If you’ve recently been ordered to get SR-22 insurance, there are probably a lot of questions going through your head. What’s SR-22 insurance? Where do I get it? And most importantly, how much SR-22 insurance coverage is actually required?
Let’s dive into the basics of SR-22 insurance coverage and how to figure out how much coverage you need to get back on the road safely and legally.
What is SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 insurance, also known as an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility, is a form filed with your state DMV to show that you have the state-required minimum insurance coverage. You might be required to file an SR-22 if you were convicted of a DUI, caught driving without insurance, or involved in too many at-fault accidents.
An SR-22 technically isn’t a separate type of insurance. Rather, your insurance company files the SR-22 on your behalf — you can’t file an SR-22 by yourself — to show that you have an active policy with them. That said, not every insurance company is willing to insure people who need an SR-22.
If you were recently ordered to file an SR-22, you should always shop around for new insurance quotes. Even if your insurance company is willing to file your SR-22, chances are that your premium will go up. There are insurance companies that specialize in working with SR-22 customers, offering special discounted rates on SR-22 insurance.
How Much SR-22 Coverage Do I Need?
SR-22 insurance coverage needs to meet the state-required minimum coverage where you live. If your state has additional insurance coverage requirements for drivers (more on that below), then your SR-22 insurance needs to include that coverage as well.
What is the Minimum Liability Insurance Required in My State?
Each state has its own minimum requirements for auto liability insurance. Typical state-required minimum coverage includes coverage for bodily injury liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD).
- Bodily injury liability (per person): This covers medical bills for another person when you’re at fault for an accident. However, bodily injury liability coverage won’t cover your own medical bills.
- Bodily injury liability (total): This is the total amount that your liability insurance will provide to cover medical bills for all other drivers and passengers when you’re at fault for an accident. This is usually capped at twice the per-person bodily injury limit.
- Property damage liability: This covers car repairs and other property damage that you cause when you’re at fault for an accident. Note that property damage liability doesn’t cover the costs of repairing your own car.
When looking at state-required minimum coverage, you’ll notice that limits are presented as three numbers:
BI (per person) / BI (total) / PD
These numbers are written in thousands of dollars. So, a state with minimum policy limits of 20/40/10 requires $20,000 in BI coverage (per person), $40,000 in total BI coverage, and $10,000 in PD coverage. Your SR-22 insurance should have limits that are at least as high as your state’s minimum requirements.
In addition, some states require additional coverage for drivers, such as:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This covers your medical bills when you’re involved in a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault. PIP also pays for lost wages while you’re recovering from your injuries, as well as essential services like childcare.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage: This covers your medical bills and property damage when someone else is at fault for an accident but doesn’t have enough insurance — or no insurance at all.
- Med-Pay: A few states require Med-Pay coverage rather than PIP. Med-Pay works a lot like PIP, but it only covers your medical bills — you won’t get reimbursed for lost wages or essential services with Med-Pay coverage.
If you live in a state that requires these extra forms of coverage, then you’ll need to add them to your SR-22 policy.
Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes
Does SR-22 Insurance Coverage Need to Include Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?
Collision and comprehensive insurance are not part of any state-required minimum coverage, and they don’t have to be included in your SR-22 insurance coverage.
However, if you lease or finance a car, keep in mind that the leasing or financing company may contractually require you to keep collision and comprehensive insurance until you pay off the car. If you cancel your coverage, then the financing company may be entitled to take out a policy in your name, and you can be sure that they won’t be looking for the cheapest insurance policy around.
In short, if you need SR-22 insurance, don’t automatically drop your collision and comprehensive insurance coverage unless you’re sure you don’t need it.
Do I Still Need SR-22 Coverage if I Move Out of State?
Yes, your obligation to carry SR-22 insurance follows you, even if you move out of state and even if your new state doesn’t require SR-22 insurance.
If your insurance company is licensed to operate in your new and old states, then that’s great news! You’ll be able to transfer your SR-22 without having to change insurance companies. You may not even need to change policies.
If you do need to change insurance companies when you move, here’s how to correctly transfer your SR-22 coverage:
- Do not cancel your SR-22 policy in your old state yet. If you let your SR-22 insurance lapse, the DMV in your old state can suspend your license, which means that you won’t be able to get a license in your new state.
- Find an insurance company in your new state that offers SR-22 insurance coverage and can file an out-of-state SR-22 form for you. The insurance company should be licensed to operate in both your new and old states. As always, be sure to shop around for quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
- Your new insurance company will file your SR-22 in both your new and old states. Just to be safe, make sure there are a few days of overlapping coverage between your new and old insurance policies.
- After a few days of your new SR-22 insurance, you can cancel your old insurance policy. It’s up to you to inform your new insurance company how much longer you need to keep SR-22 coverage. Ask them to remove it from your record when you’ve met the requirements.
If your new state has lower insurance requirements than your old state, your SR-22 insurance coverage still may need to meet your old state’s insurance requirements. The DMV in your old state can provide more information.
As long as you keep up your SR-22 insurance coverage with no coverage gaps, the clock won’t reset when you move. So, if you’re required to have SR-22 insurance for three years and move after two years, then you’ll only need SR-22 insurance for one year in your new state.
Cheap SR-22 Insurance Coverage is Available
The good news is that your SR-22 insurance coverage will look a lot like your old insurance coverage. The question now is: where can you find the best rates on SR-22 Insurance? At SR-22 Adviser, we work with customers around the country to get them the insurance coverage they need at the best possible rate. All it takes is a few minutes for an online quote from our partner for cheap SR-22 insurance.