SR22 policies are a special type of non-standard car insurance required by those drivers convicted of a DUI and other driving infractions. This high risk car insurance allows drivers with a poor driving record to meet minimum insurance requirements, like proof of financial responsibility. If a license was suspended as a result of a DUI or DWI, a SR22 form will be required in order for the license to be reinstated.
In most cases if you've had a DUI, excessive tickets, or have been driving without insurance you will have to maintain a SR22 policy. As long as you pay your premiums the state will allow you to keep your license. If you've been ordered to ensure SR22 insurance, this should be seen as a second chance, and not a hassle. Driving is a privilege not a right. Without this option, you may lose your license all together, which is much more of a detriment than getting a simple SR22 policy.
A SR22 policy is intended to protect the people who might encounter trouble from a problem driver. Potential victims will be able to collect compensation promptly, as SR22 policies allow them to collect directly from the insurance company instead of waiting for the at fault driver to file a claim.
Where Are SR-22 Policies Not Offered
If you live in New York or North Carolina then you won't ever be required to file SR22 bonds. These states don't even offer the option. If you live in another state and move to North Carolina or New York, you may have an issue if you need to maintain an SR22 policy. Most insurance companies won't offer the filing for these states. If you find yourself in this predicament, you will need to file an appeal with the state that issued the order for SR22. This process can be lengthy, but just moving out of state won't negate the order.
Where SR22 Is Not Required
In some states the courts won't order SR22, but it may be an option for you. These states are Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. If you are in one of these states then you may be given the option to get a SR22 policy to keep your license. If you are in a state that requires it and you move to one of these states, then you will need to go ahead and fulfill your prior obligations by filing the SR22 policy. If you were ordered to maintain the bond for three years, then even moving doesn't break that requirement.
Check with Your DMV to Understand SR22 Requirements
SR22 bond requirements will vary based on the state and the courts order. If you have been ordered to obtain an SR22 policy, you need to understand what the court has ordered. You will also want to check with the DMV in your state to find out if there is anything special you need to know. In most cases you will be required to carry the insurance for a minimum of three years, but depending on your driving record and what infractions caused you to need it to begin with, the length of time may be longer.
SR22 Policies and Coverage Limitations
A SR22 policy will only cover you at the very basic and state minimum levels. This means if you enjoyed having higher coverage amounts in the past, you will need to understand that the coverage won't be as extensive. This usually isn't a problem unless you have a lot invested in your car. If this is the case, you may want to set aside the current car and drive a less expensive one for the time you need the SR22 policy.
Cost Disadvantages of an SR22 Policy
Once you've been required to have a SR22 policy you may as well get used to paying higher rates on your insurance. As soon as you ask for a SR22 bond the insurance company will see you as a risk, and the rates can go up, so before you call your insurance company be sure to call Breathe Easy as we have some very helpful tips that can save you some cash and a lot of headaches. Even though a SR-22 policy may not sound very promising, it's a necessary expense if you want to keep your driving privileges.
Time Frames for SR22 Policies
A SR22 bond will usually be required for a certain amount of time. In most cases it's three years, but can be more depending on the state you live in and the problems you've had with your license in the past. This can seem like a long time to pay inflated rates for, but at least you get to keep your license.
Always Pay Insurance Dues On-Time
In most cases you have a few days or even a week or more to pay on your insurance premiums beyond the due date. In other words, you usually have a grace period before your policy is cancelled. With a SR22 policy in place, you will likely not have the same benefit. If your policy is due on the 3rd, it needs to be paid on the 3rd, or the state can be notified of your failure to pay. This can result in your license being suspended and your driving privileges revoked. If you have to maintain a SR22 policy, you need to ensure you are setting up either automatic draft payments, or that your payments will always be made on time to avoid this hassle. Once the insurance has lapsed, you may not be able to find another policy or get that policy at the same rate.
SR-22 Follows You Wherever You Go
With a SR22 bond you are usually covered no matter what vehicle you drive. The insurance follows you as a risk, and not the car. Keep in mind that the coverage levels are generally at state minimum, and will only cover damages to others property and not the vehicle you're in. But this means that you aren't stuck driving only your car. If you borrow a friend's car, the SR22 bond follows you as you drive this one as well.
Breathe Easy Will Do the Work for You
Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions will prepare the paperwork for you and file it with the state on your behalf. This will depend on the state you are in, but in all cases the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) will need to have a copy of the bond on file. If the state wants proof of certification down the road, they will usually contact the insurance company directly. As long as you continue to pay your premiums you won't have to worry about any of the paperwork. It's a quick and seamless transaction behind the scenes.
Remember, before calling your insurance company and asking for a SR-22 policy, call Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions. We may be able to save you money and prevent you from being dropped from your current insurance provider.
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