It’s never good news when a traffic court judge orders you to get SR 22 Insurance. While this form of insurance itself may be only $15 to $25, the impact of being insured as a high risk driver can cause some serious financial hardships. This is because there are a variety of expenses that can occur as a result of needing this specialized form of auto insurance.
SR 22 Insurance Is Not Really Insurance
In actuality, calling an SR 22 certification “insurance” is something of a misnomer. This is because it doesn’t work like insurance at all. Although it’s issued by an insurance company who files one for you with the department of motor vehicles, it does not work like regular insurance.
By definition an insurance policy is paying a small amount of money for a large amount of financial protection. In the event of an accident, an insurance company will pay the cost of injuries and property damage as long as you have been paying your premiums and are eligible to make a claim.
In contrast, SR 22 insurance does not work like this in any way With SR 22 insurance, you are really just getting a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. This is state-mandated proof that you’re carrying regular car insurance, but it is not proof of insurance by itself and it is only valid if you also have active liability coverage.
When Do You Need SR 22 Insurance?
You will need to get SR 22 Insurance under the following circumstances:
1. You have been sent to a traffic court after a driving violation or collision because you were driving without any car insurance.
2. You have a long string of traffic violations which were accumulated over a short period of time. For instance, you may be ordered to get SR 22 insurance by a traffic court judge if you have had large number of speeding tickets within a few months.
3. You’re in a collision and have a preexisting DUI or DWI.
SR 22 Insurance Costs
In some cases, SR22 policy costs and rates can be more of a financial inconvenience than a serious punitive liability. At other times, it can become highly expensive. It really depends under the circumstances you were required to get this certification.
If you get SR-22 insurance because you have accumulated a large number of speeding tickets within a short time, then your expenses are the cost of the certification and paying a little more for your car insurance.
However, if you get SR-22 insurance because you have been involved in an accident while carrying a preexisting DUI (Driving Under the Influence) then your costs can add up very quickly. This is because state laws take drunk driving violations very seriously. Alcohol-related driving accidents cost the general public about $114.3 billion per annum. Worse still, are the numbers of fatalities. Statistically, a motorist is killed by a drunk driver every 30 minutes.
Consequently, if you get an SR 22 Insurance related to a DUI, you are looking at a lot of incidental costs, as well.
· You may have to get an ignition interlock system. This costs $200 to be installed in your car and an $80 a month maintenance fee.
· You may also have to pay the costs associated with attorney fees, court costs, and bail fees. This can range from $1,000 to $3,000.
· You may have to pay for a compulsory drunk driving education program, which will set you back a farther $1,500 to $2,500 in costs.
· You may have to pay $250 reinstatement fees.
· Your car insurance will probably more than double.
Financial and Non-financial Costs
An SR 22 insurance is a penalty for violating certain traffic laws. There are financial and non-financial costs involved. Financially, there is the cost of having to pay more insurance for as long as three years even if you become a safe and reliable driver. Non-financial costs can be the difficulty in getting car insurance or the the cost of possibly losing your job if you can’t go to work because of SR insurance related to a DUI.