SR-22 (the “SR” stands for “safety responsibility”) is a document that verifies that someone has automobile insurance. The SR22 is prepared by an insurance company and then filed (by the insurance company) with the department of motor vehicles (DMV). The SR22 is not an insurance policy. It is evidence that you have a policy. Typically, an SR22 is required when a driver seeks to reinstate a driver’s license after being convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, or some other driving violation that’s resulted in a suspension. The SR22 may be required whether you own a vehicle (owner SR-22) or not (non-owner SR22). It is usually required for a number of years – for example, five years following a DUI conviction. If the policy holder fails to pay the premiums, the SR22 is cancelled and an SR-26 is filed with the DMV. When the DMV receives the SR26, the policy holder’s license is suspended until a new SR22 is filed.
What if you’re involved in an accident in a state?
The good news is that most policies will increase to match the minimum requirements of the state in which the accident occurred. The 12 states with no-fault insurance systems require that your insurer pay for your damages (as if you had a no-fault policy).
How are premiums determined?
An insurance company takes many factors into consideration when determining your insurance rates (premiums). Some factors may seem unfair. For example, drivers with higher education or who are married will generally receive better rates than a driver with a similar driving record. Below are the major factors affecting rates
- Driving record and accidents. Moving violations, DUIs, and accident claims trigger higher rates.
- Credit score. Bad credit scores trigger higher rates.
- Miles driven. Drive less, pay less.
- Occupation. Jobs involving driving or heavy commutes may trigger higher rates.
- Location. Higher crime rates in your neighborhood or a density of population (cities) will cause rates to rise.
- Age. Drivers under 25 pay more; drivers between 50 and 65 pay less.
- Gender and marital status. Women have fewer accidents and pay less than men. A married person is considered more stable and will receive a lower rate than a driver with a similar record.
- Type of car. The more powerful or expensive, the higher premium because high performance cars attract riskier drivers and expensive cars are more costly to repair.
There are Six states – Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania – do not require SR22 insurance. If a driver is required to carry SR22 and he or she moves to one of these six states, they must still continue to meet the requirements legally mandated by their former state in which the SR22 was required.