We make mistakes when we drive. It’s going to happen at some point. Unfortunately, some mistakes are more costly than others. Getting a DUI or having too many tickets and accidents can cause you to be a high-risk driver. This means you’ll have a hard time getting insurance. And you may need an SR-22 insurance form.
When you’re a high-risk driver or have a DUI, your state might order you to get an SR-22 form. Or, in Florida and Virginia, an FR-44. Insurers and states may also call this a certificate of financial responsibility. An SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance. It’s a form that certifies that you have the minimum amount of liability insurance that your state requires you to have.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the SR-22/FR-44 form. This includes how it works and what it covers. You’ll find out who needs it, where you can get one, and how much they cost. We’ll also clarify how long the SR-22 form lasts.
How an SR-22 Works
An SR-22 is not a type of insurance that you buy. Rather, it’s a form that your state might require you to get if you have a certain type of violation, such as a DUI, on your record. These people are usually high-risk drivers. An SR-22 will verify that you’re carrying your state’s minimum amount of liability insurance on your policy. This will ensure that you’re financially responsible to pay for an accident if you’re at fault.
What an SR-22 Covers
While an SR-22 isn’t a form of insurance, it indirectly covers you from paying for certain damages. An SR-22 indicates that you have a certain amount of liability insurance on your policy. This means that if you cause an accident, your insurance should be able to cover the expenses.
Liability insurance is a type of insurance that’ll protect you from paying for damages in full if you’re at fault in an accident. It only covers the other party’s expenses. To cover your expenses in an accident, you’ll need collision insurance. Here’s what liability insurance, and by extension, an SR-22 will protect you from:
- Bodily injury liability. This includes medical expenses to the other party and your passengers. Hospital bills, funeral costs, lost income, etc.
- Property damage liability. This includes damage to the other person’s car. It also covers damage to other physical property, such as light posts, trees, buildings, etc.
Note: an SR-22 only means that you have the bare minimum amount of insurance that your state requires. The expenses from an accident might exceed the minimum amount that you carry. This will cause you to pay out of pocket for the extra expenses. It’s always an option to buy more insurance than the minimum.
What an SR-22 Doesn’t Cover
The SR-22 only proves that you have a certain amount of liability coverage. It doesn’t relate to any other type of insurance. An SR-22 won’t show that you have any insurance that covers your expenses in an accident. These types of insurance include:
- Collision insurance. Covers your car’s damages in a collision with another car or object.
- Comprehensive. Protects you from random “act of God” events. This includes natural disasters (falling trees, hurricanes, etc.), vandalism, and theft.
- Personal injury protection. Covers your medical expenses after an accident.
An SR-22 only acts as proof that you have liability insurance. All other types of insurance are up to you to add. While an SR-22 only requires you to have liability on your policy, you should consider adding as much insurance as you can afford. This will help make sure that an accident won’t break the bank.
Who Needs an SR-22
SR-22 forms are only for a select group of people. Usually, a state or court will require you to get an SR-22 if you have a certain type of violation on your record. If you’re a high-risk driver, you might need to obtain an SR-22 from an insurer. These types of violations often cause you to be a high-risk driver as well.
If you have any of these violations on your record, you may need an SR-22:
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a devastating violation to have. It can make it extremely difficult to get insurance. One DUI conviction will automatically make you a high-risk driver in the eyes of insurers. People with DUIs may need to get an SR-22 to prove they can pay for damages that they cause in the future.
Reckless Driving and Other Serious Driving Violations
Reckless driving or other serious driving offenses can result in you needing an SR-22. A reckless driving violation signifies to insurers and the state that you’re a high risk for accidents in the future. An SR-22 requires you to prove that you have the proper insurance to pay for any other accidents.
Having an Accident with No Insurance
Getting into an accident without insurance might cause your state to require you to get an SR-22 insurance form. Your state will want to know that you’ll be able to pay for any future accidents. An SR-22 would certify that you’re financially responsible and have the appropriate insurance to do so.
License Suspension or Revocation
Losing your license for a while can cause you to become a high-risk driver. It’ll also mean that you might need an SR-22. Since you’re a high-risk to insurance companies, the state will want you to show that you have a certain amount of insurance to cover any later accidents.
Where You Can Get an SR-22 Insurance form
States are the ones to require an SR-22, but you’ll need to get one from your insurer. Most insurers will be able to offer one to you. Here are some of the top companies who’ll file an SR-22 for you:
- State Farm
- The General
- American Family
These aren’t the only companies that offer SR-22s. They’re just some of the top and most affordable companies to do so. The company you work with should be the one who offers you the cheapest rates. It’s a smart choice to compare insurance quotes from each company to get the best rates.
Once you pick out an insurance company, it’ll be fairly easy to file an SR-22. You’ll need to tell your insurer that you need an SR-22 when you buy your policy. Then, they’ll file it with the state for you for a fee. You’ll just need to wait for it to go through and you’ll be all set.
How Much an SR-22 Insurance Form Costs
The cost for an SR-22 depends on the state you live in and the insurer you do business with. An SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance, so there aren’t any rates that go along with it. But you should expect to pay an initial flat fee when you file it. Your insurer will usually collect the fee from you. SR-22 filing fees will normally cost you around $25.
Though, an SR-22 doesn’t just cost money because of the fee. You’ll also have to buy liability insurance. How much you pay for liability insurance will depend on several factors. You should also keep in mind that if you have an SR-22, your record is likely spotty at best. High-risk drivers normally pay much more for their insurance. Besides your record, the factors that insurers use to determine your rates are:
How Long Your SR-22 Insurance Will Last
When you file an SR-22, it will last for a certain period. The amount of time will normally depend on your state laws and the type of violation that you have. The most common duration for an SR-22 is about three years. Some states may also require you to have a form on file for up to five years if the violation is serious enough.
Also, note that your insurer will need to tell the state if you cancel your insurance policy. This is because an SR-22 certifies that you have a certain amount of insurance. Not carrying any insurance would go against what the form indicates. Your state may also terminate or suspend your license if you don’t follow the SR-22 terms. Be sure to check your state’s SR-22 terms so that you don’t violate any rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why would you need an SR-22 insurance form?
A: You would need an SR-22 after getting a DUI or having other severe violations on your record. High-risk drivers are the ones who’ll need an SR-22. The form verifies that you’re financially able to pay for any future accidents that you may cause.
Q: How long do you need to keep an SR-22?
A: Your state will usually require you to have an SR-22 on file for a certain period of time. This is normally for about three years. The exact duration will depend on how serious the violation is. The time that it’s on file can be as long as five years in some cases.
Q: What violations require an SR-22?
A: High-risk drivers may need to get an SR-22. Certain types of violations can automatically make you high-risk. These violations are:
- Reckless driving
- License suspension or revocation
- Uninsured accidents
Having any of the above offenses on your record can cause your state to order you to get an SR-22. These violations will also make insurers view you as high-risk. High-risk drivers pay a lot more for their insurance than those with a clean record.