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California SR-22 insurance filing is not insurance coverage. A driver will be required to carry an SR22 endorsement after receiving a traffic citation for a severe traffic violation. The insurance company will file the SR-22 endorsement with the California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Following that step, the driver will be able to purchase auto insurance from the insurer. Annual insurance premiums will be higher because of the perceived risk presented by the driver.
The State of California requires drivers to sustain sufficient levels of liability auto insurance to accept financial responsibility. A driver with an SR-22 certificate must pay auto insurance premiums and maintain adequate coverage at all times. The insurance company will notify the State of California DMV if the policy lapses. The driving privileges will be revoked, and the entire process must start again.
Insurance companies can decide to offer auto insurance to those who must have an SR-22 endorsement. Higher annual rates are charged to these drivers to offset the higher perceived risk. Actual statistics prove that this entire class of drivers files more claims than other classes.
Drivers will be required to obtain a CA SR-22 certificate following any of these events.
- A car accident while uninsured
All drivers in California must carry an auto insurance policy with the minimum, or higher, levels of liability coverage. Additional insurance is recommended to cover the costs associated with repairing, or replacing, property. A driver without insurance is considered “irresponsible” since he would be unable to pay for the damages sustained to the vehicles and other property in an accident.
Attempts to acquire auto insurance following the accident will be prevented until the driver finds an insurer that offers SR22 insurance in California. Certain insurance companies agree to underwrite drivers in this situation. Annual premiums will be higher for the entire class of drivers with SR22’s. The insurance company will notify the State of California that the SR22 verification has been written prior to underwriting the auto insurance policy.
The driver is required to pay the annual auto insurance premium to sustain ongoing auto insurance coverage. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the policy and notification of the State of California DMV.
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
A citation for DUI has many ramifications for the driver. The State of California can revoke the license of the driver. The auto insurance company can cancel the auto insurance policy.
To reinstate the auto insurance, the State of California DMV requires that an SR-22 confirmation is filed. Auto insurance companies that offer to underwrite drivers with an SR-22 endorsement will do so for this category as well.
Repeat offenders will find it difficult to obtain an SR-22 endorsement because the insurance company views the driver as an unacceptable risk. Judges have little sympathy for drivers that pose a significant threat to public safety.
- Operating a vehicle when the license is suspended or revoked
Some drivers decide to “take a chance” and drive without a valid driver’s license. An expired license is not considered a risk to others in the way that a suspended or revoked license is seen. Intentional violation of the law, which requires a valid driver’s license, will result in stiff penalties that can extend the period for which the license is suspended, or revoked.
Acquiring an SR-22 certificate from an insurance company can be difficult in this situation. Responsible drivers will not make the decision to violate the law. High-risk behaviors carry over into other areas of life. Insurance companies are not willing to accept significantly risky behaviors that result in claims against the auto insurance policy.
- Repeat traffic offenses in a short period
A driver with numerous citations within 3 years can be required to carry an SR-22. Violations of the traffic laws increase the probability that an accident will occur. Increased risk will result in increases in the auto insurance premiums. The State of California DMV will require the driver to obtain an SR-22 for multiple offenses.
Drivers learn quickly that judges and insurance companies will not tolerate behavior that puts the lives and property of other people at risk. Harsh sentences can be handed down and enforced if a driver is deemed “too irresponsible” to drive in a safe manner.
Once Required, Is Driving without SR-22 Insurance Illegal?
You had an incident. The DMV requires that you have SR-22 insurance. You can’t afford it. You choose to drive. What happens if you are driving a car without SR-22 insurance? Read here.
Getting into an Accident while Under an SR-22
You’re driving along, minding your own business when BAM – you get into an accident. You remember that have an SR-22 in place – is there anything special about getting into an accident while under an SR-22 in California? Read here.