Unless you have been convicted of a traffic offense, you probably do not know what SR-22 car insurance is all about. SR-22 auto insurance is not actually insurance. It is a certificate also known as a certificate of financial responsibility.
Motor vehicle insurance companies are required to file an SR-22 auto insurance certificate form with DMV to prove that drivers who are classified as “high-risk” have at least the minimum insurance coverage required by the state. “High-risk” drivers need to present to the DMV extra assurance that they have insurance coverage to pay for damages in case of an accident.
As required by the South Carolina law, auto insurance companies in Greenville, SC, are needed to prove that “high-risk” drivers maintain at least the minimum auto insurance level.
If you were involved in a car accident that resulted in someone else’s economic loss, or you have been charged with reckless driving, you may need to consult a South Carolina auto accident attorney.
The Process of Obtaining an SR-22
SR-22 is a certificate that your insurance company is required to send to the court system affirming that your insurance policy covers the minimum state requirement. Without this in place, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle.
Unless you present the SR-22 form to the court, you will not be allowed to maintain your driving license. Usually, this type of certificate is required in reckless driving, DUI, DWI, or some other type of an at-fault accident. You will be informed whether you need this form by the department of motor vehicles or by the court system if you are facing legal consequences for the accident.
Given that you are consistent with your insurance payments, your auto insurance company will most probably be able to issue an SR-22 certificate for you. This, of course, will result in higher costs. Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 auto insurance.
There are also insurance companies specializing in high-risk drivers, and they may offer less expensive SR-22 coverage. Therefore, some drivers choose to switch insurance companies in search of more affordable options. There is no penalty in changing insurance companies during the filing. However, keep in mind that if you cancel your current policy before you start the new one, you will have to restart the process and pay the filing fee for a second time. You must avoid having a no coverage period and risk having your driver’s license suspended again.
As soon as you acquire your certificate, your insurance company can present it to the court system on your behalf. However, if your insurance payment is overdue, the car insurance company will report it to the court, and you will risk losing your driver’s license.
Ensure you have the requested insurance coverage and the right insurance provider and get yourself back on the road again.
When Does A Driver Need An SR-22 Certificate?
SR-22 auto insurance is required in the following cases:
- Convictions of alcohol violations (DUIs or DWIs)
- Many consequent traffic violations
- When caught driving with a suspended license
- Convictions of reckless or negligent driving
- When caught driving without an auto insurance
- When you are getting a probationary license
- When you are trying to reinstate your driver’s license after it was suspended
The minimum requirements in South Carolina, depending on the car price tag and medical expenses, may not fully cover the damages. Furthermore, liability coverage only covers your responsibility towards the other drivers and not your losses. The minimum limits for South Carolina are “25/50/25” as follows:
- Bodily injury liability maximum coverage for a person injured in an auto accident.
- The maximum amount of bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
- The maximum amount of property damage liability per vehicle.
Drivers are required to maintain SR-22 auto insurance coverage for three years from the date of compliance of the suspension or the suspension’s ending date. Furthermore, when drivers are issued a provisional driving license, they must maintain the SR-22 certificate for six months. There is also a non-owners SR-22 for the drivers that do not own a vehicle.
SR-22 Auto Insurance Certificate’s Costs
Your insurance company will charge you a once-off filing fee. Nevertheless, the reason for your SR-22 will affect your insurance policy’s rates. Some insurance companies refuse to insure drivers with an SR-22 insurance history. You will have to research and find better coverage offers if you were convicted of a traffic violation. Depending on the offense you were convicted of, your insurance rates will go higher. Your rates will return to normal as soon as your record is clean again.
Contact A Car Accident Lawyer In Greenville, SC
If you or someone you love were involved in a car accident with a reckless driver, they would probably need to file an SR-22 auto insurance form. However, they are also legally responsible for compensating you for your damages. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers at Brumback and Langley will assist you in protecting your rights and filing a claim for damages. Call us today to arrange for your free consultation.