Drivers with repeated or severe driving violations must be covered by auto insurance that meets Virginia’s minimum requirements. You will also be required to file an SR-22 form. This article will discuss cheap SR-22 insurance in Richmond, VA and how to procure an SR-22 certificate.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 is not a stand-alone insurance policy, but a form filed by your insurance company. The SR-22 proves to the state that you have insurance coverage that meets Virginia’s minimum requirements. The “SR” in SR-22 stands for “safety responsibility.” Your SR-22 policy demonstrates your insurance company’s willingness to cover you in an accident. The minimum liability requirements in Virginia are:
- $30,000 per person for bodily injury (with a maximum of $60,000 per accident)
- $20,000 per accident for property damage
- $30,000 per person for uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury per person (with a maximum of $60,000 per accident)
- $20,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage
When Is SR-22 Insurance Required in Virginia?
Virginia may require you to file for an SR-22 if you have committed any of the following driving violations:
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license
- Accumulating excessive points on your driver’s license
- Driving without state-required insurance coverage or having paid the uninsured vehicle fee
- Carrying falsified insurance documents
- Carrying a falsified vehicle registration or driver’s license
- Being convicted for causing an accident resulting in serious injury or death
- Felony violations of Virginia vehicle laws
- Failure to satisfy judgments resulting from a vehicular accident
- Perjury on your vehicle registration or driver’s license application
- Failure to stop and identify yourself at the scene of an accident that results in injuries or death of another person
- A second offense of driving a passenger vehicle for hire (such as a taxi) without a license
How Does SR-22 Differ From FR-44 Insurance?
The FR-44 is a special kind of SR-22 set aside for drivers that have been convicted of driving offenses involving drugs or alcohol. The liability coverage for FR-44 and SR-22 is the generally the same, with three notable exceptions:
- The FR-44 covers $50,000 for bodily injury per person, compared to the $25,000 offered by SR-22.
- The FR-44 covers $100,000 for total bodily injury (two persons or more) per accident, compared to the $50,000 offered by SR-22.
- The FR-44 covers $40,000 of property damage per accident, double the $20,000 covered by SR-22.
Both the SR-22 and FR-44 are more expensive than standard car insurance, with the FR-44 being the more expensive of the two. For instance, USAA insurance charges an annual premium of $494 for an SR-22 rider, but that premium increases to $722 for an FR-44 policy.
Acquiring SR-22 Insurance in Virginia
How you get an SR-22 depends on your individual situation.
Drivers with current insurance
If you already have automobile insurance, an SR-22 is just an add-on to your current policy. Your insurance company must file SR-22 paperwork with the state for you. You cannot file SR-22 paperwork yourself.
If your insurance company cancels your coverage after a driving violation, you will need to find a new insurer. Expect to discuss your driving history, including the event that led to the SR-22 requirement. You will also need to pay a one-time fee (usually $50 or less) for your new insurer to file paperwork with the state.
Drivers that do not own or have reliable access to a vehicle
If you cause an accident using someone else’s vehicle, you may still be required to get SR-22 coverage. If you do not own a vehicle (or do not have reliable access to a vehicle), you must get a non-owner SR-22 policy. A non-owner SR-22 provides the same minimum coverage for bodily injury and damage to others’ property. Since it doesn’t cover physical damage to your personal car, a non-owner SR-22 is usually cheaper than a regular SR-22. Drivers that cannot find affordable SR-22 coverage may sell their vehicle and opt for the less expensive non-owner SR-22.
Costs Associated With Virginia SR-22 Policies
SR-22 policies in Virginia are more expensive than standard auto insurance. The increase is due to the fact that drivers with SR-22 policies are considered at high risk of causing an accident that leads to property damage and/or personal injury.
Costs can vary greatly depending on the insurance company providing the coverage. On average, you can expect your annual premium for SR-22 insurance to be over $1,000 per year. Here are a few examples of common Virginia insurance companies and what they charge annually for SR-22 insurance:
- USAA: $494
- State Farm: $953
- Progressive: $1,047
- GEICO: $1,322
- Allstate: $1,460
- Nationwide: $1,701
Your actual rates may vary depending on your age, record, and the magnitude of the driving violation that lead to the SR-22. When looking for cheap SR-22 insurance in Richmond, VA, be sure to inquire about discounts available based on your vehicle type, driving courses, etc.
FAQs About Virginia SR-22 Insurance Coverage
How long will I have to carry an SR-22 Rider?
The standard period for an SR-22 is three years from the day your license is reinstated. Longer periods (up to five years) may be ordered for repeated or especially consequential violations.
What happens if my insurance company cancels my SR-22?
Your insurance company may cancel your SR-22 due to non-payment or repeated violations. Insurance companies are required to notify the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles whenever an SR-22 is canceled. Losing your SR-22 for any reason during the required three years will result in an immediate suspension of your driving license. You may also have to pay fees and restart the SR-22 process again.
How do I cancel my SR-22?
You can cancel your SR-22 certificate after you have fulfilled the requirements of the courts. To avoid canceling too early, call the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to determine the date when you can drop your SR-22 policy. Your insurance company will contact the state and cancel the SR-22 for you. Note that you will have to initiate the cancelation after the period of time you are required to carry an SR-22 has elapsed. Your insurance company will not drop it automatically.
If you require an SR-22 certificate, you will have to jump through a few hoops to get on the road again, but it is possible. Shop around to find the best price and be sure to maintain your policy for the required period to avoid unnecessary fees and additional SR-22 time.
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