What Is an SR-22?
While you may have seen the term “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 is actually not a type of car insurance — it’s a document filed with your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proving that you have your state’s minimum required car insurance coverage. Not everyone needs an SR-22; typically, it’s only required for people considered to be high-risk based on their driving record. If an SR-22 is mandated, you’ll have to obtain one from your insurance company. Unfortunately, if you are required to have an SR-22, your insurance premium may be significantly higher than that of the average driver.
Do I Need SR-22 Insurance?
If you have a relatively clean driving record, you likely don’t need an SR-22. An SR-22 is typically ordered by the court or by the state, so you’ll be notified of your requirement either during a hearing or via a letter from your DMV.
You may need an SR-22 if you have:
- Received a DUI/DWI
- Driven with insurance that didn’t meet minimum requirements
- Received too many offenses/tickets within a short period of time
- Been involved in too many accidents within a short period of time
- Not paid court-ordered child support
- Had your license revoked or suspended
Even if you don’t own a car, you may still need SR-22 insurance in order to get your license reinstated. And if you are looking for non-owner car insurance for vehicles that you regularly borrow or rent, an SR-22 is still required.
Where Do You Get SR-22 Insurance?
Obtaining an SR-22 once it is mandated is relatively simple. A great place to start is by calling your current car insurance provider (if you have one) to see if it offers this service. If it doesn’t, you will need to compare other companies.
However, even if your current insurance company can help you with your SR-22, you may still want to compare quotes. While the cost of an SR-22 is fairly standard, your current insurer may choose to raise your premium if it deems you too “high-risk.”
Because all insurers evaluate risk a little differently, it’s important to get quotes from a few different providers in order to make sure you’re getting the cheapest premium for the coverage you need. Start by looking at our favorite auto insurance companies, and look closely at providers that stand out for being risk-friendly, such as Progressive. Insurance that includes an SR-22 can be more expensive than the average policy, but it is possible — and incredibly important — to find good coverage for high-risk drivers at an affordable price.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost?
To acquire an SR-22, you’ll have to pay approximately $15 to $35, depending on the state you live in. However, there are indirect costs associated with an SR-22. Because a poor driving record indicates to an insurer that you are in a higher-risk category, insurers are likely to hike up premiums in order to protect themselves against potential claims.
While companies like Progressive claim that SR-22 drivers may only pay approximately an additional 5% more than drivers without SR-22 requirements, that number is highly variable. If you are required to get an SR-22 due to a DUI conviction, for instance, your premium may rise by over 300% in some states. Essentially, the cleaner your driving record, the less you’ll likely have to pay. If price is a concern, try starting with the best cheap auto insurance companies and compare quotes to find a policy that’s right for you and your budget.