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SR22 Insurance Costs
SR22 is not actually insurance. It is a form that serves as proof a driver has liability insurance on his vehicle as required by the state or courts where he resides. Drivers required to file a SR22 are typically those who lost their driver’s license as the result of DUI/DWI convictions, other traffic violations or convictions or whom were found to be uninsured at the time of an accident that caused bodily injury or property damage. Filing requirements differ from state to state, and some states do not require one to be filed. Keep in mind that moving to from one state that requires SR22 filings to one that doesn’t require it will not excuse you from having to meet the requirements of the former state.
How Much Does SR22 Insurance Cost?
Car insurance companies weigh certain criteria when determining insurance premiums for any type of auto insurance policy. The issue with SR22 policies, however, is policyholders of these policies are automatically considered high risk. As with any type of insurance, being considered high-risk greatly increases insurance costs for a motorist. How much his premiums increase depends on how many marks he has on his driving record and their severity. Although drivers with SR22 filings pay more for insurance across the board, some drivers actually do pay less than others, depending on the nature of their violations or convictions.
A driver with a few DUI convictions can end up paying two to four times more for car insurance than a driver with a few unpaid speeding tickets. Yet the driver with the unpaid tickets may end up paying only one to two times as much for car insurance than a driver with no blemishes on their driver’s license.
The only cost associated with the SR-22 filing itself is a fee of $15 to $25 that your insurance company charges you to file the form with state agency or Department of Motor Vehicles office in your area. Should you let your coverage lapse during the filing period, the insurance company is required by law to notify the state or DMV, which will result in suspension of your license. You would then have to pay a reinstatement fee plus any fines appearing on your driving record in order to reinstate your driver’s license.
Getting Lower Premiums
There are some ways a driver can reduce his SR22 insurance costs. One of the best ways is to pay a much higher deductible, as much as you can comfortably afford. Another money-saving tip is to see if you can afford to drop comprehensive or collision coverage from older vehicles. For newer vehicles, research what discounts you may qualify for, such as discounts for anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes or air bags, maintaining coverage for a period of time or completing defensive driving or driver training courses. You can still qualify for these and other discounts even if you have to file a SR22.
A driver who has maintained coverage for a while and has been exercising good driving habits can have his insurer run another motor vehicle report at the time of renewal to see if any if his convictions have dropped off. This can lower premiums over the course of time. A driver can also check with his DMV office to see if he still needs to fulfill the SR22 requirement. His insurer will remove the filing from his policy if it’s no longer needed, which can result in lower premiums as well.
Periodically review your insurance policy with your insurance company. Sometimes insurance companies reduce insurance rates as convictions fall off. You want to be sure you aren’t paying more for insurance than necessary, even with a filing on your policy.
Practice Good Driving Habits
The importance of maintaining a good driving record cannot be stressed enough. While having to file is an unfortunate thing, you can take it as an opportunity to start driving more safely and not repeat the mistakes that led you here in the first place. Should you get another violation, consider consulting with a traffic attorney prior to your court date or paying the fine to see if there is any way they can assist you with the ticket. It may cost you a bit of money, but it will also save you a lot of money on insurance in the long run.
You may have benefited from a good long-time relationship with your auto insurance carrier in the form of getting good deals on car insurance, but that will not be the case once you need a SR-22 form. Your insurer may not even offer car insurance, which means you may have to find another insurer who may or may not give as good a deal as you hoped for. Car insurance costs will be higher no matter what, but with some due diligence on your part, you could still find SR22 insurance at an affordable cost.
A wise first step would be check which insurance companies in your region offer SR22 insurance, because not all insurance companies do. Also make sure that those that claim to offer are actually approved by their state to do so. Be sure to provide all information pertaining to your violations or convictions to ensure you get the most accurate quotes when you search online for the best possible rates. You can go online and request quotes from those companies and get quotes in your email box in minutes. Review the information you receive from each company and choose the one you are most comfortable with.
Being labeled a high-risk driver may be an uncomfortable reminder of a time when you did not exercise the best judgment behind the wheel, consider it an opportunity to start practicing safe and conscientious driving practices to avoid further blemishes on your driving record and ensure your future insurance premiums will be much lower – and stay that way.