An SR-22 is a court-mandated certificate that proves a driver carries car insurance. Despite the fact that it’s often called SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 isn’t insurance itself. It’s instead a form showing that you carry the amount of coverage required by the court that issues it.
A court may issue an SR-22 requirement for any of the following:
- DUI or DWI
- Multiple at-fault accidents
- Driving without insurance
- Driving with an invalid or suspended license
- Multiple traffic violations in a short period of time
- Avoiding paying off owed money after an accident-related lawsuit
How Much Insurance Do I Need for an SR-22?
The insurance requirements for an SR-22 vary per state. In California, you must carry:
- Bodily injury liability: $15,000 per person
- Bodily injury liability: $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $5,000
Liability insurance is required to protect other people on the road in case you cause an accident. In case you crash with someone, your insurance should cover their medical expenses and property damage. This coverage must be held consecutively for as long as the court has mandated. On average, you must carry an SR-22 and the related insurance for 3 years. This may also depend on the violation.
A lapse in your insurance (failing to pay the monthly premiums, having an accident, etc.) with an SR-22 may lead to your insurance company dropping you, and they will notify the court of the coverage lapse.
You may choose to carry more insurance than the basic requirements, of course. It’s recommended that, on top of the required liability coverage, you carry comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist and personal injury protection. While liability insurance depends on fault, personal injury protection will provide medical expense compensation for you and your passengers after an accident.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost?
The cost of an SR-22 form is relatively cheap at about $25 with an insurance agency. The actual insurance you must acquire will be a lot more expensive, though. An SR-22 itself won’t raise your rates, but the violation that led to the SR-22 likely will. This is on top of possible fines and fees to reinstate your driving privileges. Reinstating your license alone costs around $125 in California.
Some insurance companies avoid drivers with high risk, so it’s best to look for an insurance agency that specializes in SR-22s and high-risk drivers to find the best rate