Are you confused about what SR-22 coverage is compared to liability insurance? If you must carry an SR-22 certificate in Illinois, it’s important to understand how this policy works and what you can expect to pay. Read as our American Auto Insurance team provides more information to help clarify the difference between SR-22 coverage and liability insurance and then give us a call!

Are Liability Insurance and SR-22 Coverage the Same?

Man driving through Illinois with GPS on.

man driving vehicle with GPS system turned on by Dan Gold is licensed with Unsplash License 

Liability insurance and SR-22 coverage are not the same. They represent two aspects of your car insurance policy with different price tags. SR-22 coverage isn’t an insurance policy. Instead, it’s a certificate you must have under certain circumstances. An SR-22 officially verifies that you’re carrying adequate liability coverage. While you can’t get an SR-22 without carrying liability insurance, you can have liability insurance without an SR-22.

What Is SR-22 Coverage?

An SR-22 certificate serves as proof that you have sufficient state-required liability insurance. Illinois drivers must maintain an SR-22 certificate in the following circumstances:

  • They’re under court supervision for a mandatory insurance offense.
  • They’ve received three or more convictions for mandatory insurance violations.

If either of the above applies to you, the circuit court authorizes the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to notify you of your SR-22 insurance requirement. You have 90 days to file your SR-22 certificate once you receive this notice. Failure to do so will result in suspension of your driver’s license. 

There are three types of SR-22 coverage:

  • Owner’s certificate: This coverage applies to all vehicles the policyholder owns.
  • Operator’s certificate: It covers the policyholder when they’re operating vehicles they don’t own. If the state requires SR-22 coverage, but you don’t own a vehicle, you’ll need this.
  • Operators-owners certificate: This coverage applies to all vehicles the policyholder may drive, whether they own those vehicles or not. If you drive a vehicle that’s not yours, whether it belongs to a friend or a family member, you should get this type of SR-22 coverage.

If you have any questions or concerns about which option is best for your needs, our team at American Auto Insurance can help. 

How Do You Get SR-22 Insurance Coverage?

Once you’ve acquired SR-22 coverage, your insurance provider will file the certificate directly with the Secretary of the State. To do so, the insurance provider must have power of attorney to file in Illinois. Not all insurance companies offer this type of coverage, so you may find yourself shopping around for a new insurance plan. 

American Auto Insurance is the most affordable insurance provider in Illinois, so you’ll get a great deal whether adding an SR-22 to your current plan or switching to us for your car insurance for the first time.

You must maintain your SR-22 certificate for at least three years. All SR-22 renewals must occur 45 days in advance so there’s no lapse in coverage. If you fail to renew the plan within 15 days of expiration, the insurance company will notify the Secretary of State. If you don’t make your payment during this period, the state will immediately suspend your driver’s license. 

How Much Does SR-22 Coverage Cost?

SR-22 coverage costs more than regular liability insurance since your insurance provider must file extra paperwork and keep up with the early renewal process for this policy. SR-22 coverage in Illinois typically costs around $25 to $35 a month. However, American Auto Insurance offers it for as little as $14, including roadside assistance. You can get a personalized quote for your SR-22 coverage today to determine how much you’ll need to pay.

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need To Have?

An SR-22 certificate verifies that you’re carrying the proper liability insurance. The SR-22 itself isn’t your insurance plan. You can sign up for several different insurance plans to get your SR-22 as long as you meet the state’s minimum requirements. You must maintain liability coverage in the following minimum amounts:

  • $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more individuals.
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of a single individual.
  • $20,000 for property damage.

Liability insurance only covers the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It doesn’t cover your vehicle or injuries. If the other driver is at fault, their insurance covers you. However, you may face hefty bills if you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. American Auto Insurance offers uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in these cases. You can also add comprehensive coverage to your policy, which will pay for expenses related to theft, vandalism, or damage from inclement weather.

Is There an Alternative to SR-22 Coverage?

If you receive a notice from the state that you need to file for SR-22 coverage but don’t want to upgrade your plan, you can pursue a few other options. As an alternative to maintaining SR-22 coverage, Illinois allows you to do the following:

  • Deposit $70,000 in cash or securities with the Illinois State Treasurer.
  • File a surety bond.
  • File a court-approved real estate bond.

Keep in mind that these actions don’t absolve you of the need to carry proper car insurance. You must still maintain the minimum liability coverage the state requires if you plan to drive.

Get Affordable SR-22 Coverage

If the state has notified you that you need SR-22 coverage, we can help. Our team at American Auto Insurance can answer all your questions and help you choose the best insurance plan for your needs. We’ll provide the state with all the necessary documents so you can get back on the road quickly and comply with the legalities that apply to your situation. Contact us to get started now


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Auto Insurance & SR-22