An SR-22 document is not exactly an insurance policy; it is more of an endorsement that is added to your auto insurance policy to advise the Department of Motor Vehicles that you are abiding by the state’s minimum insurance guidelines. A SR-22 document is filed because the driver is considered to be a high risk driver and has been convicted of one or more serious driving offenses. It is a requirement if a driver has been convicted of a DUI, dangerous driving, or other serious infraction that can endanger others. As well, it is required if a driver has been convicted of driving without valid insurance.
If an SR-22 endorsed auto insurance policy is canceled, expires, or lapses due to non-payment, the insurance company must notify the DMV. If this happens, your driver’s license and vehicle registration can be canceled. It will be extremely difficult to find another insurance company that is willing to issue an insurance policy in such a case.
There are three types of SR-22 insurance endorsements that a driver can apply for. These are an operator’s, owner’s certificate, and an operator-owner’s certificate. An operator’s certificate provides coverage if the driver is operating a vehicle that he or she does not own. An owner’s certificate covers all vehicles that are owned by the driver. An operator-owner’s certificate covers vehicle regardless of ownership. The driver may drive his or her vehicle or one that belongs to someone else.
When an SR-22 form is required, this automatically places a driver into a high-risk category because of their driving record. Insurance rates for high risk drivers are already expensive, but having an SR-22 added onto the policy will increase the premiums substantially. Again, if the insurance policy is canceled or lapses for any reason, the DMV will be notified and the driver’s license and registration will be immediately suspended. Being caught with a suspended license, registration, or without insurance will further compound problems and lead to even higher rates and the possibility of not being insurable. A suspension will affect a driver’s record for several years as well as keep the insurance premiums high.
When obtaining auto insurance quotes, it’s important to keep in mind that your driving record will seriously impact car insurance premiums. Any driving infractions will surcharge your rates and depending on the severity of those infractions, a driver may require an SR-22 endorsement. If a driver has a less than spotless driving record, he or she should advise the insurance agent when getting car insurance quotes so that they can obtain the most accurate quote possible. Maintaining a clean driving record and driving attentively will help to lower your premiums and reduce the risk of requiring an SR-22.