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The Difference Between SR-22 And SR-50 Insurance

Published on September 24th, 2019

Being required to have what is commonly called SR22 insurance is something that prevents some motorists from getting cheap car insurance in Illinois. But there’s a lot of confusion surrounding this requirement, which leads to questions such as, what is SR22 insurance? Or what is SR50 insurance? What’s the difference between the two, and as a member of the driving public, when and why am I required to have them?

Drivers who are anxious to get back on the road need answers to these questions, so we’ll try to provide them for you.

What Is An SR22?

What is called SR22 insurance really isn’t insurance at all. Instead, an SR22 is a certificate attached to your insurance policy that is on file with the state government. The certificate proves that you have enough car insurance to meet the state’s minimum 25/50/20 liability requirement.

When Do You Need An SR22?

You will need to file an SR22 when you’re ordered to do so either by a judge or the state government. If court-ordered, the judge will inform you of your requirement during a hearing. If state-ordered, you’ll typically get a letter from the DMV.

Most drivers do not have to file an SR22 with the state, but it’s normally required if you’ve been caught driving without a valid license or without insurance. Other reasons requiring a motorist to file an SR22 with the state may include:

  • DUI/DWI conviction
  • A conviction for driving without insurance
  • Being involved in an accident without having insurance
  • Too many at-fault accidents or violations
  • Repeat offenses in a short period of time
  • A requirement to obtain a hardship or probationary license
  • A requirement to reinstate your driver’s license after a suspension or revocation

How Do You Get An SR22?

To get an SR22, call your insurance company. If you already have auto insurance, you do not have to buy a new policy. In fact, you can add the SR22 to your existing policy and your insurer will file the form with the state. You’ll also receive a copy of the SR22 certificate.

If you don’t have auto insurance, you’ll have to buy a policy, but not all companies offer SR22 service. Accurate Insurance does provide SR22 coverage, and we’ll be glad to work with you to complete the process.

How Much Does An SR22 Cost?

Insurance companies usually charge a one-time SR22 filing fee of around $25.

Unfortunately, the violation that requires the SR22 – not the SR22 itself – will affect your insurance rates, and these may increase substantially as you’re now considered a high-risk driver.

How Long Does The SR22 Last?

In Illinois and Indiana, the SR22 certificate lasts three years. If you cancel your auto insurance while the SR22 is in effect, your company must inform the state. The state will suspend your driving privileges, and these cannot be reinstated until you have renewed your insurance.

What Is Indiana’s SR50?

Here’s where things get a bit confusing. While most states, including Indiana, have SR22 filings, Indiana is the only one requiring an SR50 filing. Like the SR22, the SR50 is a certificate attached to your policy verifying that you are carrying the state’s minimum liability coverage.

In Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is required to verify that all motorists have the state-required 25/50/25 minimum liability coverage when in:

  • An auto accident for which the BMV receives an accident report.
  • A moving violation within one year of receiving two other moving violations.
  • A serious accident such as a misdemeanor or a felony.
  • A moving violation by a driver previously suspended for failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.

If an Indiana motorist cannot provide proof of liability coverage at the time of their violation, their license may be suspended for a year. To have their driving privileges restored, they will owe a reinstatement fee that will run between $150 and $300. Their insurance agent will also have to submit an SR50 form (Affidavit of Current Insurance) to the BVM.

In contrast, if convicted of certain court-related or insurance violations, an Indiana motorist may be required to have their agent submit an SR22 providing proof of liability coverage for the next three years.   

And that’s the main difference between the SR50 and the SR22. The SR50 is proof of current liability coverage, while the SR22 provides proof of current and future liability coverage.

The Bottom Line

If you need either an SR22 or SR50, there’s no need to worry. At Accurate Insurance we’re here to help you figure out what you need and how to obtain it. We’ll file either your SR22 or SR50 and do our best to provide cheap car insurance in Illinois or Indiana that will fit your budget.

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