Needing an SR-22 places a bit of additional work on you to find the right insurance carrier, but there are some ways to simplify the process. Here is a stepwise guide to securing the right coverage.
Step 1: Know Which Carriers Issue the SR-22
An SR-22 is basically a certificate that is issued by your insurance company to show that you have adequate auto insurance coverage. It is filed with your state and often required in cases where you've been in significant accidents or traffic violations without insurance coverage before.
Not all insurance companies will do the work to issue you an SR-22, so it should be one of the first questions that you ask of any company before filling out the paperwork to get a rate quote.
Step 2: Find a Company Who Will Issue the SR-22 For You
The best auto insurance companies will do the paperwork for the SR-22 and send it to the relevant state entity for you. All you have to do is pay a filing fee and wait for copies of the approved paperwork.
Step 3: Get Rate Quotes with SR-22 Fees Included
Something that will help your auto insurance search is if you get insurance quotes that include all relevant fees. This means the cost of adding on an SR-22 should be included in your rate quote. It shouldn't add a substantial amount of cost to your auto insurance; the insurance company may charge lump-sum fees for filing the paperwork and issuing your certificate.
In many cases, the company will want you to sign and pay for a 6-month policy up front. This also simplifies your quotes process since you won't be facing many different options for payment plans. When you have several 6-month quotes with included SR-22 fees lined up, it's easy to see a clear winner in terms of cost.
Step 4: Know How Long You Need the SR-22
Finally, make sure that you stay on top of the SR-22, and keep it active for the entire duration of your SR-22 mandate. This is 3 years in most cases. If you decide to switch auto insurance policies during this time, make sure that you give adequate notice to your current insurer, and have your new auto insurance company issue you an SR-22 certificate before you cancel your old insurance policy; a lapse in SR-22 verification will not look great on your record.