SR-22 Insurance in New York Explained

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  • SR-22 Insurance in New York Explained

From the Big Apple to the suburbs, the Catskills to the Hamptons, and all the way over to the Finger Lakes region, the Empire State is riddled with landscapes you just can’t miss. However, it’s essential to ensure you always have an active and adequate car insurance policy under New York state law. Those who fail to carry the legally necessary coverage generally will require SR-22 insurance. However, such insurance doesn’t exist in the Empire State.

While the Empire State requires a bit more coverage on a minimum coverage policy than other states, it’s crucial to always carry what’s legally necessary to avoid any expensive legal repercussions, even if an SR-22 isn’t among them. Let’s take a look at what an SR-22 is, who may need one, and how you can get a New York car insurance policy if you have an SR-22 from another state.

Insurance With an SR-22 in New York Explained

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s essential to clarify that SR-22 insurance in New York isn’t actually a policy or a type of coverage. In fact, it’s not even required in the state. Instead, it’s a legal document an insurer may file on behalf of a high-risk driver to certify with the state that the driver has an active and adequate car insurance policy. High-risk drivers who’ve had their license or registration suspended or revoked are the most likely to require this form, as it can help with license or registration reinstatement. 

Essentially, an SR-22 helps prove that a high-risk driver can take financial responsibility for their insurance premiums and any costs they may owe in an at-fault accident. 

Those who require an SR-22 likely had their license or registration suspended for driving without sufficient insurance coverage. While drivers who’ve committed this crime in the Empire State won’t require an SR-22, those who’ve done so in other states and move to New York while their SR-22 is active may have to keep up with the requirements from their previous home state.

In New York, auto insurance laws require drivers to have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,0000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $10,0000 in property damage liability per accident (25/50/10 liability coverage), $25,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI/UIMBI) per person, $50,000 in UMBI/UIMBI per accident (25/50 UMBI/UIMBI), and at least $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)

Those who lease or finance their vehicle may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverages as a stipulation on their legally binding contract.

While having a minimum coverage policy is certainly legal and may save you some money on premiums, it’s not always the safest option. Even though SR-22 insurance isn’t offered in the Empire State, those with previous convictions for driving without insurance or otherwise recklessly may face higher-than-average premiums on their policies.

A full coverage policy allows drivers to add coverages that specifically support their needs and lifestyle so they can always feel comfortable behind the wheel. A full coverage policy in New York will likely have higher limits of the required coverages, and any combination of comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, medical payments coverage (MedPay), uninsured and underinsured property damage coverage (UMPD/UIMPD), and gap coverage

While the average premium on a full coverage policy in New York costs about $2,340 annually, investing in one’s safety is often worth the hefty price tag. Even though New York is one of the most expensive states in the U.S. for auto insurance, several of the state’s top insurers offer base rates below the state average and plenty of discount options. 

New York SR-22 Insurance Requirements

In New York, automobile insurance requirements are the same for every driver: always maintain an active and adequate policy. Drivers must always have an active car insurance policy with at least 25/50/10 liability coverage, 25/50 UMBI/UIMBI coverage, and $50,000 in PIP. Those who fail to maintain the necessary coverage may face fines, license and registration suspension, or even jail time. While SR-22 insurance doesn’t exist in the Empire State, drivers in other states typically require an SR-22 to be filed on their behalf before they can reinstate their documents.

Once a driver can reinstate their license or registration, they must seek an insurance policy before the state will allow them to get back behind the wheel. Once the driver finds an insurer willing to bind a policy with them, the insurer will need to file an SR-22 on the driver’s behalf so they can gain access to their documents. 

When a driver has an SR-22 on file, it will generally remain active for about three years. In this window, the driver must always have an active and adequate car insurance policy and pay their premiums in full and on time. If the driver fails to meet any of those stipulations, the duration they require an SR-22 may restart. 

It’s essential to note that premiums can get quite expensive, especially for drivers who require an SR-22 or are considered high-risk in the Empire State. High-risk drivers generally pay more expensive premiums than drivers of average or below-average risk because they are more likely to file a claim with their insurer. Insurers compensate for this higher-than-average risk by charging a high-risk driver higher premiums or turning them away entirely. 

While one’s driving record and insurance history certainly play a key role in an insurer’s premium calculation, insurance companies may look at other factors to broaden their scope. For example, insurers often consider one’s ZIP code, gender, and age, among other factors, when determining one’s rates. When paired with state statistics, each of these factors can indicate a driver’s inherent risk even if they have a clean driving record.

For example, according to the CDC, teenage boys are highly likely to get into and cause accidents. Thus, insurers generally charge them higher premiums than their peers, even if they have a clean driving record. 

While those with an SR-22 or any driver considered high-risk may not be eligible for the cheapest policy in the state, there are still plenty of ways to lower their premiums. Generally, having a minimum coverage policy can help drivers save a hefty chunk of change on their premiums. Or, one may maintain a full coverage policy at an affordable rate with an insurer offering plenty of discounts. 

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How Do I Obtain an SR-22 in New York?

One can’t obtain an SR-22 in New York, as the state doesn’t require such a form to be filed on behalf of a high-risk driver. However, in states that do require the document, typically, a police officer or a judge will issue it to a driver after they’ve had their license or registration revoked in a traffic incident. The form won’t be given to the driver directly but rather indicated as necessary for reinstatement of their license or registration on their record.

When one requires an SR-22 or is otherwise considered high-risk, binding a policy with a standard insurer can be challenging. Generally, standard insurers won’t bind policies with high-risk drivers because they’re, well, too risky. Those who have trouble binding a policy on the voluntary market may opt into the involuntary insurance market by enrolling in the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP). The NYAIP is a pool of several insurers in the state, one of whom a high-risk driver will be assigned to at random. It’s generally a last resort for drivers because policies can get very expensive.

How To Find New York Car Insurance Quotes

Luckily, drivers in the Empire State don’t need to worry about finding SR-22 insurance since the state doesn’t require the document for high-risk drivers. However, high-risk drivers in the state may still have trouble finding a policy that meets their needs and budget. High-risk drivers can exhaust all their options before enrolling in the NYAIP by getting and comparing quotes online. Getting and comparing quotes from several insurers can help drivers see all their options in one place to make the most informed decision with the least effort.

Lucky for you, we’re quoting experts here at Clovered. We even have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes. If you prefer to chat with a professional about your options, you can contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or

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

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