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August 27, 2021

Does a Wreck Trigger an SR-22 Penalty?

Let’s say you have a car wreck. You might damage your own car, along with someone else’s property or vehicle. Then, you might hurt yourself, or worse still, cause injury to someone else. Regardless of who gets hurt, or how many vehicles are involved, the cost of recovery could get very costly. Also, if the accident is your fault, you might have to take the blame. That could have negative ramifications on your insurance policy in the future. One of the penalties might be an SR-22. Here’s why accidents might trigger this penalty. 

What’s an SR-22? 
Car crash with ambulance
Most states require drivers to carry car insurance. Those who don’t might face penalties. The reason states require coverage is because it acts as a financial safety guard for both the insured driver, their vehicles and others on the road.  

Though everyone needs car insurance, those who need it the most are those who are high-risk drivers. To insurers, these are the drivers who have the highest likelihood of filing claims. Drivers with frequent accidents, tickets, DUI charges and related offenses usually fall into this category. That’s why it’s so important for these drivers to have coverage. To ensure they do so, many states require these drivers to get SR-22s. 

An SR-22 is a form that you receive from your insurer. It verifies that, because you have high driving risks, you also carry adequate car insurance. Until the penalty phase expires, you must keep active coverage. However, the SR-22 reflects that you are a high-risk driver. Therefore, your insurer might have to raise your policy rates as a result. 

Why Wrecks Might Trigger SR-22s 

When a car wreck occurs, someone has to do something wrong behind the wheel. If this is you, then the wreck might be your fault. In these cases, the state might place the burden of covering the damage costs on the at-fault party. Most will have to do so using their car insurance. 

Therefore, as a result of the accident being your fault, it likely will be a sign that you are a high-risk driver—and it might show that you are more likely to cause another wreck in the future. As a result, you might have to get an SR-22. 

Committing an at-fault accident isn’t just the only trigger that might result in an SR-22. Charges like reckless driving, DUIs, driving uninsured and similar severe mistakes might cause a penalty. 

However, one thing that likely won’t result in an SR-22 is a minor wreck, or a wreck for which you are not at-fault. All the same, the factors that contributed to these accidents might. Talk to the authorities and your insurer in these situations to learn more about the potential penalties. 

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