FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012
by Rami sneneh, Illinois SR22 Insurance Expert
Definition of SR22 Insurance
SR22 is not a new line of insurance products or services available in the markets. For example, there is something called home insurance, car insurance, life insurance, etc. but there is no specific line called SR22 insurance. In many States including the State of SR22 insurance is a term used to describe your regular auto insurance policy when it is done to meet certain legal requirements mandated by the State.
In Illinois, SR22 insurance is a mandatory car insurance policy that needs to be filed (reported) by the insurance company writing the policy with the State of . Few years ago, the process of filing SR22 insurance was manual. The insurance carrier would issue the policy, issue a certificate of SR22 filing, provide the client a 'pink' copy of the certificate, then mail the certificate to the State of Illinois. Depending on the speed of the employees of the insurance company, the speed of the postal staff, and the employees at the State of Illinois who process the SR22 certificate and enter it in the system, the whole process would take 3-4 weeks. Some customers would physically take the pink slip to the Secretary of State in the Chicago Downtown area to accelerate the process.
Although very few companies are still using the old way, most insurers now are using different methods. Using the backbone of the internet, auto insurance companies in Illinois are now accessing the State of Illinois computer systems, allowing them to validate the presence of an SR22 insurance certificate. If the SR22 insurance is cancelled for any reason including non-payment of your SR22 insurance monthly payment, the company would do the same by inputting an SR26, or the cancellation of the SR22 insurance certificate. Driving privileges may be immediately suspended in that case.
Who Needs SR22 Insurance Filing?
People who break the traffic/ insurance codes are normally people who need an SR22 insurance filing. You could be the most law abiding citizen in Illinois, with super clean MVR, excellent history, but once you get pulled over by a cop driving your boyfriend's uninsured vehicle then you are ruled to be a law breaker, hence will be required to have SR22 filing.
SR22 insurance is mandate from the State of Illinois to force people to be more financial responsible. SR22 insurance is a form of financial responsibility that certain operators need to prove to the State in order to keep their driving privileges intact.
People need SR22 insurance:
Operators with several traffic/ safety citations
• Operators with DUI citations
• Operating an uninsured vehicle and inability to show proof of insurance
• Judgments against operators that cause previous crashes and could not pay for the judgment/ crash.
• Operators who get cited for reckless driving
• Other serious citations (alcohol/tobacco trafficking, involuntary manslaughter, etc.)
SR22 Liability Limits
The liability limits on SR22 insurance is similar to that of the regular insurance. The mandatory liability insurance limits in Illinois is $20,000 bodily injury per person per accident, $40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident, and $15,000 property damage per accident. Also mandated by the State of Illinois is the Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $20,000 bodily injury per person per accident, $40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident. Medical Payments and Underinsured Motorist coverage are not mandatory in Illinois. However, Underinsured Motorist coverage must be offered by companies if insured people choose higher liability than the State minimum, and if client rejects this coverage State rules requires the rejection to be in writing.
Does SR22 Insurance Cost More?
Illinois SR22 insurance rates are not higher than regular auto insurance rates. However, because most people who need SR22 insurance have their driving privileges suspended at the time of writing the SR22 policy and/ or have issues with their MVRs, SR22 insurance rates may seem higher.
How Much Does SR22 Insurance Cost?
Like regular auto insurance, SR22 insurance rates vary based on several factors such as applicant's ZIP code, age, marital status, gender, as well as prior driving records. Some standard carriers may check credit of the applicant also. Type of vehicles may not affect the cost of SR22 policy, unless the customer decides to purchase a full coverage policy with comprehensive and collision coverage.
SR22 insurance rates in Chicago vary and they follow the same patterns of regular auto insurance. Because of the large numbers of companies offering SR22 insurance in Chicago, the rates get really affordable.
Can You Get SR22 Insurance for A Month?
Most car insurance companies insist on writing policies with SR22 insurance filing for a year. Fewer car insurance companies may do it for 6 months. But there is no auto insurer that will write an SR22 insurance policy in Illinois for less than 6 months.
If you need temporary SR22 insurance filing, you may get a regular car insurance policy for 6 or 12 months, then cancel it at a date that you choose, after you make sure that the State is not requiring it from you. If you have an auto policy with the SR22 removing the SR22 insurance filing will not affect the price with most carriers.
There is no cancellation penalty for canceling auto insurance before expiration date. The same is applied to SR22. Companies will not charge you more because you cancel your insurance. However, bear in mind that some companies may charge policy fees, an amount that is constant, regardless of how long you keep your SR22 insurance.
SR22 Insurance and Car Insurance in One Auto Policy
Yes, and that how it should be. You do not need two separate policies for SR22 insurance and regular auto insurance. Once a regular auto insurance policy is filed with the State, it becomes an SR22 insurance. If you have two separate insurance policies, one for SR22 and one for regular auto then you have duplicate coverage. Duplicate coverage is not necessary unless justified.
Reasons to Have Two Insurance Policies
There are few instances where it will be a better idea to have duplicate coverage, or owning two separate policies, one for Illinois SR22 and one regular auto insurance:
1. If you already have a regular auto policy with a company that you like, and you do not wish to change your insurance, suddenly you become required to have an SR22 insurance. You call your agent who tells you 'Sorry the company you are with does not offer SR22 insurance filing.'
There are few auto insurance companies in Illinois that do not offer SR22 insurance filing. Those companies, mostly good carriers, do not have the mechanism, and perhaps they do not want to have the mechanism, to file SR22 insurance. At this point, it is your personal choice to keep your regular auto insurance with your present company and get new SR22 policy somewhere else, or simply cancel your regular policy with your present carrier, and get an altogether new policy that includes the regular auto coverage with he SR22 filing.
2. Cost Reason. Generally speaking, for certain young drivers (under age 25) who also are seeking comprehensive and collision coverage on their vehicles, getting two separate policies may prove to be cost effective. In some instances the cost of getting two separate policies is less than the cost of having one policy with a particular insurance carrier.
Your insurance agent should be able to assist you in determining what's best for you. However you need to keep your agent what you are trying to accomplish.
Non-Owner SR22 Insurance
Illinois operators who need SR22 insurance filing but do not own a vehicle can get an Sr22 policy filed by obtaining a non-owner SR22 insurance policy. The benefits of having a non-owner SR22 include:
1. Allowing you to have your financial responsibility filed, without a need for owning an auto or auto insurance.
2. Extra liability protection offered to you while you are operating other insured vehicles. Generally, if you get involved in an at fault accident, your non owner insurance will kick in once the vehicle's primary insurance is exhausted.
3. Non owner insurance typically costs less than regular auto insurance, with or without SR22 filing.
Non-Owner SR22 Insurance Misconception
Many people think that the Non owner insurance, with or without SR22 filing, will allow the insured person to lawfully drive any vehicle. There are several issues that need to be clarified here:
1. Non owner auto insurance, with or without SR22 filing, provides extra protection. Extra does not mean 'primary'. In other words, the vehicle must be insured. If you get pulled over driving an uninsured vehicle you are breaking the law, even if you have a non-owner policy with or without SR22 filing.
2. Non owner insurance offered in connection with personal insurance does not offer any protection if used in connection with business activity. For example, your personal non owner insurance, with or without SR22 filing, has no value when it is used in connection with driving a pizza delivery vehicle, regardless if the vehicle is insured or not.
Same Day SR22 Insurance
Many SR22 insurers can issue the SR22 insurance same day. However the filing process may take longer, as indicated above. Under certain circumstances with certain insurers, an agent may manage to get the same day SR22 insurance issued and filed. This may be possible if the SR22 is sought in the morning hours on a business day. Underwriters at insurance companies may be able to get the job done by instant filing of SR22 insurance coverage with the State.