SR-22 Insurance in Illinois Explained

  • Auto
  • /
  • SR-22 Insurance in Illinois Explained

Whether you’re a suburbanite in Hinsdale, a fiend for local history in Springfield, or a city dweller in Chicago, it’s crucial to always carry the legal minimum car insurance coverage in Illinois, or you run the risk of filing for an SR-22. 

An SR-22 is a form an insurer will file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on behalf of a policyholder to certify they currently maintain legally adequate coverage. Drivers are only asked to file an SR-22 if they’ve committed serious traffic violations, like driving while uninsured, intoxicated, or otherwise recklessly. 

While the temptation to forgo insurance coverage is tempting, especially in times when money is tight, it’s almost always more cost-effective to pay the premiums associated with a minimum coverage policy than risk the penalties and financial ruin associated with filing an SR-22 form. Keep reading to find out details about SR-22s, where to find the cheapest one, and how to still get a great car insurance policy in Illinois with one. 

SR-22 Insurance in Illinois Explained

Car insurance in Illinois can get expensive but less costly than the premiums associated with an SR-22. SR-22 insurance in Illinois isn’t necessarily an insurance policy but rather a form an insurer will file on behalf of a policyholder who needs it. This form verifies to the state that the policyholder has an active car insurance policy that meets the state’s legal minimums. These forms are often filed on behalf of high-risk drivers or those who have made risky decisions behind the wheel that has led to their licenses or registrations being suspended. 

An SR-22 form proves to the state that a driver who has a poor record is on their way to righting their wrongs. Drivers that file an SR-22 must have an active car insurance policy that meets the legal requirements in the state. Thus, the form cannot be filed by the driver and instead must be filed by their insurer. 

The minimum legal coverage in the Prairie State is $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $20,000 of property damage liability per accident, otherwise known as 25/50/20 liability coverage. All policies that contain at least this amount of liability coverage will automatically include $20,000 of uninsured or underinsured bodily injury coverage (UMBI/UIMBI) per person and $40,000 of UMBI/UIMBI per accident. If you lease or finance your vehicle, you may be legally obligated through your lender or leaser to have a full coverage policy with collision coverage and comprehensive coverage

Failure to maintain the legal minimum coverage can result in severe penalties, like hefty fines or extended license or vehicle suspension.

Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation’s top companies.

What Is SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

Illinois SR-22 insurance isn’t actually insurance at all but a form an insurer files on behalf of a policyholder to certify with the state the policyholder has an active car insurance policy that meets the state’s legal requirements. 

Those who require an SR-22 form may be interested in only carrying the minimum amount of coverage necessary in the state. While that’s perfectly legal and may be cheaper, it may not be the safest option. 

A full coverage policy offers a much broader range of protection than a minimum coverage one, and high-risk drivers with SR-22s could greatly benefit from having such expansive coverage. While a liability-only, minimum coverage policy will only cover the victim’s expenses in an accident caused by the policyholder, a full coverage policy may cover the policyholder’s expenses, regardless of who’s at fault. 

A full coverage policy may include optional coverages like a higher liability limit, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) instead of just the minimum limit of UMBI/UIMBI, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage (MedPay), among others. 

While the premiums from a full coverage policy may be higher than those from a minimum coverage one, the expense is worth it. The long-term protection offered by a full coverage policy often outweighs the short-term savings of a minimum coverage policy.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

Financial responsibility filing in Illinois, otherwise called filing an SR-22, is required for high-risk drivers who have been caught driving without insurance or have otherwise committed a traffic violation serious enough to have their license or registration revoked. Typically, a law office, like a court or a judge, will mandate a driver to carry this form.

What’s the Average Cost of SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

The average cost of SR-22 insurance in Illinois is often double or triple the average cost in the state for that policy. For example, the average cost of a full coverage policy in Illinois is about $1,500 annually, so a policyholder who has an active SR-22 form on their record may expect to pay about $3,000 or $4,500 annually for a full coverage policy. 

Since a minimum coverage has about half the amount of protection as a full coverage policy, the average cost is about $750 annually. However, for those with an SR-22, such a policy may cost about $1,500 or $2,250 annually, depending on your insurer. 

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Illinois?

With SR-22 insurance in Illinois, rates for any car insurance policy are typically much higher than average. Premiums vary from driver to driver, as insurers use various driving and non-driving factors to determine a policyholder’s rates. Insurers use these factors to assess the risk they take by binding a policy with a driver. Thus, the riskier the driver has proven to be, the higher their premiums. 

Insurers may use non-driving factors like gender, age, and ZIP code to help them determine a policyholder’s rates. They may also use driving factors like one’s record or the existence of a past or current Illinois SR-22 waiver to contribute to their quoted premium. 

Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation’s top companies.

What’s the Cheapest SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

Cheap SR-22 insurance in Illinois can be tricky to find, but not impossible. Bumping your coverage to the legal minimum is the easiest and most significant way to lower your premiums. However, that’s not always the safest choice. Sacrificing your coverage for savings may sound like a no-brainer to some, but it comes with serious financial risk, especially in a worst-case accident scenario.  

Those who cause an accident while maintaining only minimum coverage will be accountable for any expenses they accrue as a result of the accident and any of the victim’s remaining expenses once the at-fault party’s liability limit is reached. 

The safest way to find the cheapest policy in the state is to search for an insurer that offers stackable discounts. Many of the top insurers in the state offer discounts for those who bundle multiple insurance policies, multiple cars on one policy, or for young drivers who earn good grades in school.

Some insurers even offer enrollment-based discounts in which drivers can participate to earn more significant savings on their premiums. Telematics programs require a driver to use a device to track and send their driving data to their insurer, which discounts premiums based on a driver’s safe choices while behind the wheel. Other insurers may offer safe-driving classes that, upon completion, award a hefty discount to policyholders.  

Who Has Cheap Non-Owners SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

Geico has an affordable rate for those with an SR-22 and non-owner insurance in Illinois. Such a policy is similar to that with a standard SR-22, with the exception that the form is essentially tacked onto one’s driver’s license instead of one’s vehicle registration. If you’ve previously been caught driving a vehicle that was uninsured, but the vehicle wasn’t registered in your name, you’d likely require a non-owner SR-22. 

Your best bet when searching for an insurer that offers cheap, non-owner SR-22 insurance is to find an insurer specializing in non-owner insurance. The state’s top insurers, like State Farm or Nationwide, may not offer such a policy at an affordable rate because it’s somewhat uncommon, but it’s worth a quote. 

Who Has the Best SR-22 Insurance in Illinois?

Geico and Progressive are some of the top insurers for low-cost sr22 insurance in Illinois. However, some folks may have difficulty binding a policy with these insurers, as they may have much higher rates for certain drivers, depending on the severity of the stipulations surrounding one’s SR-22. 

If a standard insurer offers premiums that are way out of your budget or if they refuse to bind with you at all, you may choose to bind with an insurer that specializes in high-risk insurance instead. While a non-standard insurer may not offer better rates to high-risk drivers than a standard one, they will offer a policy.

What Are the SR-22 Illinois Requirements?

The Illinois SR-22 insurance requirements for drivers with the form filed on their behalf are to make safe choices on the road and maintain the legal minimum amount of coverage. After the date of filing, most SR-22s will stay on a driver’s record for at least three years. If a driver with an SR-22 is caught driving without a sufficient policy, they may face more severe legal penalties than a first-offender. 

How Long Do You Need SR-22 in Illinois?

For SR-22 insurance in Illinois, rules state drivers must have this form for at least three years. That means drivers must maintain a policy with minimum legal coverage during that time, lest they risk more severe consequences if caught without adequate coverage. 

Remember, driving without adequate coverage in the Prairie State is always illegal, even if you don’t have an SR-22 on record. Failure to comply with the law will lead to hefty fines, license or registration suspension, and high insurance premiums for years.

How To Get an Illinois Auto Insurance Quote

If you’re looking for SR-22 insurance online in Illinois, the best way to find a policy that meets your needs is to get and compare quotes from several insurers. Getting and comparing quotes will help you get the best bang for your buck and ensure your policy has exactly what you need to feel protected on the road. 

Luckily, here at Clovered, quotes are our specialty. You can use our free quoting tool right here to get SR-22 insurance quotes in Illinois in just minutes. If you prefer to speak with an agent, you can contact us by calling 833-255-4117 or emailing your inquiry to

Ready to Save Money on Auto Insurance?

Rethink your auto insurance premium with a free quote from the nation's top companies.

The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

Scroll back to Top