Tuesday, October 22, 2013
What is a Texas SR22 and Why I Might Need One?
What is a Texas SR22 filing and where do I get one? Many people think that when they need an SR22, it is a special kind of insurance but that is wrong. An SR22 is an Insurance Certificate of Financial Responsibility. Often, Texas may require a driver to secure an SR22 due to driving offenses such as a crash, judgement or conviction (think Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), several speeding tickets, reckless driving, etc.).
An SR22 is a Certificate that an Insurance Company will provide stating the insured has an auto insurance policy with at least the minimum limits. The auto insurance carrier will keep the state informed of the status of your auto insurance policy were it to cancel or lapse. It is the law in Texas to carry and maintain the minimum liability coverage of $30,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $60,000 for death or bodily injury per occurrence, and $25,000 for property damage done to others. With out such a policy, driving privileges may be suspended or revoked.
Many carriers will offer an SR22 so all you would have to do is inquire. However, many carriers will cancel your auto insurance policy if they find out you need one as it may indicate to them of risky driving behavior. The companies that do offer an SR22, you might be able to get a good rate before of if you are convicted of an offense. Usually, if convicted, your rates would be affected for the reason of requiring an SR22. If you are already in the policy term, the rate would be affected at renewal, not at the time of obtaining the SR22.
You shouldn't carry more than one auto insurance policy so if you have one in affect with a carrier that doesn't provide an SR22, you would need to change auto insurance carriers. If you don't own a vehicle, you can purchase a "non owners" policy with an SR22 filing.
Sometimes, you may require a temporary SR22 while your case is being reviewed. If not convicted of a driving offense, then only a small charge may be applied to the premium of a carrier that will issue an SR22. The SR22 filing can be canceled with proof from the court that an SR22 is no longer needed.
For more information about a SR22 filing, you can visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.