Oftentimes, when the topic of an SR-22 is mentioned, it is mentioned in the context of a DUI conviction. This is because DUI’s are the most common reason an SR-22 is needed, but they are not the only reason. There are four common reasons that an SR-22 is needed: DUI/DWI conviction, driving without insurance, you were involved in an accident that caused serious bodily injury, unpaid fines, unpaid child support, or your record has a large number of driving points.
An SR-22 is proof that your car is insured to the minimum levels required by the state. In California, the minimums are different for each type of insurance. California requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident minimum
- Property Damage Liability Coverage: $5,000 minimum
If you were to be convicted of a DUI or one of the other aforementioned reasons, you will need an SR-22 to prove your car is insured to the state’s minimums. This SR-22 will then be needed for about 3 years.
In certain cases, getting an SR-22 usually coincides with your license being suspended. In order to get your license back you will need the SR-22. Getting an SR-22 is a process. You will need to ask your insurer to file the SR-22. Some insurers won’t do that because filing an SR-22 makes you what is referred to as a “high risk” driver. “Risk” is the operative word when it comes to insurance – everything in insurance is tied up in risk. In case they don’t file it, you will need to find an insurance agency that will.
After this you will pay a fee. The big cost here is that your premiums are going to increase because you are a high risk driver. You may be tempted to cancel your insurance because of the high premiums. If you do, your insurer will report that to the DMV and you could lose your license if it’s not already suspended.
If you don’t own a car, but get into trouble with someone else’s car, then you will still need an SR-22. You will have to get a non-owner policy. Note that this only applies to you if you do not own a car or do not have regular access to one. If you share a car with someone, you will need actual owner insurance. You can also change this policy if you become the owner of a car after getting a non-owners policy.
There are other decisions that come with purchasing an SR-22. This includes researching the best cost, obtaining quotes, figuring out how you will make payments, and whether or not you should pay the premium up front to avoid missing payments in an effort to not lose your license. For all your SR-22 insurance needs in California, contact the experts at Eric Johnson Insurance. They specialize in SR-22’s and high risk drivers. They can get you what you need to be back on the road in no time!