When it comes to car insurance, it’s important to understand the laws your state has for it. Doing so can help protect you from liability after a motor vehicle accident and enable you to recover losses from one. It also can help you make sure that you're driving legally each day on the road!
This is why understanding SR-22 insurance in Texas is important.
SR-22 is a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. This is required under Chapter 601 of the Texas Transportation Code to prove that you have liability insurance. Many people know that Texas is a fault state when it comes to car insurance. If you didn’t know this, you can read our blog about fault insurance. To summarize, fault insurance means that drivers who cause an accident must have minimum insurance coverages that the not-at-fault parties can use to recover their losses.
Part of Texas’ insurance requirements is having an SR-22 certificate, especially if a person has certain traffic violations—such as a DUI—on their record.
How to Get an SR-22 Insurance Certificate
The term “SR-22 insurance" exists because the certificate is most often needed when a person must prove to TxDOT that they’re insured after having their driving privileges reinstated. Many people confuse SR-22 certificates as being a type of insurance since they can receive one for having adequate coverage. However, there is no SR-22 insurance. Instead, an SR-22 certificate is something that verifies a person has adequate coverage for a vehicle that they drive.
The following are situations where this may apply:
- Your driver's license has been suspended as a result of a car accident
- You received a second or subsequent conviction for failing to have car insurance
- A civil judgment has been filed against you
When one of the above applies, you must have SR-22 insurance in Texas for 2 years from the date of your conviction or judgment. If you do not file and maintain a valid SR-22 certificate with the Department of Transportation or allow yours to lapse, your license and vehicle registration may be suspended.
Filing for SR-22 Insurance in Texas
If you need to get SR-22 insurance in Texas, you'll first need to find out if your current insurance company provides SR-22 coverage. Some don't, so you then may need to find an authorized insurer.
Once you've confirmed with your insurer or found one who will provide SR-22 insurance:
- You will need to pay a filing fee, which may range from $15 to $50, for your insurance company to file the SR-22 form on your behalf. Or, you can get your certificate from your insurer and mail it to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) or file it in person.
- If you want to get your license reinstated, you'll have to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DPS, which may cost about $100.
- Once your SR-22 certificate is filed with the Texas DPS, you can check their website to view your driver eligibility status. It will be updated from "ineligible" to "eligible" once your forms have been successfully processed.
The cost of SR-22 insurance will vary depending on your provider. Coverage could range from about $800 to $3,000 per year, depending on the type of vehicle, where you live, the amount of coverage you need, and other factors.
When Do You Need an SR-22 Certification?
As mentioned above, you need an SR-22 certificate after certain traffic violations. Once a person with violations is legally allowed to drive again, they need an SR-22 certificate to show they’re properly insured. Since SR-22 insurance covers high-risk individuals, premiums for it are often drastically higher than those who have a clean driving record.
Importantly, Texas requires that SR-22 insurance be purchased in 6-month increments rather than the typical month-to-month payments that insurance policies follow.
Requirements for SR-22 insurance in Texas include:
- At least $30,000 in coverage for bodily injuries per person in an accident
- At least $60,000 of total bodily injury coverage per accident
- At least $25,000 in coverage for property damage caused by accidents
There are times when a person might have to provide an SR-22 certificate to TxDOT if they don’t have a car. This happens when a person doesn't own a car but wishes to have their license reinstated. A policy for this situation is known as non-owner SR-22 insurance. Often, rates for this insurance are lower since insurers assume that those who have these policies don't drive a frequently as those who own a vehicle.
Call Arnold & Itkin if You Need Help After a Car Accident
If you’re suffering from a car accident that you didn’t cause, our car accident lawyers are ready to fight for you. Our team is ready to help you get the compensation you need whether the other party has insurance or not. We’re also ready to fight and help make sure the insurance company treats you right—a duty that some insurers don’t always honor.
Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629. We’re ready to fight for the compensation that you need to rebuild.