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What Is SR22 Insurance?

by Bryan Cunningham
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People think of SR22 as being a type of insurance when, in reality, it’s a form that certain drivers’ insurance companies must file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). SR22s are usually only required if a driver’s license has been suspended because of major driving-related convictions. Because these drivers are considered high-risk, they must submit proof they are carrying insurance that will meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

How to Get Proof of Coverage

Although SR22 is not a type of insurance, it does need to be obtained through a driver’s auto insurance provider. In some cases, all it takes is to switch coverage over through the same company, then pay a minor filing fee of $15 to $25. However, not all auto insurance companies offer coverage to drivers who need SR22s. In that case, switching providers is the only viable option. California drivers can visit to get free quotes from companies that offer SR22 coverage.

When to Request an SR22

Drivers that must have SR22s submitted to the state DMV will be alerted to this requirement following a serious moving violation. The issuance of an SR22 by the insurance company lets the DMV know the driver has coverage that complies with the state’s minimum requirements. Failure to get this proof of coverage submitted or canceling the policy can leave drivers at risk of losing their licenses.

What’s Required?

As a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, the SR22 confirms that drivers have adequate insurance coverage according to state standards. In California, that means having a minimum of:

  • $15,000 per person in bodily injury liability
  • $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
  • $5,000 in property damage liability

Many drivers opt to exceed these minimum standards. However, no driver who has been required to file an SR22 can have coverage that fails to meet them. With each policy renewal, the insurance company will update the DMV regarding the driver’s current coverage. Drivers are generally required to carry SR22 insurance for three and five years following significant convictions.

How Much Does SR22 Insurance Cost?

Unfortunately, SR22 insurance does not come cheap. Drivers whose insurance companies are required to file this document should expect their premiums to increase substantially, especially in California. The average cost of yearly premiums for drivers with DUIs is $4,988 versus $2,065 for full coverage with a good driving record, which constitutes a 142% increase.

The reason that coverage is so much more expensive for drivers required to file SR22s is that they are considered high-risk, and insurance companies determine how much to charge based on the likelihood that a driver will get into an accident. SR22 status isn’t the only thing that will increase car insurance premiums. Drivers with multiple tickets or a substantial accident history also have to pay more for coverage. The primary difference is that those issued SR22s will lose their licenses immediately if their coverage lapses.

How to Find SR22 Insurance

Need extra insurance coverage but working with a provider that won’t file an SR22? If so, it’s time to start shopping around. While there is no such thing as budget insurance for high-risk drivers, comparing prices can still help people get the lowest premiums given their particular situations. Just remember that it’s the price people with serious traffic-related convictions must pay to maintain their driving privileges.

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