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According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, financial responsibility (SR-22) insurance allows the state to keep track of high-risk drivers and make sure they have proper auto coverage. You might need SR22 insurance in Illinois if you have a history of driving without insurance, license revocation, or license suspension for safety issues or failure to pay legal judgments. This guide will help you navigate the state’s SR-22 process.
How to Get SR-22 Insurance in Illinois
A judge might order Illinois SR-22 insurance if your driving history includes multiple minor traffic violations, a conviction for driving under the influence, expired license plates, points on your driving record, or instances of driving without state-mandated insurance coverage. You can also be subject to this high-risk driver requirement if you have evaded highway tolls, failed to pay child support, or did not pay damages as ordered after causing an auto accident.
First, find an insurance company that provides coverage for high-risk Illinois drivers. This provider must have an authorized power of attorney form with the state. If you already have an insurance policy, you can start with your current provider. However, the company might decline to provide the SR-22 certificate, which means you need to look for a new auto insurance company.
When you purchase a policy, the insurance company will provide an SR-22 form, also called a financial responsibility certificate, to the Secretary of State in the form of:
- An operator-owners certificate, which covers you in any vehicle.
- An owner’s certificate, which covers you only in a vehicle you own and requires the vehicle information to appear on the form.
- An operator’s certificate, which covers you in any vehicle you do not own.
It can take up to 30 days for the state to process your SR-22 form after receiving it from your insurance company. Most insurance companies charge a filing fee of about $15 to $20 for this service. According to ValuePenguin, you can start driving again immediately upon reinstatement, even if you have not yet received notification by mail. Call the state Driver Services Department at 217-782-3720 and provide your Social Security and driver’s license numbers to check the status of your SR-22 certificate.
The SR-22 certificate serves as proof that you have purchased at least the minimum required Illinois insurance coverage of:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability.
- $20,000 per accident for property damage liability.
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage.
You must maintain SR-22 insurance for three years. Canceling or allowing your insurance to lapse during that time will result in license suspension until you reinstate Illinois minimum insurance coverage. You must renew your SR-22 policy at least 45 days before expiration. The state will be notified if you have not yet renewed a policy that will expire within 15 days.
Cost of SR-22 Insurance in Illinois
The finance website MoneyGeek researched the most affordable companies in Illinois for SR-22 insurance. The site notes that drivers in Illinois who have SR-22 insurance after one DUI pay an annual average of $1149 for car insurance coverage, more than twice the average for motorists with clean driving records. Recommended providers for individuals in this situation include:
- Allstate: $943 per year.
- Country Financial: $542 per year.
- Erie: $750 per year.
- GEICO: $817 per year.
- Farmers Insurance: $1183 per year.
- Mercury: $486 per year.
- Progressive: $638 per year.
- State Farm: $500 per year.
- Travelers Insurance: $993 per year.
- USAA: $890 per year (available only to members of the military, veterans, and their family members).
ValuePenguin gathered these average annual quotes for SR-22 insurance in Illinois:
- Allstate: $2545.
- American Family: $1226.
- Country Financial: $1081.
- GEICO: $2190.
- Farmers Insurance: $2756.
- Progressive: $1005.
- State Farm: $994.
- Standard Fire: $1523.
- USAA: $1072.
If you were previously eligible for a good driver discount, you will also lose those savings.
Drivers who decide to opt for non-owner insurance can access lower rates even with a high-risk history. However, you cannot own a car registered in Illinois with this type of policy. ValuePenguin recommends these firms with the lowest average annual rates for non-owner insurance:
- Farmers Insurance: $659.
- Progressive: $614.
- State Farm: $412.
- Travelers Insurance: $485.
- USAA: $468.
Alternatives to SR-22 Insurance
Illinois allows high-risk drivers to place securities or cash worth at least $70,000 as a deposit with the state treasurer in lieu of SR-22 insurance. They can also file a real estate or surety bond with court approval. Residents of other states can complete an affidavit waiving the SR-22 requirement for Illinois.
You can also look for ways to save money on Illinois auto insurance even as you carry an SR-22 certificate. The Insurance Information Institute recommends these steps:
- Shop for policies from a variety of providers, and seek new quotes every six months to a year. If you decide to switch providers because you find a lower rate, make sure the new insurance company can fulfill your Illinois SR-22 requirements. Also check the new company’s customer service ratings to ensure they can provide the protection you need in the event of a claim.
- Increase your deductible if you carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle. This is the amount you pay out of pocket if you have an auto repair claim. A higher deductible results in a lower monthly premium.
- Purchase more than one type of policy from your auto insurance provider. For example, you might also need homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or auto insurance for another driver in your household. Bundling often results in a generous discount.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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