5 Ways to Get Cheap SR-22 Insurance

Quick Answer

Needing SR-22 insurance often means paying more for car insurance, but shopping around, asking about discounts, increasing your deductible and more can help you save.

Young man using phone in front of the car

Not all drivers need SR-22 insurance, but it may be required if you've had dangerous moving violations or many accidents. This type of policy is usually more expensive because drivers who have it are typically considered high risk. Getting a decent rate when you're required to maintain SR-22 coverage may take some additional legwork. However, there are things you can do to make your policy more affordable. Read on to find out how and learn more about what SR-22 insurance is and how to buy it.

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

The term "SR-22 insurance" is a bit misleading because it isn't actually a type of insurance. An SR-22 is a form some drivers must have on file with the state showing they have the minimum amount of insurance coverage they need to drive legally. Many states require SR-22s for drivers who have serious infractions on their record, such as a DUI, driving without insurance or having multiple at-fault accidents. Drivers typically need to maintain an SR-22 filing for three years, but requirements vary by state.

5 Tips for Finding Affordable SR-22 Insurance

Because insurance rates typically increase after a moving violation, it can be challenging to find affordable SR-22 coverage. However, there are some things you can do to lower your car insurance costs.

1. Shop Around

Pricing can vary significantly between insurance companies, and shopping around and comparing rates from multiple insurers is the best way to find affordable coverage. You can contact companies directly or use a tool like Experian's auto insurance comparison tool to find coverage that meets your needs and fits your budget.

2. Improve Your Credit

Most states allow insurance companies to consider your credit-based insurance score when determining your rate. With higher scores you may be able to qualify for lower rates. If your credit is less than stellar, paying your bills on time, reducing your debt and keeping your credit utilization low may help you improve your score and qualify for a lower premium.

3. Complete DUI Programs or Classes

If your SR-22 requirement is the result of a DUI conviction, you may be required or given the option to complete an alcohol education program. Completing this class may help reduce your premium.

4. Look for Discounts

Many companies offer a range of car insurance discounts to help policyholders save. Depending on why you need to file an SR-22 form, you may not qualify for some discounts insurers offer, such as accident-free or safe driving discounts. However, insurers also offer ways to save that are unrelated to driving behaviors, such as pay-in-full, autopay, paperless billing, bundling discounts and more. Ask about all the discounts for which you qualify to find out how they may affect your rate.

5. Increase Your Deductible

If you maintain coverage with a deductible attached to it, such as comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist or personal injury protection, increasing your deductible typically results in a lower premium. However, you'll have to pay more upfront if you need to file a claim. It's important to weigh the savings you may receive on your premium with the potential costs of filing a claim.

How to Get SR-22 Insurance

You can purchase SR-22 insurance in a few simple steps. Here's how.

  1. Choose an insurer. Not all insurance companies file SR-22 forms on behalf of their policyholders. So you need to find an insurer that will. If you have difficulty finding coverage, consider checking with a company that specializes in insuring high-risk drivers.
  2. Purchase coverage. Choose the types of coverage you want to purchase and select your policy limits.
  3. Let your insurer know. Be upfront with the company about your need for an SR-22 filing. Find the insurer's customer service number and speak to a representative to give notice.
  4. Have your insurer file the form. You can't file the SR-22 form on your own. Your insurance company must file it on your behalf. Many insurance companies also charge an SR-22 filing fee that you need to pay. The fee varies by insurer, but is generally about $25.
  5. Get confirmation. Confirm with the DMV in your state that the SR-22 was filed. If they haven't received it, follow up with the insurance company.
  6. Maintain coverage. If you cancel your policy or your coverage lapses for any reason, the insurance company is required to notify the state that you no longer have insurance. If you continue to drive without coverage, you may face fines and penalties, such as license and registration suspension.

The Bottom Line

You can expect a rate hike if you're required to file an SR-22. The amount of the increase depends on the infraction that resulted in the SR-22 requirement and other factors such as where you live, your driving record, age and more. Shopping around, comparing quotes and asking about discounts can help you find more affordable coverage in the short term. In the long term, improving your driving habits is one of the best ways to reduce your rate.