Understanding High Risk Car Insurance and SR-22

If you don’t have a perfect driving record, then you’re probably already familiar with high risk car insurance.  Also commonly referred to as non-standard coverage, high risk auto insurance covers drivers with a potential higher risk of filing an above-average amount of accident claims. High risk drivers can also expect to pay higher vehicle insurance premiums as compared to other drivers.

There are several conditions and circumstances in which insurers determine drivers to be considered a higher risk than other drivers.  In most states high risk drivers must also abide by specific state Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) guidelines in order to maintain driving privileges.

Are You a High Risk Driver?

Car insurance companies automatically classify you as a high risk driver if you find yourself in one of the following scenarios:

  • 70 years of age or older
  • 20 years of age or younger
  • Have a history of repeated traffic accidents or moving violations
  • Driver’s license were revoked or suspended
  • Being at fault for an accident while driving uninsured
  • Charged with a DWI or DUI
  • Other serious traffic violation(s) requiring SR-22 Insurance.


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What’s SR-22 Auto Insurance?

The term SR-22 Insurance is somewhat of a misnomer.  In reality, it’s simply a term that is associated with high risk auto insurance policies that require drivers to complete a SR-22 form.   A SR-22 filing is a paper or electronic certification verifying to the state that as a high risk driver, you have a car insurance policy which covers the state’s minimum limits of liability.

Contingent upon the state and seriousness of the violation, however, typically SR-22 filings are required for three years.  Upon cancellation of the policy before the SR-22 cessation date, your car insurance provider is required to file a SR-26 form alerting the state you’re no longer an insured driver.

Filing a SR-22 Insurance Form

In most states the SR-22 certification of financial responsibility is required to be submitted to the state’s DMV following an accident in which you were involved with no coverage or a significant number of driving violations.  If you’re required to complete and submit a SR-22 form, you will receive notification from the state’s DMV.

While the majority of states have strict vehicle insurance policies, the following states don’t require filing a SR-22 form:

•    Delaware
•    Kentucky
•    Minnesota
•    New Mexico
•    New York
•    North Carolina
•    Oklahoma
•    Pennsylvania

For drivers residing in states that do require a SR-22 filing, your car insurance provider is typically responsible for submitting the appropriate certification paperwork to your state’s DMV to verify your policy coverage.  Upon receiving the SR-22 form, DMV restores driving privileges; however, if your car insurance lapses or cancelled during the required period of a SR-22 filing, insurers are legally required to notify DMV in which license may be suspended or revoked again.
Ask your local agent if you have any questions or concerns about high risk car insurance or contact your state’s DMV for more information on SR-22 car insurance.

References for High Risk Car Insurance and SR-22:


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