“I want to avoid the need for SR22 insurance!”
Not all drivers know what SR22 insurance is. But when they find out, that is their natural reaction.
SR22 is a special type of car insurance for high risk drivers. You will almost always hear it referred to as “SR22 car insurance,” even though it is different from all other car insurance products.
Technically, SR22 is an insurance endorsement. It verifies that you hold at least the minimum car insurance in your state. That includes bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and any other requirements.
When you buy SR22 insurance, you are mostly paying for this evidence. Your car insurance company keeps documentation on file with your state demonstrating that you are in compliance with the law.
Even though you don’t get any additional car insurance coverage, SR22 can be very expensive.
You will often pay a special origination fee to start your SR22 insurance policy, then pay an additional amount on your monthly premium. The extra amount depends on the circumstances that led to an SR22 requirement.
A court can order someone to hold SR22 insurance for a slew of reasons:
- Being convicted of a highly serious automotive offense, like racing or leaving the scene of an accident
- Getting into an auto accident, especially if you caused an accident in an “at fault” car insurance state
- Racking up a number of less severe traffic offenses during a shorter period of time, such as speeding
- Getting caught driving without insurance, or driving with a suspended driver’s license or registration
- Being convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
- Refusing a breathalyzer test for blood alcohol content, even in states that provide legal rights to do so
Not surprisingly, most of these have to do with a person’s driving record. However, not all of them do. If you are found in violation of a court order to pay child support, for example, you may be required to hold the SR22.
In most situations, a court will enforce the SR22 requirement for about three years. The countdown may begin from the date of the infraction or the date of conviction. In the most extreme cases, it may last for five years.
Why Avoid The Need for SR22 Insurance? It Is Expensive!
If you’ve been looking at SR22 insurance quotes online, you’ve probably noticed one thing: They are pricey!
It’s crucial to search for cheap SR22 insurance quotes and keep your costs low. That’s because even though an SR22 doesn’t usually mean more car insurance coverage, it can be far more expensive than the average policy.
It is perfectly reasonable to look for ways to avoid the need for SR22 insurance. That said, it is not always possible to do so if you’ve been convicted of a severe traffic violation and intend to continue driving regularly.
Some people avoid the need for SR22 insurance by fighting their conviction in court. However, if the facts of the case are no longer in dispute, you will need to look for other ways to save money and avoid SR22 insurance.
Here are some options:
1. Voluntarily Discontinue Driving
If you are no longer driving, then you will usually be able to terminate your SR22 insurance with no problem. States often have a specific procedure for getting in touch with the Department of Motor Vehicles and providing evidence that, although you might still own a vehicle, you will no longer be using it.
2. Carpool Or Use Public Transportation
This is another option for those who want to get their SR22 insurance requirement waived on the basis that they are no longer driving. You reserve the right to use motor vehicles as a passenger, so consider alternatives. If you only need to travel occasionally, even ride-share may be an option.
3. Use Non-Owner Car Insurance
Non-owner car insurance is a type of insurance you can buy to protect you while driving a vehicle you don’t own. Since it is not usually intended for permanent use, it can be less expensive than other car insurance policies. Ask your insurer how this will affect your SR22 and whether you need to maintain it.
4. Get On Another Driver’s Policy
In some cases, sharing a vehicle with someone else may allow you to save more money on car insurance than you would if you held an SR22 car insurance endorsement on your own. State rules about this vary, and you may be limited to immediate family members.
5. Contact Your State Insurance Agency
Some states have established public car insurance agencies. These agencies act as insurers of last resort when someone cannot afford car insurance or can’t get a private insurer to issue a policy. Aid may be available to make up the difference in cost between a standard policy and your SR22 required policy.
An SR22 insurance policy usually arises from a state court order. Any time you relocate to another state, you are expected to get a car insurance policy valid in that state. Often, this means that you could switch insurance providers and will not be liable for SR22, but talk to a qualified attorney for more information.
7. Use A Vehicle That Does Not Require Insurance
No insurance needed? It may be possible. Every state has its legal definitions for seemingly simple words like “car.” Depending on the rules in your state, you may be able to use a moped, golf cart, or other type of conveyance for limited, non-highway use without having to maintain standard insurance.
8. Go On Vacation
Long-term travel plans are another common scenario where you may be able to temporarily suspend your car insurance without facing any penalties. While you are gone you won’t need insurance, and most countries let you drive with any valid U.S. license. Contact your insurer and the Department of Motor Vehicles to be sure.
9. Argue For Clemency
Even if appealing or overturning your traffic conviction was not an option, it does not always mean you have no tools at your disposal. Rather than waiting three years, you can schedule a hearing each year to argue that you are now a safe and responsible driver. The SR22 requirement may be waived at the court’s discretion.
If You Can’t Avoid The Need For SR22 Insurance, Get the Best Rates You Can
Motorists with SR22 insurance find themselves in a bind.
The cost of car insurance goes up every year for most drivers. On top of that, SR22 holders could end up paying hundreds of dollars more on premiums annually. Those costs really add up – especially over the course of three to five years.
If SR22 car insurance becomes inevitable, finding the best insurance deal will save you money.
At Cheap Insurance, you can compare auto insurance quotes online, including SR22 insurance quotes valid in your state. It used to take days to find affordable car insurance quotes online: Now, it takes only a few minutes.
Anyone could end up in a situation where they need SR22 car insurance, so do what you can to spend less. You can compare car insurance quotes right now or contact Cheap Insurance to find out more.