Traffic authorities expect you to be a safe driver. So, too, does your auto insurer. If you drive recklessly, you put your own safety and the safety of others at risks. Speeding, accidents, drunk driving and even failing to carry insurance make you a more risky operator.
Both states and insurance companies benefit from drivers who operate their vehicles safety. The states have safer roads and lower accident rates. Insurance companies assume lower cost risks by covering low-risk drivers. Therefore, they can maintain affordable premiums across their marketplace.
Reckless driving negatively affects your state and your insurance company. So, if you receive frequent driving charges, you likely have to answer to both entities. A penalty that many states impose on reckless drivers is the SR-22 certificate.
This penalty often has a direct impact on your need to maintain auto insurance. Getting an SR-22 means that you have to take a close look at your existing auto insurance coverage. Take the time to learn about what an SR-22 is, and how you can avoid one. Often, avoiding this penalty is one of the best ways to remain a low-risk driver in the eyes of your state and insurer.
SR-22s: Not Insurance Policies
After a driving violation, your state may want to verify that you have active auto insurance at all times. This helps reassure the state that you will be able to answer to financial ramifications resulting from reckless driving. To verify your insurance, the state may require you to file an SR-22 certificate.
These certificates attach to your auto insurance, but they aren't auto insurance policies. They are simply forms that you file with your state traffic authorities. They only verify for the state that there is an auto policy attached to your driving record.
You likely have to keep the SR-22 on file with the state for a couple of years. The length of your SR-22 requirement will likely vary based on where you live. Indeed, some states don’t require drivers to file SR-22 certificates. Nonetheless, if you move from an SR-22 state to a non-SR-22 state, you may still have to keep this coverage on file on your old record.
How SR-22 Requirements Affect Insurance Policies
High driving risks can have negative impacts on your ability to maintain affordable auto insurance. An SR-22 often signals to your insurance provider that you are a high-risk driver. By insuring you, your insurance company may assume a comparatively high level of risk. Insurers frequently increase a driver’s rates following an SR-22 filing. This is to better address the higher cost risks associated with covering you.
Additionally, some insurance companies do not cover drivers who receive SR-22 certificates. You could wind up losing your existing coverage when a penalty occurs. Therefore, if you get an SR-22 requirement, immediately contact your insurance agent. You may have to switch or otherwise adjust your existing auto insurance.
While you have an SR-22, you have to keep your auto insurance active. The purpose of the SR-22 is to verify that you have existing insurance coverage. Therefore, you must never let your policy expire. If you do, you may have to start the SR-22 penalty period over from the beginning. This might lead to additional penalties from your state or insurer.
Avoiding an SR-22
It is imperative that drivers avoid getting an SR-22. A multitude of driving charges may lead to an SR-22 requirement. These may include:
- Multiple speeding violations or tickets
- Frequent accidents, particularly at-fault accidents
- DUI/DWI charges
- Driving actions that endanger children or other individuals
- Multiple driving charges in a short period
- Driving without proper auto insurance
- Driving with a suspended license
Simply put, avoiding an SR-22 can be a signal that you are a less risky driver. It may save you money, time and hassles with your insurance company. There are ways that you can improve your driving, lower your SR-22 risks and save money at the same time.
- Periodically review your state’s driving handbook. Doing so can help you familiarize yourself with signs, road rules and other laws that can help you avoid driving penalties.
- Always carry active auto insurance. Make sure your policy meets your state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements.
- Have the proper license, registration and qualifications to operate your vehicle.
- Always obey the rules of the road by paying attention to your surroundings. Don’t drive using mobile devices or other distracting materials.
If you take the time to become a safer driver, you can often reduce the chances that you will get an SR-22 certificate. By avoiding this penalty, you can often do yourself and your insurance a great favor. Safer driving means greater personal safety, and often lower insurance costs.
Be a safe driver and get the right auto insurance.Peachstate Insurance's agents are standing by to help you get a an Decatur auto insurance quote. Call us at 877.997.2478 for a quote today!.