Have you recently been required by a court to get SR22 insurance?
If so, you already know that SR22 insurance is very expensive. Even cheap SR22 insurance in many states will cost you thousands of dollars a year. In fact, holding an SR22 insurance endorsement can be twice as pricey as ordinary car insurance, even though it doesn’t afford you any extra protection.
What Is SR22 Car Insurance?
SR22 auto insurance designates a “high risk” driver. When you pay for an SR22 auto insurance policy, it can be used as legal evidence that you are carrying the minimum liability coverage required by law in your state. A special “financial responsibility” form goes on file with your state during the life of your policy.
Although it is usually called “SR22 car insurance,” its actual function is a little bit different.
In most cases, an SR22 policy doesn’t usually represent more insurance coverage than an average policy. Since it is a legal requirement imposed on drivers by a court, however, insurers are allowed to charge a significant sum for it. It is technically an insurance “endorsement” rather than a specific policy type.
These details probably won’t help you feel any better if you have SR22, though. Cheap SR22 insurance can be a significant investment. And if you have been ordered to get SR22, you will usually need it for about three years.
Who Needs SR22 Car Insurance?
SR22 is imposed by a court on drivers who are found responsible for certain infractions:
- Anyone who has been convicted of a very serious traffic violation, such as a hit and run
- Most cases of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Drivers who have been caught driving without the minimum car insurance policy
- Motorists convicted of a number of minor offenses, like speeding, in a short time
- Drivers in many types of accidents, especially if you are found to be at fault
In the case of uninsured drivers, the SR22 can be particularly harsh. Some people are tempted to drive without insurance because it is too expensive for them to afford. Cheap SR22 insurance is crucial to ensuring this requirement will not make their financial situation more precarious.
With that in mind, you should never drive without car insurance!
Many states have instituted automatic car insurance verification. This uses an online database that insurance companies update immediately whenever a policy is closed or lapses for any reason. States then require residents to show proof of insurance within a short time or have their vehicle registration instantly suspended.
If your SR22 policy gets cancelled, you could be subject to a number of legal penalties. While most states offer a grace period for non-SR22 insurance lapses, this is not always the case when it comes to an SR22 policy holder.Even a one-day lapse in your SR22 policy could leave you subject to fines, suspension of your driver’s license or vehicle registration, or even jail time. If you are on probation as a result of a serious driving offense, make sure you know whether SR22 insurance is a condition of probation.
How Can You Close Your SR22 Car Insurance?
When you purchase car insurance with an SR22 endorsement, your insurance company files a “certificate of financial responsibility” with your state. You don’t interact with this form directly, so it you can only get it withdrawn by contacting your insurer. They will take care of the details.
As mentioned above, you should never try to get out of paying SR22 car insurance by letting it lapse. This may trigger legal penalties that will not be negotiable. On the other hand, you can communicate with your car insurance company and with the state if you are having trouble affording SR22 car insurance.
Can You Get Out Of Paying SR22 Car Insurance?
Yes! You can get out of paying SR22 car insurance if mandated by court.
SR22 car insurance is usually held for about three years from either the date of the qualifying event or the date that you were convicted in court. In some cases, it can last for as long as five years.
In rare situations, however, you may be able to get out of SR22 auto insurance early.
Here are some options:
1. Overturn Your Traffic Conviction
If you contest your conviction and get it overturned, you will not need to pay for SR22 auto insurance any longer. However, you will not be reimbursed for the months of SR22 you have already paid for. With this in mind, it is important to take any legal action as quickly as you can.
2. Appeal Your Traffic Conviction
If the facts of the case are in doubt and you can find legal counsel, consider an appeal. During the appeals process, you may be able to argue that you should not be required to hold SR22. However, some parts of previous court orders often remain in place during the appeals process.
3. Contact Your State For Assistance
Some states have special programs for people who cannot afford SR22 or who cannot find it offered by a local car insurance company. You may qualify for a cash reimbursement for the cost difference between an SR22 and a standard insurance policy in your area, effectively exempting you from paying SR22 insurance.
4. Stop Driving
It’s not for everyone, but if you are prepared to go to extremes, you can stop driving. Virtually all states have a process to temporarily suspend your car insurance coverage if you can demonstrate that the vehicle will no longer be in use. You might not even be required to surrender your license plate.
5. Leave the State
Another option for those who are willing to make a big change is to move out of your current state. Since your SR22 requirement is tied to a state court verdict, you may not be required to hold high risk car insurance if you are not a state resident. Be sure to get all the details from a qualified lawyer before you decide!
6. Request A New Court Hearing
Judges love stories about “turning over a new leaf” – when they’re true. Your SR22 car insurance requirement may be eased early if you can show you are a safe and responsible driver. There may be many steps in that process, such as taking a defensive driving course or making sure your vehicle has great safety features.
7. Resolve The Original Issue
You can be required to hold SR22 for infractions that have nothing to do with driving. One of the most common ones is failure to pay child support. If you pay the due amount, you might be able to close your SR22 policy early.
All in all, it’s not easy to get out of paying for SR22 car insurance. No matter what kind of insurance you need, always be certain you are getting the lowest price possible. That comes from comparing car insurance quotes online from as many insurance companies as you can.Cheap Insurance makes it easy to compare car insurance online from providers all over the state. Get started now and find the best deal for you or contact our team for more information.