Best SR-22 Insurance

Contributor, Benzinga

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If you’ve had a DUI or another serious traffic violation, you might face an auto insurance requirement that you haven’t run into before. To maintain your driving privileges or reinstate your driver’s license after it has been revoked, you might need an SR-22 certificate from your insurance carrier.

Unfortunately, filing an SR-22 isn’t fun. You will pay higher insurance premiums than a driver whose record is clean, as well as have a limited choice of insurance providers. Shopping around to obtain and compare multiple quotes can help you secure cheaper rates.

Let Benzinga’s research point you towards the best auto insurance providers for SR-22 coverage. We also offer information that can help you learn more about car insurance.

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Quick Look: The Best SR-22 Insurance

The Best SR-22 Insurance

Don’t let your DUI conviction or revoked license take away your driving freedom. Here are the best SR-22 insurance providers reviewed by Benzinga.

1. Progressive

Drivers looking for SR-22 coverage can enjoy the competitive rates Progressive offers. Even if you don’t own a vehicle, you can take advantage of its nonowner operator policies that provide SR-22 coverage anytime you want to drive. The company offers 24-hour, in-person and online insurance services to drivers across the United States. You can buy an auto insurance policy online, through phone or any of their independent insurance agents.

Progressive also lowers your premiums if you bundle policies, insure multiple vehicles or if you had a clean driving record before the SR-22 requirement was issued. The company offers a 24/7 claims service and a price comparison feature if you want to get the best policy for your financial needs.

Discover more about progressive and all its offerings. Get a quick, no-obligation quote today.

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Progressive auto insurance is among the first of the larger insurers to actively embrace usage-based insurance via electronic monitoring of driving habits. Often a refuge for younger drivers and drivers who have been refused insurance elsewhere, progressive markets and supports its insurance products through its website and a network of independent agents.

Best For
  • Young and less-experienced drivers
  • Drivers with consistently good driving habits
  • Rates for good drivers
  • RV drivers
Pros
  • More welcoming to less-experienced drivers
  • Great website and mobile app functionality
  • Driving based discounts can be generous
Cons
  • Relatively smaller agent network may leave some without a local agent
  • Rates can increase at renewal based on driving data from Progressive’s Snapshot.

2. Dairyland

Dairyland offers affordable coverage to high-risk drivers, thanks to its low premium rates. You will also obtain coverage if you have bad credit or poor driving history. In case you drive rental cars often, the company’s non-owner coverage is a great option. Install safety devices, insure multiple cars or own a home and Dairyland will offer discounts to lower your monthly premiums.

The company serves its customers through its website and national call center. You can obtain an insurance quote by calling in or visiting their website. Dairyland’s low down payment options also makes it ideal for drivers looking to save on their coverage.

Get started securely through Dairyland Auto’s website

3. Best for Special Inclusions: Hallmark

Hallmark will insure you if you hold a foreign passport/ID, a matriculas ID or an international driver’s license. Besides the special inclusions, the company will also provide coverage if you have an extensive claims history. And should you need any roadside assistance, the company will pay for towing and labor to get your vehicle to a service center.

You can easily access your insurance information, set up auto-pay and request policy changes through the company’s online portal. Hallmark will also offer competitive discounts on your premiums if you show proof of previous insurance coverage, bundle policies or insure multiple cars.

Request a free rate quote by entering your ZIP code.  

Get started securely through Hallmark’s website

4. Best for Good Drivers: Root

Root gives you a promise that other insurers won’t: auto insurance rates that are based on your driving habits. Through its mobile application, the company gives a remotely monitored test drive which takes 2 – 3 weeks.

If you portray good driving habits, the company will send you a quote and provide coverage. You can also add people to your policy and they won’t have to take the test drive. The company can deny you coverage if your driving habits are considered high-risk.

Roadside assistance is also included in the company’s policies with no additional cost. Root also offers discounts to Tesla drivers who use automated steering. Root services are exclusively online.

get started securely through Root Insurance’s website
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Root’s “user-based insurance” model claims to reward drivers who stay safe on the road and practice good driving habits — and you can save 52% when you switch. However, what defines a “good” driver isn’t clear from Root’s website, and Root reserves the right to drop you from your policy if you get involved in a “series of accidents.” Root is best for infrequent drivers and drivers with a totally clean record.

Best For
  • Infrequent drivers
  • Drivers without accidents on their record
  • Drivers who don’t travel long distances
Pros
  • Many coverage types available
  • Comprehensive mobile app
  • Free roadside assistance included with every policy
  • User-based insurance model means safe and infrequent drivers save more.
Cons
  • Opaque customer service hours
  • No clearly defined discounts
  • Must complete a “test drive,” which lasts up to a month before you get a quote
  • No policies available for “high-risk” drivers
  • Not available in all states

What is SR-22 Insurance?

SR-22 insurance isn’t a type of coverage but rather a certificate showing that you meet the state minimum car insurance requirements. This official document serves as proof of “future responsibility” and is usually posted to your driving record. It is a requirement in most states, with the exception of Delaware, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

You won’t be required to file an SR-22 form unless you have a serious traffic violation on your driving record or have racked up many minor issues that you haven’t settled. Here are things that will most likely result in an SR-22 requirement:

  • You’ve been convicted for DUI or DWI
  • You’ve been convicted for driving without insurance
  • You caused an accident with a vehicle that was uninsured
  • You’ve received many traffic tickets in a short period
  • Your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended

There are also instances when failure to settle your ticket fines could result in the need for an SR-22 certificate.

Once an SR-22 certificate is required, you’ll need to contact an insurance provider for them to issue the certificate. Not all insurers will issue the certificate, so you’ll need to do some research. Here are some other important things to keep in mind when acquiring an SR-22:

  • It can take 30 days or more to get the SR-22: The process of acquiring an SR-22 certificate can take up to 30 days. Until the certificate is issued, you cannot regain your driving privileges since your license is technically suspended.
  • Always have it with you: After receiving the SR-22 certificate, your insurance provider will notify the state DMV that you meet all the minimum liability insurance requirements as enforced by the state. This certificate must remain active and should be readily available should you need to show it to a traffic officer.
  • Your license will be suspended if the coverage lapses: If your insurance terminates or is canceled, your insurance carrier will notify the DMV that you no longer meet the state minimum car insurance requirements. Your driver’s license will be suspended for not complying with the SR-22 insurance laws. To prevent a license suspension, renew your insurance 15 days before the policy’s expiry date. Your insurance company may choose not to renew your policy based on factors like your driving history. Plan in advance to ensure there’s no gap in your coverage.

Laws Specific to SR-22 Insurance

In all states where it is a requirement, an SR-22 certificate serves as proof that you’re maintaining the required liability insurance. Here are the laws specific to SR-22 insurance that you must understand:

  • Minimum liability requirements: The policy that’s in effect with the SR-22 certificate must meet all the minimum liability requirements as per your state, which includes personal and property liability. Each state has its own liability requirements, so be sure to check out what is required of you from your state DMV.
  • Coverage length: In most states, you will need to maintain an active certificate for 3 years. This period usually begins immediately the SR-22 certificate is issued by your insurance company. Some states require that the certificate remains active for 5 years.
  • Fees/Penalties: Some fees may be charged as part of writing the SR-22. Penalty fees could go as high as $250 in some states while a reinstatement can cost $55 or more. This will be in addition to court fees plus the extra cost of SR-22 insurance. These fees are different for each state, so inquire with your state DMV to know how much you will pay to remain compliant.
  • Licensing in another state: To acquire a driver’s license in another state, you will need to satisfy all the requirements in the state where your suspension occurred. Most state DMVs will not issue a new license if you’ve been suspended in another state. This will ensure your driving privileges are on hold until you provide proof of financial responsibility. However, you won’t need this if you’re moving to a state where SR-22 isn’t required.
  • Forms of SR-22: There are 3 forms of SR-22 issued in each state; An owner’s certificate which covers you for the vehicles you own, an operator’s certificate which applies if you drive a borrowed or rented car and owners-operators certificate which covers you for all vehicles owned or unowned.

SR-22 Insurance: What Should You Look For?

If a court or the state DMV notifies you about an SR-22 requirement, you should start assessing your options. You should check whether your current insurance provider will file the document for you otherwise, you’ll need to shop around for quotes. Here’s what to look for when shopping around:

  • Filing fee: You must part with a small filing fee to obtain an SR-22. Only an insurance company can file this document with the state, and this costs $15 – $25. You’ll need to have a policy with the insurance provider, so it’s best to shop around and get a quote.
  • Available discounts: If you need to file for an SR-22, you’re probably categorized as a high-risk driver, so your insurance policy will be expensive. You can lower the cost of your premiums by inquiring about high-risk driver discounts. Other discounts include good student discounts and bundled policy discounts if you insure your home and car with the same company. Some companies will also offer discounts when you pay for the entire policy upfront or set up auto-pay.
  • Length of policy: An SR-22 certificate remains valid for 3 years. Your insurance provider may provide automatic renewal to ensure your document remains active. You must ensure your SR-22 is updated, so check with your insurer to see what its rules are regarding this certificate.  

Prove Financial Responsibility With SR-22 Coverage

If you’re hit with an SR-22 requirement, it is best if you started by familiarizing with your state specific laws for SR-22 coverage. Requirements will vary by state, so be sure to understand what your state law requires. After reading all the fine print, do some comparison-shopping to find the best deals for your needs. Look for discounts that can help you save on your premiums.

It is free to get a quote from any of our top carriers for SR-22 coverage. You may also want to learn more about car insurance to understand your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?

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Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?
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It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage.

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Q

How does my personal credit play a role?

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How does my personal credit play a role?
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Insurance carriers run credit scores to help determine policy premiums. Your insurance rates will likely be lower if you have an excellent credit score. On the other hand, your insurance rates may be higher if you have a poor credit score. Insurance companies believe credit scores are an indicator of whether you’ll make your insurance payments on time and credit scores combined with other data can be predictive of risk.

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Q

What kind of discounts are usually available?

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What kind of discounts are usually available?
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The most common discounts available are multi-policy and auto-pay, but every company is different. Other discounts that are widely available are loyalty, good student and anti-theft device discounts.

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