Traffic violations that result in you having your driver’s license suspended should not be brushed off. To reinstate your suspended license in Colorado, you will most likely need to carry SR22 insurance for a designated period of time.
SR-22 insurance proves to the state of Colorado that you meet their insurance requirements and can provide financial coverage in the event of a claim.
While SR-22s are relatively common in the insurance world, they should still be taken seriously and filed properly to avoid further penalties. This insurance guide will help you learn about SR-22 insurance and how to fulfill the requirements as a Colorado driver.
What is SR-22 Insurance in Colorado?
As with many other states, Colorado requires you to carry SR22 insurance if your license is suspended or revoked due to a severe traffic violation.
SR-22 insurance is not a type of coverage; instead, it is a certificate of financial responsibility that proves to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) you carry the required minimum liability insurance coverage.
Despite an SR-22 not being a type of standard insurance, the form is still filled with your auto insurance company and then shared with the state of Colorado DMV.
To keep your SR-22 insurance active, all you have to do is keep up with your regular auto insurance payments. This and more will help get your license reinstated by the Colorado DMV.
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Colorado Car Insurance Minimums
SR-22 insurance is intended to prove to Colorado’s DMV that you carry at least the mandatory minimum amount of auto insurance. When shopping for insurance, it is always recommended that you raise your coverage limits.
However, that is not required to file an SR-22; you just have to make sure you’re at least meeting the state minimums.
In Colorado, the mandatory minimum amount of liability insurance required for drivers is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury/death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury/death per accident
- $15,000 for property damage
Every driver in Colorado must comply with the outlined Colorado insurance laws. Insuring damages and injuries is a necessity in pretty much any state.
Failing to obey insurance laws will result in you getting your license suspended or revoked, and reinstating it can come with an SR-22 filing requirement.
However, Colorado insurance laws only require drivers to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance covers damages and injuries to the other driver in a collision. It protects your finances, but that’s the extent of the coverage liability insurance offers you.
To have your injuries and damage covered, you will need to utilize insurance policy add-ons like collision coverage and medical payments (MedPay). When purchasing, you should consider increasing your coverage limits to expand protection.
Customizing your car insurance in such a way will increase your rates, but it will be worth it should you get into an accident.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in Colorado?
SR-22 insurance isn’t for everyone. If you keep a good, clean driving record, you most likely will never have to worry about filing an SR22 in Colorado.
SR-22 insurance is typically only required in Colorado for drivers after losing their license due to a major traffic violation. This will usually put you in the non-standard auto insurance category. Situations can vary, so the state of Colorado DMV will notify you when you are required to carry SR-22 car insurance.
In Colorado, an SR-22 form may be mandated for drivers following committing one of these traffic violations:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
- Driving with a suspended license
- Reckless driving or reckless endangerment
- Driving without insurance
- Multiple minor traffic violations
An SR-22 filing with insurance companies is most commonly mandated after a DUI or DWAI conviction. On top of the SR-22, the Colorado DMV may require drivers to pay a reinstatement fee, complete all court requirements, and to install an ignition interlock device (IID) to reobtain their driving privileges.
Also, keep in mind due to the SR-22 filing with your insurance company, you are now considered a “high-risk” driver in Colorado. Drivers carrying such a label will affect their auto insurance in a number of ways.
How Long Must You Carry SR-22 Insurance in Colorado?
SR22 insurance isn’t a permanent thing. SR-22 requirements come with expiration dates that the state of Colorado DMV will notify you about following your conviction. Once that date arrives, you can contact your insurance provider, and they will cancel your SR-22 with the DMV.
How long you must carry an SR-22 in Colorado depends on your conviction. Usually, in most cases, SR-22 insurance filing in Colorado is required for three years. This is on par with the national average.
However, the factors of your violation in Colorado will ultimately decide how long you will need to maintain your SR-22 insurance. For more severe convictions in Colorado, it usually will be longer than three years.
If you do not maintain the SR-22, the Colorado DMV will be notified by your insurance company that your SR-22 car insurance is canceled prematurely or your insurance coverage lapses during your designated filing period.
As a result, there will be further penalties for you, including your drivers license being suspended again and having to restart your SR-22 filing period. By letting your coverage lapse, it is also likely your insurance company will drop you, forcing you to find a new auto policy elsewhere.
Insurance companies determine whether to provide coverage on a number of factors, like your driving record and insurance history. If you do find coverage, your insurance premiums are bound to be higher than they were previously. To avoid this situation, it is best to stay on top of your insurance premiums and wait out your SR-22 filing period.
How Much Does Colorado SR-22 Insurance Cost?
Your insurance provider will charge a filing fee of around $15-$35 when you inform them of your SR-22 insurance requirement. However, this is not the only cost you will have to deal with following an SR-22 requirement. Your insurance premiums are bound to skyrocket after being convicted of a traffic violation and receiving an SR-22 filing requirement.
On average, Colorado drivers pay around $2,000-$2,500 per year after a major traffic violation. You should be prepared to be paying a little more monthly if you need to carry cheap SR22 insurance in Colorado.
There is some hope, though. Your insurance rates may not stay high forever since your SR-22 filing period will inevitably come to an end. Once you can cancel your SR-22, you may see your insurance rates drop slightly. But this is not guaranteed as the severity of your traffic violation may ultimately decide if your insurance premiums are reduced or not.
If you are struggling to find cheap auto insurance in Colorado, it is best to shop around and get quotes from a wide scope of insurance companies. Look both locally in Colorado and nationally to get an idea of the car insurance rates and policies available on the market.
Make sure you are not signing with an auto policy just because the rates are cheap. You need to analyze the type of insurance coverage you are getting to make sure it is sufficient enough for you and your vehicle.
Pretty much any insurance company out there offers free quotes either online or over the phone, making comparing insurance policies fairly easy. If you believe you already have the cheapest car insurance rates in Colorado, talk to your insurance agent about any policy discounts you think you qualify for. There may not be many available to you, given the factors in your driving history, but it never hurts to ask.
Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance in Colorado
Even if you do not own the vehicle you were driving at the time of your traffic violation, you will still need to fulfill your SR-22 requirement. Not owning a vehicle does not exempt anyone from carrying auto insurance in Colorado.
To fulfill your SR-22 requirement, you will need to purchase a non-owner SR22 insurance policy. Non-owner car insurance provides you with the cheap liability coverage mandatory for every driver in Colorado.
Purchasing this type of insurance policy successfully fulfills your SR-22. Non-owner insurance is one of the most affordable car insurance policies on the market, but it is only available to you if you do not own a vehicle. You also cannot have regular access to one. This insurance is ideal for people who frequently borrow or rent cars.
Do not wait until you have a traffic violation to purchase auto insurance. Every valid driver in Colorado needs coverage, and failure to comply with insurance laws can be detrimental. Be proactive by buying an insurance policy after obtaining your driver’s license.
Colorado DUI Conviction
Colorado has some strict DUI conviction laws. Even after just your first offense in Colorado, you can face jail time, fines, and public service requirements in addition to the previously outlined mandatory SR-22 insurance filing.
The chart below outlines what may be in store for you in the event of such conviction. It’s also worth noting that, according to Colorado law, even if you do not meet Colorado’s standard to be considered a drunk driver (BAC of at least 0.08), you can still face a license suspension period anywhere from 9-24 months, depending on your history.