What Is SR22 Insurance?

So what is this mysterious SR-22 insurance?

SR-22 insurance, sometimes called “financial responsibility insurance,” is a state program to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road by requiring SR-22 certificates from drivers who have repeatedly violated mandatory insurance laws. SR-22 laws and processes vary from state to state, but in Illinois anyone who has three insurance violations (i.e. ticketed for driving without insurance) can be required to carry SR-22 insurance.

The SR-22 insurance itself is a certificate that is kept on file with the state, rather than just between you and the insurance company like your typical insurance would be documented. An insurance company who is authorized to write SR-22 policies will set up your auto insurance and accept your premium payments, but will then send your SR-22 certificate directly to your state’s motor vehicle division (or the office of the Secretary of State in Illinois). The certificate will show that you are maintaining at least the state minimum coverage on your auto insurance.

Typical insurance coverage can be started or renewed instantly, but SR-22 insurance requires a little more work on your part. It must be renewed early to avoid suspension of your driving privileges. Since you carry this special insurance because you do not have a good track record with maintaining coverage, the state will start to suspend your privileges once your expiration date is fifteen days away. Renewing early is important since your insurance paperwork, including the renewed certificate, must be received and processed by the appropriate office of the state — and we all know that takes time!

Anyone who requires SR-22 must cover all the vehicles they own as well as all the vehicles they drive with this insurance. You can be insured as only owner, if you don’t plan to drive the car; as only operator, if you drive your parents’ or someone else’s car; or you can be insured as both owner and operator of your own car. These three options may change the cost of your SR-22 insurance.

If you have been required by the state to carry SR-22 insurance, the only way out of this predicament is to have a bond for at least $55,000 (varies by state) showing you have the cash to pay for an accident. There are some special circumstances where drivers go this route. But since you lapsed on your coverage in the first place, it is not likely that you have the funds to buy a bond.

You must keep your SR-22 insurance current for the length of the penalty term you were given. Minor infractions can disappear from your record in as little as three years, but major violations such as a DUI can cause you to carry SR-22 for ten years or more, and may never disappear from your driving record.

The best way to prevent having to deal with the expense, inconvenience, and future fallout from carrying SR-22 insurance is to keep your insurance current and avoid criminal driving infractions such as DUIs.

This information has been brought to you by SaveALot Auto Insurance, offering affordable Illinois auto insurance and SR-22 coverage.

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Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance can cost a lot of money for certain drivers, but even if you are one of those drivers who is seemingly stuck paying high premiums, be aware that you still need to have auto insurance!  Read on to find out ways you may be able to reduce those premiums, and to learn the three reasons why at least basic insurance is always necessary.

1.   State Law — It’s what your mom and dad will tell you, but we have to say it too:  It’s the law!  The number one reason (in the eyes of the state) you must have car insurance is that it is a requirement for even having a vehicle registered in most states.  States require car insurance to minimize the overall impact of property damage costs and to reduce the likelihood of huge accident-related medical bills going unpaid.  Insurance companies step up to absorb these costs in the event that damage or injury does occur – they are able to do so because you pay your premiums.

If you are unconvinced that you need to do something just because the law requires it, think about the true financial costs of breaking the law – if you get a ticket for not carrying insurance, that is a couple hundred dollars lost.  That money could have paid for part of your premium.  If you get another ticket, you could lose your license and even have your vehicle impounded.  The costs of paying tickets, regaining your license, and getting your car out of impound will definitely amount to far more than paying a year’s insurance premium.  Not to mention, the time lost at work because of not having a car could create even more financial woes and familial inconveniences.

2.    Financial Ruin — Besides obeying the insurance laws (because that’s what’s best for everyone!) another reason to carry insurance is because of the great possibility of actually getting into an accident!  Who can afford the costs of an accident?  Most individuals cannot.  Whether you care about your own car or not, you could still hit a Mercedes, or worse yet you could hit a car full of children.  And no matter what you may think, you have no control over this!  Insurance insures that you will be financially prepared to fix that Mercedes, to pay those children’s medical bills, and have someone on your side in case of a lawsuit — whether you have any intention of fixing your own car or not.

In fact, you can even carry lower cost insurance called “liability” (sometimes referred to as “liability only”) which only covers damages to other cars and drivers for which you are liable.  It does not repair your car, but it keeps you from being financially ruined.  (In the case of either accident mentioned above, without insurance you would surely be financially ruined, and probably sued as well.)  If you have an older car that you own outright, ask your insurance company about going to liability only on this car.  If this saves you money, perhaps you will not have so much trouble making a basic premium payment.

3.    Protecting your Investment — A final reason (though there are probably more…) to keep insurance on your car is to protect your investment.  Cars are probably the second most expensive thing we buy, next to homes, and they are in much more danger of getting damaged since they are, unlike our houses, always moving about!  If you do have a newer car or a nicer car, you should probably continue to carry liability and collision coverage on your vehicle.  Collision costs a little more than liability only, but it will guarantee that you can fix your car no matter what happens to it in an accident.  You will protect yourself from the burden of paying for damages to others’ property, but you will also protect yourself from losing money on a car you love, or a car you just bought.  (In fact, most banks will require that you have collision coverage, in order to make sure you can pay back the loan no matter what happens to the car.)  If you are not ready to pay for collision coverage on your automobiles, you should not be in the market for a new car.  One accident would turn your investment into a huge loss.

If you have questions about what level of coverage is right for you, and how to save money while keeping at least your state’s minimum coverage, contact your insurance company.  By adjusting coverage levels, raising your deductible, or applying certain discounts you may be able to find a rate that works for you.  If you can’t, you must apply to the state for help, or you must simply stay off the road.

The information in this article is brought to you courtesy of SaveALot Auto Insurance where Chicago auto insurance is available at the lowest rates for all drivers.

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