The requirement of an SR-22 often comes as a surprise to drivers. That's mainly because many people have never even heard of an SR-22 or any variation of it. Other names include:
- Certificate of Financial Responsibility
- Certificate of Insurance
- SR22 Insurance
No matter what name you discover it under, there's one thing that remains the same. An SR-22 can become a towering expense.
Money on Top of Money for Your Insurance
The problem is that many people think that SR-22 is insurance. That's not what it is. Rather, SR-22 is a certificate that states that you have at least the minimum amount of insurance. That means that beyond paying for the certificate, you must also pay for normal insurance for your vehicle.
An SR-22 certificate also means that you fall into the category of a "high-risk" driver. This means that your insurance costs are going to skyrocket. Insurance companies do not like to insure anyone or anything with the "high-risk" title.
Remember, it's not the SR-22 that raises your rates. It's the risky driving that led to a court-ordered certification that makes you a risky proposition.
- DUI or DWI
- Driving while uninsured
- Driving with a suspended license
- Causing a serious car accident
- Having too many points
Motor vehicle violations can lead to fines, jail time, and suspension of driving privileges. Those same violations can lead to you requiring a CFR. All of these things can send insurance companies into high alert.
Mitigating the Costs of High Risk Insurance
Finding an insurance company that will file your SR-22 and insure you can become a difficult task. Many major insurance companies offer some kind of SR-22 service. The problem is that some may not deal with you at all because they feel the risk is too high.
Some services cater specifically to people who need SR-22 backed insurance. All of which means that you do have options. Just look out for a few things:
- Make sure the insurance company has a license to do business in your state
- Make sure the insurance company is offering your state's required minimum insurance option
Many states have dedicated pages online that lay out all the particulars of their SR-22 requirements. It's important that you get your information from these types of places first. Especially since some laws vary from state to state.
For example, the Texas site lists certain aspects of what an SR-22 is and why you would need one. It doesn't list any alternatives. In Washington State, you actually have options. You can apply for a Certificate of Deposit or pay for a liability bond.
Avoiding Additional Burdensome Costs
Knowing what's required of you can help you make a better decision on where to seek insurance at places like http://www.greatnortherninsuranceagency.com. Many of the charges that lead to a need for an SR-22 also come with costs of their own. You may already have to deal with court payments, fines, or garnishments because of your driving. Adding expensive insurance can turn into the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
It's not all bleak. Check your state's literature on the matter and then compare quotes from different places. You may just stumble into some cheap SR-22 options that you can deal with.