California is a leading state for DUIs and other reckless driving behaviors. In order for these drivers to continue driving on the road, they need an SR22 insurance California policy.
If you recently received a ticket for a DUI or some other reckless driving citation, you most likely received a court order to get an SR22. So what is an SR22 insurance policy, and how can you find one that will not cost you an arm and a leg? Continue reading below to learn more about what an SR22 is, how it protects you, and who you can reach out to for more information on getting a policy that is affordable for you.
What Is SR22 Insurance California?
SR22 insurance California is not an actual insurance policy; instead, it is a certificate that you attach to your auto insurance policy. People with serious driving offenses typically receive a notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles that they need to obtain an SR22 document.
Getting an SR-22 proves to the state that you carry the state minimum coverage levels for auto insurance. This also guarantees that you and your auto insurance carrier are financially responsible for any accidents or damage you cause with your vehicle.
Who Needs an SR22?
As mentioned earlier, drivers who have serious driving offenses typically need an SR22 in California. This means that if you are the average driver with no severe offenses like a DUI, you can purchase a standard auto insurance policy.
Situations where a driver may need an SR22:
- Reckless driving
- Getting into an accident with an active insurance policy
- Driving without insurance
- Suspended license
As mentioned earlier, a court mandates if someone needs to get an SR22 insurance policy. If you recently received a DUI or a ticket for reckless driving, make sure to check in to see if you need to get this type of insurance policy.
Can an SR22 Help Me Get a Restricted License?
Getting an SR22 allows you to get a restricted license. When you receive a DUI conviction in California, you have to be on probation, and you have to fill out specific court-ordered obligations. This means you typically have to go through a California DUI school and complete specific DUI penalties.
For example, you must have your driver’s license suspended or revoked between six months and four years. If you still need to be able to drive for school or work, you can apply for a restricted license.
IID Restricted License
The IID restricted license allows drivers to be able to drive throughout their suspension or revocation period so long as they have an ignition interlock device installed into their vehicle.
Regular Restricted License
If you are willing to wait a specific number of court-ordered dates, you may be able to receive a restricted license.
To get a regular restricted license, you need:
- To file an SR-22 form
- Pay a $15 restriction fee
- Pay a $125 reissue fee
- Enroll in a California DUI school
Once you complete these requirements, the DMV will look over your documents. At that point, they will make their decision to issue you a restricted license. Once you have your restricted license, you are able to use your vehicle for school, work, or DUI related classes.
How Do I Get an SR22?
To get an SR22 certificate filed, you must first find an insurance company that is willing to take you on as a client. There are several major auto insurance companies you can reach out to for a quote, but they do not specialize in SR22 insurance policies. Because they typically cater to other clients, you can expect to pay a lot of money to them.
Instead, you can reach out to a reputable SR22 insurance company that only deals with SR22 policies. They offer cheaper filing fees, and their rates are more affordable.
Once you find a company you want to work with, they will send you a quote. If you accept their fees, they will ask you to pay a filing fee. Depending on the insurance company, this fee ranges from $5 to $50. Your new insurance company will notify the state about your filing status.
How Long Do I Need the SR22?
In California, you must keep your SR22 status for about three years. You won’t have to refile for the SR22 each year.
Once you have your policy, you need to make sure you keep paying your premium each year. If you don’t, your policy will lapse, and your insurer is obligated to let the state know about your filing status.
In the event that you allow your policy to lapse or cancel, the court may suspend your license. If you get your license revoked or suspended, you will have to start the SR22 process all over again.
How Much Is SR22 Insurance California?
The cost of your SR22 insurance policy will vary based on the insurance company you decide to partner with. Depending on your driving history, age, and other factors, you can expect to pay between $300 to $400 or more a month.
If you had any good driver discounts before, you lose those privileges if you had a DUI. You can generally expect to pay more than the average driver because you are a “high-risk” driver.
What Are the Minimum Liability Requirements?
As mentioned earlier, when you get your SR22, you’re showing the state that you at least carry the state-required minimums for auto insurance.
Minimum liability insurance requirements in California:
- $5,000 for property damage coverage
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 for bodily injury per occurrence
It is important to note that liability coverage only takes care of the other person involved in the accident. For example, if you rear-ended someone else’s car, your auto insurance would take care of the damage to that person’s vehicle. You won’t have to pay a deductible.
If that driver or their passengers sustained injuries, your bodily injury coverage would take care of their injuries. In the event that the other driver tries to sue you for their injuries, your policy will take care of dealing with their lawyer and the settlement amount.
What About My Vehicle?
If you want to add protection for your vehicle, you can add collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage will take care of the damages done to your car.
There is a deductible you must meet and pay before your auto insurance pays for any of your damages. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, you will have to pay that $500, and your insurance company will pay the rest. So if you have $2,000 worth of damages, you will only have to pay $500.
Comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle in the event of a flood or other Acts of God. If your car were to catch on fire, get stolen, or vandalized, you could use your comprehensive coverage to take care of those damages.
Comprehensive typically covers any other damage not related to a collision, with the exception of collisions with animals. If you were to hit a deer or some other type of animal on the road, you could use your comprehensive coverage to repair those damages.
How To Find Cheap SR22 California Insurance Companies?
As mentioned earlier, some companies specialize in SR22 insurance policies. Although their rates are affordable, they are still expensive because you are a high-risk driver.
When comparing rates between a well-known insurer and an SR22 specialized carrier, you can expect to pay more with a well-known and bigger insurance company.
It is essential that you request a few quotes before you settle on an insurance company. Once you find a few companies you’re interested in, send them your information for a quote. Read over your policy coverages before signing your contract and reviewing the filing fee.
Read Their Reviews
If you want to learn more about a company and how other clients liked their service, you can take a look at their reviews. See what other people did or did not like about working with them and if there were any issues with their policies.
Affordable SR22 Insurance in California
If you are looking for SR22 insurance California, it is imperative that you reach out to a company that specializes in SR22 insurance policies. Sure, there are other name-brand companies that you could reach out to, but they will most likely charge you an arm and a leg to use their services.
If you need an SR22 insurance policy and want to work with a reputable company, contact us for a quote. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you have about your SR22 insurance policy and filing process.