If you’re considered a higher-risk driver due to traffic violations, getting a DWI/DUI, or other reasons, you may be required to get an SR-22 certificate.
An SR-22 is a form filed with your state’s DMV confirming that you meet your state’s minimum auto liability requirements. It’s also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
If you’re required to carry an SR-22 but don’t own a car, you must buy a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy. You can get auto insurance when an SR-22 certificate is required, even if you don’t own or drive a vehicle regularly.
- Non-owner SR-22 insurance covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability. A non-owner policy doesn’t offer the physical damage coverages of a collision or comprehensive policy.
- SR-22 is the form you file to verify financial responsibility, and non-owner insurance is the type of policy you may need if you don’t own a car and must file an SR-22.
- States can mandate drivers to carry car insurance and an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility.
- What is non-owner SR-22 insurance?
- Who needs non-owner SR-22 insurance?
- How does non-owner SR-22 insurance work?
- What does non-owner SR-22 insurance cover?
- What is not covered under a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy?
- How much does non-owner SR-22 insurance cost?
- How to get non-owner SR-22 insurance
- Which companies sell non-owner SR-22 insurance?
- What can I do to avoid needing SR-22 non-owner insurance?
- How do you cancel a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy?
- FAQs: Getting non-owner SR-22 insurance without a car
- Resources & Methodology
What is non-owner SR-22 insurance?
Non-owner SR-22 insurance without a vehicle covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
Typically, the need for a non-owner policy arises because:
- The state mandates a person to obtain an auto insurance policy, but that individual doesn’t have a car.
- Someone who doesn’t own a car wants insurance coverage when they occasionally operate non-owned vehicles like rental cars.
Car insurance companies offer non-owner policies because there are certain situations when a person may need to carry auto insurance but doesn’t have a vehicle to place on the policy.
Suppose you have been convicted of a DUI or other serious traffic violation. In that case, a state regulatory entity often requires an insurer to certify that you can pay future auto accident claims using an SR-22 form.
Who needs non-owner SR-22 insurance?
According to Andrew Head, Certified Financial Planner and professor at Western Kentucky University, some of the reasons your state may require SR-22 insurance without a vehicle:
- Failure to carry liability insurance on your vehicle
- A conviction for driving without insurance
- Driving uninsured and being involved in a motor vehicle accident
- DUI, DWI or other major alcohol offense convictions
- Serious moving violation (such as reckless driving) convictions
- Accumulating too many DMV points
- Being categorized as a habitual traffic offender
- Needing to apply for a hardship or probationary permit (while license is suspended)
- Reinstating your license after a suspension or revocation
Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida, says that three states – Georgia, Missouri and Texas – separately issue an SR-22A certificate, which differs from an SR-22.
“An SR-22A certificate is primarily for low-level driving offenders, such as those who fail to carry their state’s minimum liability coverage,” Friedlander says. “Your insurer issues an SR-22A certificate and files it with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, just like an SR-22.”
Being required to file an SR-22A could adversely impact your auto insurance rates depending on why you need the certificate, although your premium likely won’t jump as high as it would if you need an SR-22.
How does non-owner SR-22 insurance work?
An SR-22 is a form you file to verify financial responsibility, and a non-owner policy is the type of insurance you may need if you don’t own a car. Hence, you have insurance and state-mandated forms to comply with the laws for such a situation.
States can mandate non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility. That’s because state agencies know these individuals can be negligent and harm others and their property while driving, even if they don’t own the car they’re operating.
“Be aware that not owning a vehicle may make it more difficult to obtain an SR-22 certificate,” Friedlander says. “You will need to furnish proof of insurance to earn the certificate. If you don’t own a vehicle, you should apply for a non-owner auto insurance policy before filing for an SR-22 certificate.”
What does non-owner SR-22 insurance cover?
Some believe this policy type is the magic bullet of coverage; it’s not. A non-owner policy only covers liability up to the limits purchased, which is usually secondary to the auto insurance policy of the actual car owner. So, if you borrow a friend’s car to drive, the car owner’s policy will be primary.
A non-owner SR-22 insurance policy will typically include the following:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
Depending upon the state in which you live and the car insurance company you’re using, you may also be able to include on the policy other types of car insurance coverage, including:
- Medical payments
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury
What is not covered under a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy?
Each state is different, but, as a general rule, a non-owner car insurance policy won’t cover you for a vehicle registered to you or your household or a vehicle provided for your regular and frequent use. So, don’t purchase a non-owner policy if these scenarios apply.
How much does non-owner SR-22 insurance cost?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, an SR-22 certificate requirement can increase your average annual auto insurance premiums by a minimum of 50% to a maximum of 400% above your current rate, based on the severity of the infraction and the risk assessment by your insurer.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance ranges from $86 with Auto-Owners to $1,756 with Sentry Insurance, according to a 2022 CarInsurance.com data analysis.
However, if you are filing an SR-22 for a traffic conviction other than a DUI – for instance, a license suspension or driving uninsured – it may be less. An SR-22 filing will also change your status from a preferred customer to a non-standard risk customer.
How to get non-owner SR-22 insurance
The best way to get cheap SR-22 non-owner insurance quotes is the same as a standard policy – compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.
“Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around,” Friedlander says. “Get at least three price quotes from national and regional carriers. You can obtain multiple quotes via online comparison tools, on the phone directly from insurers, or through a local insurance agent that represents a single company or multiple insurers.”
If you are buying a new auto insurance policy, ask if the company files SR-22 forms before you spend time getting a quote. Even though you’ll pay more for coverage attached to an SR-22, you can still save by comparison shopping.
Which companies sell non-owner SR-22 insurance?
The following companies sell non-owner policies, both with and without an SR-22:
- Safety Insurance
- Erie Insurance
- Kemper Insurance
- State Farm
- Mercury Insurance
- Automobile Club MI
- CSAA Insurance
- Arbella Insurance
- The Hartford
- American Family
- Farmers Insurance
- National General Insurance
- North Carolina Farm Bureau
- Sentry Insurance
What can I do to avoid needing SR-22 non-owner insurance?
According to Certified Financial Planner and Professor Andrew Head, some simple ways to avoid needing an SR-22 exist. He offers some advice: Maintain adequate auto insurance coverage and drive responsibly. But if you are already in this situation, use it as an opportunity for a second chance at responsible driving.
“Recognize first that the requirement of an SR-22 is no trivial thing; the state requires this ‘super verification’ of coverage because you have been deemed very high risk. This most often involved driving in a way that puts other people’s lives in jeopardy,” Head says. “Simply choosing to drive at all always poses a risk to others – doing so without insurance can mean adding possibly ruinous financial hardship to an innocent person already reeling from an injury. Think of an SR-22 as a second chance instead of a punishment. The state is allowing you to drive, despite a past mistake.”
In other words, to avoid being in a situation requiring SR-22 insurance, take your responsibility as a driver very seriously.
How do you cancel a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy?
If you purchase a car, you must immediately alert your car insurance carrier to cancel your non-owner policy and get a standard auto policy.
“You simply replace your non-owners auto insurance policy with a regular auto insurance policy that has your SR-22 certificate attached,” says Rick Estrella, director of operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami.
Be careful: If you fail to inform your auto insurer of the change and are in an accident, coverage under the non-owner policy may be denied. The process for canceling the SR-22 certificate itself varies by state.
“We recommend you contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to confirm the process in your state,” Friedlander says. “In many states, you can get an SR-22 removed from your driving record after three years by notifying your auto insurer, which will cancel the SR-22 filing with your state. However, if you cancel early, penalties can include getting your driver’s license being suspended.”
FAQs: Getting non-owner SR-22 insurance without a car
Does non-owner SR-22 insurance cover any car I drive?
Fortunately, your non-owner auto insurance policy will cover any vehicle you drive, including a rental car. But the vehicle must not be titled in your name and you should not have regular access to it. Your non-owner policy should stipulate that you only drive an unspecified vehicle occasionally, so you can’t borrow your mom’s car to drive to work daily.
I need an SR-22, but I don’t own a car. How can I get a non-owner policy?
To purchase a non-owners policy, you must first meet certain conditions. An insurance company will generally require that:
- You have a valid driver’s license.
- You do not own a vehicle.
- Some insurers also require that no one in your household owns a vehicle and that you do not have regular access to a vehicle.
Next, you would shop for a non-owner policy like a standard one. However, not all carriers offer non-owner coverage. Then, the insurance company will have an SR-22 filed on your behalf. Auto insurance companies can only file an SR-22 after you have obtained at least the state-mandated coverages as part of your non-owner car insurance policy.
Once the SR-22 is filed, you must maintain the related insurance coverage for the state-mandated period. The period varies, but most commonly, it’s three years.
Resources & Methodology
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to field rates for non-owner coverage and full coverage with an SR-22 and one DUI for a 40-year-old male with a good insurance score and 12-mile commute.