SR-22 insurance is often misconstrued as a different or special type of auto insurance. SR-22 insurance is simply an auto insurance policy with an SR-22 certificate attached to it. The certificate serves as a form of communication between the insurance carrier and the state. The insurance carrier generally charges a $15 to $25 fee for attaching the certificate to the insurance policy.
Drivers are only required to carry an SR-22 if they have received notification from the state. Each state uses the SR-22 in different ways so the reasons for the filing will vary by state. Still, some of the most common reasons for the SR-22 certificate include violations and suspensions that result from driving uninsured, being involved in an accident while uninsured, driving under the influence, failure to comply with random verification requests, point suspensions or court order.
The SR-22 certificate only increases the policy premium by the amount of the certificate fee. This fee is charged immediately and added to the premium amount. The fee is charged once per policy period, regardless if the policy is a 6- or 12-month policy. The insurance carrier notifies the state of each policy renewal, as well as any policy cancellations.
The driving activity that resulted in the SR-22 requirement can have a noticeable effect on the policy premium. If the impacting driving activity occurs within the policy's underwriting period, the premium may be increased immediately. However, if the policy is outside of the underwriting period, the policy's premium will not be impacted by the driving history until the policy's renewal. The underwriting period is the first 30 to 60 days of the policy, depending on the state. The insurance carrier uses this period to verify the accuracy of the policy information and to make changes to the policy and its premium, if necessary. The insurance carrier can also cancel a policy during this period for unacceptable risk. Driving activity such as driving while under the influence can result in this type of cancellation.
There are no average costs for an insurance policy with an SR-22 certificate. The insurance carrier charges one flat fee for the certificate. The changes in the policy premium are strictly dependent upon the driving resulting driving activity, along with each driver's specific criteria. For instance, one may assume that a 19-year-old driver with a DUI and an SR-22 might pay more than his 35-year-old counterpart with the same activity. However, you must also consider the amount of driving experience, type of vehicle, selected insurance coverage and applicable discounts for each driver. Depending on the combination, the elder driver may pay more for his coverage than the 19-year-old. However, the elder driver might also have a more expensive vehicle, higher coverage limits and additional drivers on his policy.