In Alabama, drivers who have committed serious traffic violations may be required to file SR-22 insurance documentation with the state.
An SR-22 is not an actual insurance policy. Rather, it’s a certificate showing you have the legally required car insurance coverage. Filing an SR-22 in Alabama comes with costs, like higher premiums.
Below we’ll explain exactly how SR-22 insurance works in Alabama, including:
- Who needs SR-22 documentation
- What violations trigger the requirement
- How much SR-22 insurance costs
- Minimum coverage requirements
- How long you must keep SR-22
- And more
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in Alabama?
Alabama requires drivers to file SR-22 paperwork with the state’s Department of Revenue after:
- DUI conviction
- Hit and run
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a suspended license
- Accumulating excessive points on your license
These and other serious traffic violations will trigger the SR-22 requirement. It’s meant to ensure high-risk drivers maintain insurance coverage.
You’ll receive notice from the Alabama DMV if you must file an SR-22 based on your driving record. Your insurer will handle submitting the form.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Alabama?
On average, SR-22 insurance adds about $76 per year to car insurance premiums in Alabama.
That’s roughly a 13% increase compared to standard rates in the state. However, costs vary case-by-case. For example, multiple DUIs will raise your rates more than a first-time reckless driving citation.
In addition to higher premiums, you’ll pay a one-time $15 to $25 processing fee when your insurer files the SR-22 initially.
So while not hugely expensive, SR-22 requirements still punish your wallet. Maintaining clean driving can help avoid the surcharge.
What is the Minimum Alabama SR-22 Insurance Coverage?
To comply with SR-22 requirements, your car insurance policy must meet Alabama’s minimum liability coverage amounts:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability: $25,000
This covers costs if you cause an at-fault accident resulting in injuries or property damage.
You can carry higher limits for better protection. But at minimum, SR-22 insurance in Alabama must include the state required liability coverage.
How Long Must You Keep SR-22 Documentation?
In Alabama, SR-22 requirements typically last 3-5 years. The exact length depends on factors like:
- Number and type of violations on your record
- Whether you’ve had previous SR-22 requirements
- Specific court sentencing terms
You must maintain active car insurance without any lapse in coverage during your SR-22 period. If your policy cancels for any reason, the clock resets.
Your auto insurer will automatically file an SR-26 form with the state letting them know you no longer have insurance. This triggers a suspension of your license.
Can You Get Car Insurance With an SR-22 in Alabama?
Yes, there are insurance companies willing to cover drivers needing SR-22 documentation in Alabama. However, you will likely pay higher premiums.
Some of the insurers more likely to work with high-risk drivers requiring SR-22 include:
- Direct Auto
- The General
- Titan Insurance
- Stillwater Insurance
- GAINSCO Auto Insurance
An independent insurance broker can help you find insurers to provide SR-22 compliant policies. Shop around for the best rates.
How to Cancel SR-22 Insurance in Alabama
You can’t cancel SR-22 insurance before your requirement period ends. If you let your coverage lapse, your license will be suspended. Plus, you’d have to re-file SR-22 and pay fees again.
Once you successfully complete your mandatory SR-22 term, the documentation will automatically terminate. Your insurer will no longer need to file coverage updates with the state.
However, canceling your policy at that point could still raise rates. Avoid gaps in insurance whenever possible to maintain savings.
Other High-Risk Insurance Options
If you can’t find or afford SR-22 insurance, consider a state-approved high-risk plan:
Alabama Automobile Insurance Plan (AAIP): Offers liability coverage, uninsured motorist protection, med pay, and more regardless of record.
Alabama Underinsured Motorist Fund: Provides up to $20,000 bodily injury protection if an at-fault uninsured or hit-and-run driver seriously injures you.
These programs provide last-resort coverage options to comply with insurance requirements. Premiums are expensive but typically less than a lapse in coverage.
The Bottom Line
An SR-22 in Alabama proves to the DMV that you have liability coverage after serious driving violations. While not required for all motorists, it helps prevent uninsured driving by high-risk violators.
Filing SR-22 insurance comes with costs like:
- Higher premiums
- Fees for initial filing and any re-filings
- Hassle of maintaining uninterrupted coverage
Careful driving is the best way to avoid SR-22 requirements altogether. But work with your agent if you need help finding affordable coverage to reinstate your license.
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