What Is SR-22 Insurance and Who Needs It?

As you may have seen the term here and there on the internet, you may wonder what is SR-22 Insurance? To summarize it, an SR-22 is a form that is filed with your state (Colorado) to show that you are meeting your state’s minimum auto liability insurance requirements. An SR-22 may also be referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, or, in states such as Virginia and Florida, an FR-44.

This kind of form filed within your state is NOT insurance, even though it is often mistakenly referred to as “SR-22 insurance.” An SR-22 is a document provided by your insurance company that proves you have liability coverage on your car insurance policy.

Who Needs An SR-22?

In Colorado, you may be required to have SR22 insurance in one of two cases; if you’ve been in an accident and must fulfill a Financial Responsibility requirement or if your license has been suspended/revoked. Below are some common reasons as to why this would happen, the driver would have had to committed one or more of these traffic offenses:

What is SR-22 Insurance and Who Needs It?
  • Conviction for driving under the influence (DUI or DWI)
  • Driving without car insurance
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license
  • Having repeated traffic violations in a certain amount of time, including speeding tickets
  • Numerous at-fault accidents
  • A fatal at-fault accident or one that results in injuries
  • Reckless driving or dangerous driving
  • Assignment from a court order
  • Failure to pay fines from tickets
  • Refused consent to breathalyzer or blood alcohol test

In Colorado, you’ll be unable to get your license reinstated until you fulfill your SR-22 insurance requirement assigned by the government.

There are several reasons that the Department of Revenue could require you to file an SR-22 form.  The most common reason following a license suspension or revocation for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). If your license is suspended due to a DUI or DWAI, in addition to filing an SR-22, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee, meet all court requirements for reinstatement, and possibly having to install an ignition interlock device. Colorado has strict law for those convicted of DUI or DWAI.  On a first offense in Colorado, you could face time in jail, large fines, community service, probation, and alcohol education or therapy.

How Long Do You Need To Have An SR-22?

For most needing an SR-22, you may be required to have an SR-22 on file with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles from nine months to three years maximum. If your policy lapses or expires during this period, your insurance company is required to notify the state. Failure to comply with the terms of your SR-22 may result in suspension of your license. Once you properly fulfill Colorado’s time requirements, your SR-22 status is typically lifted.

If I Don’t Own A Car, Do I Still Need To File An SR-22?

If you don’t own your own car, it’s possible that you still may be required in Colorado to have an SR-22 certificate and an SR-22 auto insurance policy. This means if you drive a borrowed car from a family member or friend, or you rent a car and get into an accident, you could still be held liable for personal injury or property damage claims. The alternate option is that you may be able to file a non-owner SR-22 in order to reinstate your driving privileges.

What’s The Cost Difference Between An SR-22 And Normal Auto Insurance?

You can expect to pay about double for an SR-22, than what you were previously paying with regular auto insurance. The reason for this is that the category of insurance policies is reserved for the highest-risk drivers, and with higher risk comes higher cost for insurance companies in the form of claims. While it is pricier, filing an SR-22 doesn’t have all drawbacks, it is a means to be able to drive legally on the road when there are very few options available to do so. Filing an SR-22 can often help you even after a license suspension or revocation. Essentially, having to file and get an SR-22 is a way forward, helping you build a better history on your driving record in Colorado. Even though the minimum coverage will cost more with an SR-22, it is required so that you can get back on the road.

How Are Colorado SR-22 Insurance Rates Calculated?

Filing an SR-22 itself is not an expensive process but having an SR-22 on your driving record can cause some financial roadblocks when trying to obtain auto insurance afterwards. When you’re required to have an SR22, you get put into the category of a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers will always pay the highest auto insurance rates, but the cost of auto insurance is dependent on the insurance company and state. Insurance companies will also look at the driver’s age, location, gender, and credit score to determine the rate of insurance. One of the most common reasons why Colorado drivers need SR-22 insurance is because of a DUI conviction. Colorado drivers on average, with one DUI conviction in Colorado pay $1,752 per year for car insurance. However, the insurance rate you pay depends on the auto insurance carrier you have.

How Do I File An SR-22 In Colorado?

To get SR-22 insurance, you’ll need to contact your auto insurance company, or if you don’t have one currently L.A. Insurance can help you file an SR-22. An SR-22 can only be obtained through an insurance carrier; so you can’t file it on your own. If your auto insurance company offers insurance coverage to drivers who need an SR-22, your company can file the SR-22 form with your state and offer you car insurance coverage. If not, you’ll need to shop for a new insurance policy from a company that offers SR-22 insurance coverage. It’s important to note that that not all insurance companies offer SR-22 filing in Colorado. In case your insurer does not offer SR22 insurance, you may have to look for a new policy. Even if your insurance company offers SR-22, you may want to shop around because rates may vary by company.