If you’ve been caught driving without insurance you may now find yourself subject to SR-22 car insurance. If so, plan for at least several years of driving under this policy before any relief is in sight. Exactly how long you will have to be covered under R-22 car insurance depends on your state and your particular infractions, but in most cases it’s at least three years.
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It must be noted that the SR-22 designation doesn’t actually refer to a specific type of car insurance. Rather, it is a filing added to your existing auto policy which essentially demonstrates that you have the financial resources to maintain proper car insurance coverage on your vehicle. Most often SR-22 forms are required for people who are caught driving without car insurance, are involved in DWI incidents, have experienced license suspension or revocation, or have a solid history of frequent, serious violations.
Does every state have SR-22 laws?
You probably already know that the regulations regarding car insurance are different from one state to the next. SR-22 laws work the same way. Many states require them under the conditions listed previously, while other states do not. Some of the states that don’t require SR-22 filings include New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Examples of some states that do are Alaska, Indiana, and Texas.
Regardless of some of the subtle differences in state SR-22 laws, one thing that seems to be common among those that require the filing is the issue of license suspension.
Drivers who have committed offenses worthy of SR-22 insurance will have their licenses suspended until such time as their insurance company files the necessary paperwork with their state Department of Motor Vehicles. Once the paperwork has been received by the state, the suspended car insurance and license is lifted and the individual can resume driving.
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Who is required to have SR22 insurance?
There are a few major reasons as to why you would need to show proof of SR22 insurance. A big one is if you have been caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you are convicted of a DWI or DUI.
Other reasons you may be required to carry SR22 insurance are because you were caught driving with a license that was suspended or you were driving without the proper car insurance.
How does moving to another state affect my SR-22 status?
Moving from one state to the next does not change the SR-22 requirements imposed upon you in the state where the original filing was made. For example, if you lived in Indiana when your original SR-22 was filed, you must still continue to be covered according to the insurance regulations of the state of Indiana even if you move to Missouri. Any insurance company that you look at to provide your Missouri car insurance must be able to meet the liability limits required by Indiana car insurance laws until the SR-22 term expires.
Even if your move is to a state that does not require SR-22 filings, you must still fulfill your obligations to the original state. The only thing to be cautious of in this situation is making sure your insurance company in the new state files the necessary paperwork with your old state. Simply for the matter of convenience and your own protection, it’s best under these circumstances to stick with the same insurance company when you move, at least until the SR-22 period has been fulfilled.
How does SR 22 insurance affect my rates?
Obviously, due to the fact that you are required to carry SR-22 insurance because of some seriously negligent actions on your part, your rates will rise accordingly. How much more you pay depends on the reasons for the SR-22, but you can expect to pay the most for actions related to DUI or DWI and DWI car insurance. You will also pay significantly more if you were slapped with license suspension or revocation due to allowing your car insurance policy to lapse.
Most SR-22 filings have a three-year shelf life. That means you’ll be paying higher rates at least during the years the SR-22 is enforced. Unfortunately, many insurance companies maintain a record of your SR-22 for three to five years in the future, meaning you will still pay higher rates until their records are clear. This is no different than any other negative factor on your driving history.
The conditions that trigger SR-22 insurance are serious, making you a higher risk for your insurance provider.
The best way to avoid the whole SR-22 issue is to simply drive safely and legally at all times. Make sure to always carry the minimum amount of liability insurance required in your state, and don’t let the policy lapse. If you cannot afford your insurance, surrender your registration before your policy lapses in order to stay out of trouble. Also, do what you can to avoid speeding tickets, moving violations, and DWI.
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