What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is proof provided by an insurance company filed on a form to the Department of Motor Vehicles that you have at least the state mandated minimum liability coverage.

The DMV can consider your past conduct (driving record) to evaluate whether you represent being an at risk driver.  The DMV can require an SR-22s for at risk drivers.  If the DMV requires proof of an SR22, the driver must obtain and maintain proof of minimum liability coverage for a period of time required by law.

Am I required to report a DUI to my insurance company?

Absolutely not.

If I don’t have to report my DUI to my insurance company, how can they (and will they) find out about it?

California insurance companies have two ways to find out about your DUI.

The first way is if/ when your insurance coverage is renewed or if/when you request new coverage, insurance companies may run a check of your DMV record.  If they do check your record, they will learn about your DUI.  Convictions for DUIs stay as public record for 10 years.  Wet reckless convictions stay only for seven years as public record.

The second way is if the DMV requires you to obtain an SR 22. BUT: IF YOU APPLY FOR AN SR-22 through an insurance broker, you avoid your insurance company from finding out.

If my premiums go up after a DUI, by how much will they increase?

Rates are not based only on convictions.  They include age, gender, marital status, location of residence, annual miles driven, number of years of driving experience, AND driving record.

If a person is convicted of a DUI, then the person loses his/her “Good Driver’s Discount” for 10 years.  If a person is convicted of a “wet reckless,” then he/she loses his “Good Driver’s Discount” for seven years.  Since the discount is at least 20%, the increase in premium will be at least 20%.  In addition, if you are required to obtain and maintain an SR-22 on file with the DMV for three years, you will have to pay for the SR-22.

Even though a DUI or wet reckless conviction can cause you to be perceived as a greater risk to an insurance company, rates will still vary considerably between companies.  That is why you should contact the insurance professionals at Drive Protected.  We can find the best coverage at the best rates for you.

Once you are eligible to receive a “good driver” discount, which is ten years after a DUI conviction and seven years after a wet reckless conviction, the DMV will automatically remove the conviction from your public record.  Then you should be eligible for a “Good Driver’s Discount”, if you meet the other criteria!

Do I need auto insurance in California?

If you drive a vehicle in California, you must have at least the minimum amount of liability insurance required by law.  However, having only the minimum insurance coverage is unwise.  The costs of an accident can be staggering.  A prudent driver should have ample insurance to cover the driver, any passengers, the vehicle and any third parties and their vehicles.

Insurance can prevent your suffering a financial loss that could wipe all your savings and assets.  Please do not drive unless you have adequate insurance, not just the bare minimum coverage.

How much insurance do I need to drive in California?

California law requires that a driver have at least the following minimum liability coverage:

  • Bodily Injury/Death Liability of one person: $15,000
  • Bodily Injury/Death Liability of two persons: $30,000
  • Property Damage: $5,000

However, it is unwise to have just the minimum coverage.  If you do, you can be “underinsured,” meaning that you would be personally responsible to pay for any damages that your insurance fails to cover.

If having just the minimum amount of coverage is unwise, how can I find the amount of insurance that is right for me?

Please speak with one of our trained insurance professionals.  We want you to be fully protected, not just partially covered.  No one can foresee when the need for insurance will arise.  That’s why it is imperative to speak with a knowledgeable professional to determine what amount of coverage is best for you.

If a DUI causes my insurance to be cancelled, what does that mean?

It is illegal to drive in California without liability insurance.  If your insurance is cancelled, you must immediately get new insurance.

Insurance companies are required by law to report cancellation to the DMV.  If you fail to obtain new insurance within 45 days of such cancellation, the DMV will suspend your vehicle registration.

You will also have to have your new insurance company file a new SR22 if you are required to maintain proof of insurance.  If you fail to do so, your license will be suspended.