SR-22 insurance?

All of these questions are answered in this article, including how to remove an SR-22 from your insurance policy and the average cost of SR-22 bond insurance premiums. 

The Basics of SR-22 Bond Insurance

An SR-22 bond is a required certificate that is issued by the court or state authorities. This special certificate requires you to obtain proof of proper insurance coverage, even if you don’t have a vehicle. 

An SR-22 bond is commonly misinterpreted as a type of insurance. Rather, it is a certificate that proves future financial responsibility by providing the correct amount of insurance required by your state. 

The types of situations that may require you to obtain proper SR-22 certification are usually due to being considered a high-risk driver. 

Reasons for Being Considered a High-Risk Driver

The main reason for receiving an SR-22 bond is that you were caught driving on a suspended license, driving without a license, or driving with limited or no insurance coverage. 

There are several other reasons you may be required to carry an SR-22 bond:

  • DUI or DWI convictions
  • Reckless driving infractions
  • Multiple moving violations
  • Several at-fault accidents
  • Receiving several traffic violations in a small amount of time
  • Driving with an amended license
  • Not paying court-ordered child support

Do take note that you will never receive an SR-22 bond for non-moving violations, such as parking tickets. 

SR-22 Bond vs. FR-44 Bond

Florida and Virginia issue FR-44 bonds, as opposed to the standard SR-22 issued in most states. 

The FR-44 is a bond that proves you have the proper insurance coverage and is usually issued after receiving one or more DUIs. The main difference between the FR-44 and the SR-22 is that the FR-44 doubles the liability limits that are required by law. 

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Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance

If you have been required to carry an SR-22 bond, you still need the proper insurance coverage whether you own a vehicle or not. 

The reason the court requires you to carry a non-owner SR-22 bond is that you may rent a vehicle or borrow a car that requires you to be covered. 

Typically, non-owner SR-22 insurance is much cheaper than regular insurance. This is because the type of coverage is an operator’s coverage as opposed to a vehicle owner’s coverage. This means that damages done to the vehicle that the SR-22 holder is driving will not be covered. Only damages and injuries to the other party will be covered. 

How to Remove an SR-22 Bond

The court or state authority will give you the timeframe of how long you must carry the SR-22 bond. The length of time typically ranges from one to five years. 

Once that time has passed, you will need to manually remove the SR-22 bond from your insurance. 

At this point, you will need to contact your vehicle insurance agent and have the SR-22 removed from your policy. This will lower the cost of your policy fairly significantly, so make sure to remove your SR-22 bond as soon as you legally can. 

SR-22 Bond vs. Insurance

Now that you are aware of what an SR-22 bond is, let’s compare SR-22 insurance to standard insurance.

Insurance TypeSR-22 Bond InsuranceStandard Insurance
Who Must Have ItHigh-risk driversAll drivers
Who Issues the RequirementThe court or state authoritiesState authorities
How Long Must You Have itTypically 1 to 5 yearsFor as long as you're driving
Average Annual Cost of Liability Premiums$750$600
Coverage TypeOperator onlyOperator and vehicle
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As you can see, SR-22 bond insurance is a specialty type of coverage that is only required for those who have been considered high-risk drivers. It is only required for the length of time set by the court or local authorities and is usually much more expensive than standard car insurance. 

Standard insurance is required by all drivers in almost every state. Only two states do not require car insurance — New Hampshire and Virginia. In these states, there is an uninsured motorist fee that is paid to the state. You also may have to show proof of financial responsibility if you are driving without insurance. 

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SR-22 Insurance Rates

If you are issued an SR-22 bond, your insurance rates will go up. 

However, there are so many factors that can drastically change what your premiums will be. Some of these influencing factors include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Credit record
  • Driving history
  • Moving violations
  • Vehicle age and type
  • How many miles are driven per year
  • Type of coverage 

The average standard liability insurance rate for a good driver with good credit is $600 per year. 

Having an SR-22 bond on file with your vehicle insurance company will raise your premiums by about 18% per year. 

The standard SR-22 insurance cost starts at around $750 per year for liability coverage. The cost for full coverage insurance with an SR-22 brings that amount to an average of $1,400 per year.

This figure can vary greatly, so make sure you shop around for insurance companies before settling on a policy. 

Companies That Offer SR-22 Insurance

When you begin to look for insurance companies that offer SR-22 coverage, you will find that there are not many options available. 

Companies that do offer SR-22 coverage tend to have low review scores from customers. However, there are a few companies out there that have good reputations and will handle your SR-22 bond. 

  • Progressive. This well-known insurance company offers competitive SR-22 insurance rates and files all the necessary paperwork for you. 
  • GEICO. You can help offset the cost of an SR-22 premium by leveraging GEICO’s many insurance discounts. 
  • SafeAuto. This smaller insurance company will give you SR-22 insurance rates regardless of the reason. 
  • AAA. This company is known for its roadside assistance but also offers very competitive car insurance rates. They will cover high-risk drivers with an SR-22 on record. 
  • Grange Insurance. This company offers competitive SR-22 insurance rates but only operates in 13 states. 
  • USAA. This is a specialized insurance company that only offers policies to those who currently or formerly served in the military. They have well-priced SR-22 policies for military service members and their family members. 

SR-22 Bond vs. Insurance: The Bottom Line

An SR-22 bond is a certificate that you are required to hold which is issued by the court or state authorities. Standard insurance policyholders do not have to file an SR-22. 

An SR-22 bond is a document that shows you hold future financial responsibility. This is not a form of insurance but is a certificate that must be added to your insurance policy. 

If you were caught driving on a suspended license or no license, were driving without car insurance, or are considered a high-risk driver, there is a good chance that you must hold an SR-22 bond. 

You must have an insurance policy whether you own a vehicle or not, as long as you are required to file an SR-22 bond. This is called a non-owners insurance policy and is usually cheaper than a standard insurance policy. 

Once your SR-22 bond has expired, you have to manually remove the filing from your insurance company. 

SR-22 insurance rates can vary greatly, but the standard increase on your yearly premium will be about 18%. 

There are a handful of highly-rated insurance companies that will insure you if you have an SR-22. 

Overall, the difference between regular insurance and an SR-22 bond is that you will be notified by the court or state authorities if you need to file one. It will not be a mystery that you need to.