Drivers in Illinois pay an average of $115 per month for auto insurance. Yet, an experienced driver with a clean record may find rates between $30-60 per month.
But, finding a low premium for full coverage car insurance isn’t easy. Getting a low rate means speaking with multiple insurers and comparing rates before finding the best one.
And if you don’t have a clean driving record, you can expect to pay well above the average premium rate. This is especially true for those that need SR-22 insurance in Illinois.
Keep reading to learn more about what SR-22 insurance covers and who needs it.
What Is SR-22 Insurance Coverage?
As with most states in the US, Illinois law requires all drivers to have car insurance. Oddly though, SR-22 isn’t an auto insurance policy, even though “insurance” is in the name.
Instead, it’s a document that your insurance company files on your behalf with the Illinois Driver Services Department. The Department confirms that you carry at least the state-required minimum car insurance coverage.
Illinois requires drivers to have the following minimum liability insurance amounts:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $20,000 for damages to the property of another person (such as the car)
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in un- and under-insured motorist coverage
Insurance providers often split the coverage between two categories. They are bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD).
Essentially, SR-22 is financial responsibility insurance. It allows the state to track high-risk drivers and ensure proper insurance coverage.
Is SR-22 Insurance Full Coverage?
The short answer is, it’s tricky. Because an SR-22 only proves you have an insurance policy, SR-22 itself is not full coverage. Instead, SR-22 states you have the minimum auto insurance Illinois requires you to have.
However, most drivers buy more coverage than the state requires anyway. Moreover, many drivers don’t think the minimum required is full coverage to begin with. Most say the minimum coverage doesn’t provide enough for a severe accident.
Thus, when you’re looking for a new insurance policy with an SR-22, you can discuss the amount of coverage you want with the insurance company.
Of course, more expansive coverage means a higher premium. But having an SR-22 will not dismiss you from buying more coverage. With SR-22 will have full coverage in terms of Illinois’s minimum requirement, but you can always opt into purchasing extra coverage.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?
If you require SR-22 insurance in Illinois, the state transportation agency or a court judge will contact you. Then you need to take immediate action. Failing to act can lead to several consequences.
The people who typically need SR-22 insurance in Illinois are those who:
- Have a history of driving without insurance
- Cause an accident without insurance
- Has repeat traffic offenses
- Had their license revoked
- Had their license suspended for safety issues
- Failed to pay damages or legal judgments
- Have excessive tollway fare evasions
Illinois requires drivers convicted of serious driving offenses to file SR-22 forms. This includes DUI and DWI charges.
How To Get SR-22 Insurance
Buying SR-22 insurance is similar to purchasing a standard auto insurance policy. You first need to have an auto policy that meets Illinois’ minimum liability coverage. Most people who need an SR-22 will find their insurance company canceled their existing plan.
If you happen to have an insurance policy still, you may be able to add an SR-22 to the plan. You will need to call your insurance company to see about this possibility.
Regardless of your insurance situation, not all insurance carriers offer SR-22 insurance. Thus, you must contact your insurer or find an authorized company that provides this specialized coverage.
Once you have a provider, you need to pay the filing fee. The fee is usually between $15-$50. Then the insurer can file proof of insurance on your behalf with the state. It takes up to 30 days for the form to process. The insurance company will send a certificate to the Secretary of State in the form of:
- Operator-owners certificate
- Owner’s certificate
- Operator’s certificate
The operator-owners certificate covers you in any vehicle. The owner’s certificate covers the car you own. The insurance company will put the vehicle information on your SR-22 form. The operator’s certificate covers you in any vehicle you don’t own.
After processing, the state will reinstate your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
How Long Do You Need SR-22 Insurance?
Fortunately, you won’t need SR-22 insurance in Chicago or Illinois forever. The law requires you to maintain the insurance for three years. Insurance agents recommend renewing your policy at least 45 days before it expires each year.
If you haven’t renewed the policy 15 days before its expiration, the insurance company must legally notify the state. This can harm your driving record.
The Cost of SR-22 Insurance
SR-22 insurance premiums are significantly higher than average auto insurance for high-risk drivers. While driving history plays an important role in determining the price, there are other factors too. Some of these factors include:
- Years of driving experience
- Credit score
- Insurance history
To find the best and most affordable SR-22 insurance policy, you want to get quotes from a few different companies before deciding.
Alternatives to SR-22
There are a few alternatives to SR-22 insurance, but they aren’t cheaper options. You can choose the following options:
- Deposit $70,000 in cash or securities with the Illinois State Treasurer
- File a surety bond
- File a real estate bond approved by a court of record
Further, if you don’t own a car, you can buy non-owner insurance. This will help reduce rates even for high-risk drivers. This type of policy is only available for those who don’t have a car registered in Illinois.
If you use the car of someone you will live with, like a spouse, child, or parent, you will not qualify for non-owner SR-22 insurance in Illinois.
For those who require SR-22 insurance in Illinois, it’s essential to act fast. It will help you get back to driving and your life more quickly.
If you need SR-22 car insurance in Chicago, contact us at Insured ASAP. We make it easy to find the best rate for your SR-22 insurance needs.