Are you looking at a notice that states you need an SR22 insurance form filed when you purchase car insurance? Most likely the notice is from the state in which you reside or the department of motor vehicles. Why you are receiving such a message is quite simple. It is part of a penalty you received in regards to a traffic violation you recently were found guilty of committing.
Possible Traffic Violations Associated With SR22 Filing
You won’t need to file an SR22 form unless you’ve committed a serious offense or have racked up several small issues that you haven’t adequately dealt with. Some things that will likely lead straight to an SR22 requirement are:
- Drinking and Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Careless Driving
- Being In a Car Accident Without Car Insurance
- Caught Driving Without Car Insurance One or More Times
- Driving With a Suspended License
There are also cases in which receiving too many points against your driver's license or other administrative action could lead you to need an SR22 filing.
An SR22 filing is a fairly painless penalty in theory. It is not difficult to get the filing added onto a new or existing car insurance policy, and every car insurance agent knows how to do it. And even better, the actual filing is inexpensive.
Unfortunately, most likely you are now considered a high-risk driver, and high-risk drivers do pay the highest car insurance rates. Your insurance company may not be willing to insure you any longer, and if you’re shopping for new car insurance, the rates you will be quoted will likely be significantly higher than they ever were before.
Look for ways to save by talking to your insurance agent. A "discount double check" is suitable for all drivers after every couple of years. The most effective ways to save include improving your driving record, improving your credit score, and raising your deductibles. The very best way to save though is to reduce your coverage to liability only, meaning no comprehensive or collision coverage. Sometimes this might require selling your newer car and purchasing an older one. Living within your means is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. Trying to stretch your budget further than what it is capable of will only get you into trouble. And, letting your car insurance cancel is not an option when you have an SR22 filing.
How Long Will I Need SR22 Car Insurance?
Well, the length of time you are required to carry an SR22 filing is going to depend on the violation which triggered the required filing. Whether or not you keep your car insurance policy active is also going to play a huge role in how long you need the filing. Although it varies by state, plan on five years or more, with drinking and driving requiring the longest length of time. Also, many states require longer durations when the number of DUI convictions increases. Check your paperwork or ask the department of motor vehicles directly to determine your exact length of time.
Once you no longer need the filing, inform your car insurance carrier immediately. When the SR22 is ready to be removed, there should be an additional form filed (called the SR26), which informs the state of the change. Getting the filing removed is not all that important, but you might be eligible to switch car insurance carriers to get a cheaper rate or discounts might be added to your policy once the filing is removed.
Importance of SR22 Filing
While some states no longer require the SR22, the majority of them still do require the form. Knowing the rules of the state in which you live and keeping your SR22 car insurance policy active is very important. Your driver's license is at risk if you choose to let it cancel along with a slew of other penalties. Car insurance should always be considered a high priority when it comes to your bills. Definitely let the cable and internet cancel before letting your car insurance go. The cost to get it reinstated and potential loss in case of an accident is way too high.