What Is an SR-22? Top 6 Things You Should Know

The SR-22. Most people probably have a hazy idea of what it is. Maybe you’ve had a friend who needed one or you understand vaguely that it has to do with car insurance. But really, what is an SR-22? Is it something you get from the DMV or your car insurance company? Does everyone have to have one? Is it bigger than a breadbox?

It seems that, aside from a general sense of foreboding, most people don’t know much about SR-22s. And that’s fine. As long as you practice safe driving and don’t let your insurance lapse, you’ll never need one. But just in case, here are a few SR-22 insurance basics to help keep you in the know.

What’s an SR-22?

An SR-22 — also known as SR-22 insurance or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) — isn’t a type of car insurance, but verification that you’re maintaining car insurance liability coverage. An SR-22 form is a state-mandated certificate filed by your car insurance carrier with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Who needs an SR-22?

An SR-22 is required when someone who was in an accident or convicted of a traffic offense couldn’t show financial responsibility. For example, you’d need an SR-22 if you were caught driving without car insurance.

You might also need an SR-22 if you had any of the following:

  • A DUI or DWI or any serious moving violation
  • An at-fault accident while driving without insurance
  • Repeat traffic offenses or too many tickets in a short time period
  • A revoked or suspended license

What does an SR-22 cost?

Though it varies by state, car insurance companies will typically charge a nominal fee of $15 to $25 for filing an SR-22 form.

If you need an SR-22, however, you’ll first need to purchase a car insurance policy. Your car insurance rate will be determined based on all the factors that normally go into rating a policy. However, keep in mind that car insurance companies generally consider drivers who need an SR-22 riskier to insure, so your car insurance rates will likely reflect the risk.

We recommend shopping around, but remember, the cheapest SR-22 insurance quotes may not be the best. You should always consider the company’s service, financial responsibility, and reliability when making an insurance purchase of any kind.

How do I get an SR-22?

To obtain an SR-22, you’ll need to go through your car insurance provider. Only an insurance company that is filed with the state can issue SR-22s.

Additionally, if you have an SR-22 in one state but move to another, you’ll need to fulfill the SR-22 requirements for your former state, and your new liability limits will need to meet the minimums required by law in your former state.

Learn more about filing an SR-22 here.

How long does an SR-22 have to be maintained?

Most states require drivers to carry SR-22 insurance for 3 years. In that time, continuous coverage must be maintained. If there is an insurance lapse or cancellation, your car insurance company is legally obligated to notify the DMV and your license will be suspended.

How can I avoid an SR-22 requirement?

You can avoid the complication and expense involved with an SR-22 filing by simply maintaining your car insurance and practicing safe driving.

Here are a few useful reminders:

  • Don’t drink and drive. DUIs and DWIs are the most common reasons for needing to file an SR-22 certificate.
  • Drive safe. Not only can too many moving violations result in an SR-22, they can significantly increase your car insurance premiums.
  • Don’t drive without insurance. If you don’t have car insurance and you’re pulled over, you’ll be required to prove financial responsibility by way of an SR-22.

Bottom line: Drive carefully and stay insured and you’ll never need to know any more than this about the SR-22 (which, by the way, is smaller than a breadbox).

And if 6 facts about SR-22s just aren’t enough, find out what SR-22 actually stands for.

You have questions about SR-22s. We have answers.

Bike Locks & Renters Insurance: Tips for Protecting Your Bike

If you’re a cyclist, you know that few things are as disheartening as leaving a great movie or delicious dinner and finding some or all of your bike missing. Protecting your bike isn’t always easy and just like a home robbery, bike theft feels like a personal violation.

But there’s some good news: In most cases, your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover bike theft — even when it happens away from home. If your bike’s been stolen, file a police report (ALWAYS), then contact your insurance provider. After you pay your deductible, you’ll be covered for the remainder of your bike’s current market value.

Since the police and your insurance company will want to establish that you took preventive measures, get in the habit of locking up correctly. Here are a few tips for protecting your bike against theft.

Choosing your lock

Start with the highest-quality lock you can afford. U-shaped locks are easy to carry and come in a wide range of proven models — OnGuard and Kryptonite both make difficult-to-break locks with great warranties.

Always choose a lock that releases with a key, not a combination. Combinations aren’t easy to figure out, but their dials can be exploited by accomplished bike thieves.

Once you have your lock, complete the warranty or registration form. This way the manufacturer knows that you own it (and may even replace it if a thief breaks it). More important, the registration form serves as another piece of evidence that you took necessary precautions.

Using your lock

Use multiple locks, or locks and cables, to secure every part of the bike you can. The most expensive parts of your bike are the frame and the rear wheel. So if you put your lock around only 2 pieces, make it those.

The “U-lock technique” is the most secure locking method, and requires a large lock, like the Kryptonite Bicycle U-Lock.

The “cable and U-lock method” only requires a small lock, but it’s essential that you place the lock around the rear wheel within the confines of the frame’s rear triangle. (This prevents the 2 from being separated, even if a thief detaches your rear wheel.) It’s also a good idea to add a cable to this setup. Loop the cable through your front wheel and attach it to your lock. You can often get a small lock and cable as a set.

Don’t hold components in place with a “quick-release” (QR) lever. Seatpost clamps and axles often have QR elements, but your local bike shop can help you fix that.

Always lock up in well-lit areas, among other bikes if possible. The more your bike can blend in, the safer it is.

If you can’t lock to a proper bike rack, lock up to something that’s securely attached to the ground, and make sure would-be thieves can’t slip the lock over the top. Remember, thieves don’t have to ride your bike away, they just have to GET it away.

Utilizing your insurance

And if, in spite of your best efforts, some savvy thief manages to steal your wheels, your homeowners or renters insurance can help minimize the loss. If you have a policy, check to see if your bike’s covered. If you don’t have a policy, you can get a free renters or homeowners insurance quote from Esurance.