Car insurance companies frown upon drunk drivers and enforce serious penalties to those who have been charged with drunk driving, or other alcohol-related driving offenses. Convictions for such offenses will cause many insurance carriers to raise the rates significantly or cancel an insured, either during mid-term or at the end of insurance term.
Most states require convicted drunk drivers to get an “SR-22” from the driver’s auto insurance agency in order to remove a license suspension. An SR-22 insurance policy is a motor vehicle liability insurance policy required for reinstatement after a driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. SR-22 insurance is uniquely suited for these situations, because it requires the insurance company to notify the department of motor vehicles if the policy is canceled, terminated, or lapses. If any of these things happen, the driver’s license will typically be suspended until the policy is brought current or reinstated. Under the laws of most states, a driver must carry SR-22 insurance for a certain period after the end of the suspension or revocation. The typical length of time required to keep an SR-22 is 3 years, but states and judges can extend or shorten the length requirements.
Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 policies, so the policy may be non-renewed or cancelled simply because the company can no longer provide insurance. In some states, insurers are prevented from terminating coverage during a policy term. Also, non-owner SR-22 insurance policies allow the named insured to drive any vehicle they are given permission to drive by the vehicle owner.
SR-22s are state specific and the requirements in one state may not apply in another state. If a driver carries an SR-22 in one state but moves to another state, the driver must fulfill the SR-22 filing period for the driver’s former state, even though the driver no longer resides there. Also, the insurance policy for the new state must have liability limits which meet the minimums required by law in the driver’s former (SR-22) state.
Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.