Driving violations are serious, especially if they result in you losing your license for a period of time. To reinstate your license, like many other states, Wisconsin requires you to obtain SR-22 insurance coverage.
SR22 insurance proves to the state that you are following their insurance laws and can legally drive on their roads. Getting hit with an SR-22 requirement is serious but not unusual in the insurance world. However, they should be taken seriously.
You want to make sure your SR-22 certificate is filed correctly to avoid receiving further penalties. The insurance guide below will help outline the ins and outs of SR22 insurance coverage for Wisconsin drivers.
What is SR-22 Insurance in Wisconsin?
SR-22 insurance doesn’t provide you with coverage and instead proves to the state you carry insurance.
Commonly referred to as proof of financial responsibility, SR-22 insurance lets the state of Wisconsin know that you carry at least the mandatory minimum amount of liability insurance required for all drivers.
The SR-22 form is filed through your insurance company and then passed along to The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to prove you are complying with the Wisconsin insurance laws.
An SR-22 certificate is typically required after committing a major traffic violation, but reasonings vary. Filing the form is a necessary step in reobtaining your driver’s license should it be suspended for a period of time.
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When is SR-22 Insurance Required in Wisconsin?
Thankfully, not every driver in Wisconsin needs to carry SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 certificate is only necessary if you are convicted of a major traffic violation or are mandated to carry it by a court.
SR-22 Insurance Filing in Wisconsin
You will be notified if you are required to carry SR-22 insurance. Wisconsin typically requires an SR22 filing or proof of insurance when a driver needs to have their suspended license reinstated, but there are some other scenarios that may require an SR-22.
In Wisconsin, you could be asked to carry SR-22 insurance if one or more of the following instances applies to you:
- OWI conviction
- Driving under the age of 18 without a sponsor
- Need an occupational license
- Driving without car insurance
- High-risk driving history
- Multiple traffic violations
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin
SR-22 insurance proves to the state of Wisconsin that you carry at least the mandatory minimum amount of insurance coverage.
When shopping for insurance, you should consider increasing your coverage limits, but for the sake of an SR22 filing, you only need to carry the minimum amount required by Wisconsin insurance laws.
Wisconsin Minimum Liability insurance
- $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 for property damage coverage per accident
There may be other types of coverage your insurance company will offer, but you typically can opt-out of them. At the very least, to be considered a legal driver in Wisconsin, you need to meet their liability insurance requirements.
However, it should be noted that liability insurance only protects the other driver in a car accident. To get coverage for yourself and your car, you will need to purchase auto policy add-ons like collision coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). It is also highly recommended that you increase your liability coverage limits beyond the minimum limit.
How Long Must You Carry an SR-22 in Wisconsin?
How long you are required to carry SR-22 insurance in Wisconsin may vary depending on the circumstances of your driving violation.
On average, Wisconsin requires SR-22s to be carried and maintained for at least three years. It is possible that more serious convictions, like being caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, can result in you having to maintain the SR-22 for longer than average. Whatever the situation is with you, your filing period will begin when your license is able to be reinstated or a date decided by a court.
It is important to stay on top of your car insurance premiums, as doing so keeps your SR22 insurance active. If you cancel your insurance policy or let your coverage lapse, your insurance company must notify WisDOT.
This can result in your license being suspended. You will also have to go through the SR-22 filing process again, including paying any fees associated with the form. Letting your insurance coverage lapses runs you the risk of being dropped by your insurance provider, and finding new coverage can be challenging.
There is a good chance you will be considered a high-risk driver, and insurance providers are not too keen on offering such drivers coverage.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, on average, drivers pay around $1,500 per year for SR-22 insurance. These averages stem from typical insurance rates following an OWI conviction which is one of the most common reasons for an SR-22 filing requirement. What you are quoted by an insurance company can easily be above or below this average.
The cost of SR-22 insurance depends a lot on the circumstances surrounding your conviction and what insurance company you are with. You should also keep in mind that SR-22 filings come with a fee.
Your insurance provider can charge anywhere from $15-$50 to file an SR-22. This is all on top of the fines and fees the state of Wisconsin requires after driving violations.
To get affordable insurance coverage in Wisconsin, it is best to shop around and gather quotes from a variety of insurance providers. Consulting with both local Wisconsin insurers and national providers can help you get an idea of the rates and policies on the market.
Pretty much every insurance company offers free quotes online, over the phone, and through their apps, making insurance shopping relatively easy. During your search, make sure you analyze any auto policy you come across the find the best coverage that fits nicely into your budget.
It’s also important to be honest with insurance companies when gathering quotes. You need to own up to your driving record, even if it’s not as appealing as you want it to be. Insurance companies are bound to find out about any infraction you fail to mention, and if they catch you in a lie, they will certainly deny you coverage.
After shopping around for coverage, if you believe you have found the lowest rates possible given your driving record, don’t forget to contact your insurance agent to see if there are any discounts you qualify for. There may not be many, but there is no harm in asking.
Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance in Wisconsin
Having to file an SR-22 form is necessary when it comes to getting your driver’s license reinstated following receiving a traffic violation. This is the case even if you do not own the vehicle you were driving when the incident occurred.
If you don’t own a car but still have an SR22 insurance requirement to fulfill, you will need non-owner SR-22 insurance.
A non-owner insurance policy provides you with the appropriate liability coverage mandated for drivers in Wisconsin and completes your SR-22 responsibility. The state of Wisconsin just wants to make sure that you can cover damages and injuries in some capacity should you end up causing a car accident.
Anyone with a valid Wisconsin driver’s license needs to carry insurance, regardless of their car ownership status. Non-owner car insurance is also one of the most affordable car insurance policies on the market. But do not get too excited about that.
To qualify for such insurance, you cannot have regular access to a vehicle. This type of insurance is ideal for people who frequently rent or borrow cars. Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle needs to have insurance.
A non-owner car insurance policy can help you get the appropriate coverage while fulfilling your SR-22 responsibility.
Wisconsin OWI Convictions
An OWI conviction is one of the most serious driving violations you can commit. Even if it is your first offense, it comes with a series of penalties, like having your car insurance premiums increased and being hit with an SR22 filing requirement.
However, your car insurance company is not the only thing you will have to worry about after an OWI. Without fail, an OWI will always result in license suspension. Outside of getting the proper SR-22 paperwork filed, there are further penalties implemented by the state for OWI offenders in Wisconsin.