The kind of driving history you have will affect greatly your compliance with the Financial Responsibility law, the law that requires you to prove your capability to pay for damages due to accidents wherein you are at fault. Proving this capability may be done by showing that you are covered, that is, you have auto liability insurance, or by meeting any state-approved alternative to the mandated auto insurance coverage. While a clean driving record may save you from paying too costly car insurance premiums, a record that is marred with traffic violations, such as a DUI and/or, reckless driving, or worse, an accident wherein you are at fault, can very likely result to more expensive policies because insurance providers will see and tag you as a “high-risk” driver.
Getting identified as a “high-risk” driver, however, is not only based on past traffic violations. A car insurance provider can also identify you as such if you are below 25 years old (more so if you are below 20 since records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association consistently show that teenagers are the ones most prone to accidents), driving a high-powered sports car or any type of car that is more prone to accidents, have high annual mileage, or have been required by the court to file an SR-22.
Except in the state of New Hampshire, where drivers are not mandated to carry car insurance coverage, or in Virginia, where drivers can have their vehicle registered as uninsured by paying the required uninsured motor vehicle fee to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), all other 48 states require drivers to carry auto liability insurance. Possible consequences of non-compliance with this requirement are suspension of your driving privileges, fines, higher cost of insurance premiums and a court order that will require you to file an SR-22. If you do cause an accident, then you may also face a civil lawsuit wherein you would be legally required to compensate your victim for all the economic and non-economic damages he or she will suffer from.
To help you and all other drivers and car owners find the best and cheapest car insurance coverage that will include all your insurance needs are independent car insurance companies which offer free online quotes from different providers. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, P.C., some will provide as many as a dozen quotes to help compare actual prices of policies and the types of coverages included in each policy. Besides car insurance, you can also ask for SR-22 quotes plus require them to make the filing and purchase on your behalf.
Say that you’ve gotten yourself into a car wreck and now need SR22 insurance. Perhaps you’re thinking – I’m already insured, I don’t need another insurance plan! Or maybe you’re thinking that other people don’t have it then it isn’t all that necessary, is it?
Here’s some more information about the subject.
SR22 insurance, in the strictest definitions of the term, isn’t actually a kind of insurance anyway. It is more of a certification that the vehicle and driver in question is insured. It is a legal requirement, after all, for a car to be insured lest there be consequences if you so happen to find yourself in the wrong side of those laws. If you’ve never heard of it then odds are in your favor – that means you’ve never had to have it. However, there are many ways in which a person might be required to get SR22 insurance.
If you have been charged or were involved with driving under the influence of alcohol, then in all likelihood – SR22 insurance will be necessary. Sometimes, all it takes are a few infractions and violations that have built up and then you be required to get the SR22 insurance anyway.
This kind of insurance ensures that you are covered and is, essentially, something that tells the board that you will strive to obey traffic rules and regulations. The time period that this kind of documentation is necessary can go anywhere from around 2-5 years, depending on the offense that occurred and the insurance plan that you have covering you. Any such kind of infraction that occurs while your license is already attached to SR22 insurance could mean further disciplinary actions.
There are many situations that require Chicago SR-22 coverage, mainly to reinstate a revoked or suspended license. SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility typically issued to guarantee that a high-risk driver has the necessary insurance coverage to drive a vehicle. Some of the situations which may require SR-22 to reinstate a license may seem a little off at first because they don’t seem to have anything to do with driving i.e. failure to pay child support.
But if one understands that driving is a privilege rather than a right, then suspension or revocation of the license is in the nature of a punitive act, and is not a reflection of the driver’s ability to drive or safety record. Below are some of the situations that may result in loss of driving privileges which may fall under SR-22 coverage in Chicago as well as other parts of Illinois. The list is not complete but they are considered the most common.
- Too many points on the driving record – In Chicago, each moving violation counts as a point against the driver in the record. More than three points (in one year) and you’re out.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) – with this, the license is automatically suspended and how long it will remain so will depend on how often you’ve been caught DUI.
- Driving without a valid license – if you are not licensed, forgot it at home, or it has been suspended and you’re caught driving, this may not only lead to (extended) suspension of your driving privileges, you can actually go to jail.
- Driving without minimum car insurance coverage
- Abandonment of your car in a public highway
- At-fault fatal vehicular accident
- Reckless driving
- Found not physically and/or psychologically fit to drive safely i.e. very poor eyesight even with corrective lenses
- More than 10 unpaid parking tickets, 5 automated traffic violations, or 5 toll way violations
- Failure to appear in court
- Failure to pay child support based on the Illinois Family Financial Responsibility Act, also informally known as the Deadbeats Don’t Drive Act
Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® warns that losing your driving privileges can be crippling, so finding a reliable SR-22 provider can be a boon to those facing these challenges.