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Costs of an SR-22

It is often stated that SR-22 insurance is more expensive than regular car insurance. Technically, there is no such thing as SR-22 insurance because SR-22 is not an insurance policy. It is more correctly referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility and it is issued by an insurance company in Indiana or Illinois, but it in itself provides no cover.

The way it works is an individual who is required by the state to get SR-22 certification has to go to an accredited insurance company to do it. The insurance company issues the certification (which must be made by the insurer home office) after being paid a fee for it which is typically $25-$30 depending on the state. That is the only add-on cost for the SR-22. End of story.

So why is it said that the SR-22 insurance is more expensive? According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, at the time when an individual applies for an SR-22 and the insurance company is willing to cover a high-risk client, the insurer requires the client to pay for at least the minimum coverage required by the state before they will process the SR-22. Because the insurer knows that the client is high-risk, the insurance policy that will be offered will typically have higher coverage costing higher premiums than that which would be offered to a non-SR-22 client. This is what makes the so-called SR-22 insurance more expensive. In most cases, an SR-22 client will have little choice in the matter as not all insurers are willing to issue SR-22 certificates.

On the other hand, the other side of the SR-22 insurance myth, that it is more difficult to obtain, is perfectly true. Aside from the unwillingness of insurers to cover a high-risk client, the process of applying for SR-22 can take quite a while, depending on the state. In Illinois, an SR-22 certificate is forwarded to the office of the Secretary of State and it generally takes 30 days for it to be processed and the revoked or suspended license reinstated.

Those Left Behind: The Saga of Homeowner Insurance Claims

hurricaneOfficials are casting a worried eye over the thousands of tourists that flocked to the East Coast to bask in the summer glow because Tropical Storm Arthur is now poised to make landfall on or near the Fourth of July. The problem is not the rain, but gale force winds that may escalate to Category 1 hurricane levels which can result in flooding and rough seas. Some areas are issuing evacuation orders just to be on the safe side. Homeowners have a different concern: insurance claims.

Coastal cities are most vulnerable to heavy rains, but it is the winds that really wreak havoc on lives and property. Veterans of decades of periodic hurricanes have, in general, learned to ride them out and take precautions to prevent losses in lives and property damage. But even long time costal residents have had to make insurance claims for hurricane and windstorm damage, and often the experience has left a more indelible mark than the storm itself.

Insurance companies are expected to closely scrutinize any claim because, of course, they want to minimize payouts. But when they act in bad faith and delay, shortchange, or deny legitimate claims, they may be civilly liable for breach of fiduciary duty. After all, it isn’t really their money; insurance premiums are a form of trust placed there for the “in case.” So when the “in case” becomes the “right here, right now,” policy owners have a right to expect their insurance company to make good on their promise, and promptly.

Unfortunately, this seldom happens, especially if it is in the wake of a particularly devastating storm like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy, when insurance companies had an incredible number of claims presented to them all at once. This is not an acceptable excuse, but insurers count on the average person’s patience and general ignorance about their rights as a policyholder to get away with bad behavior. For those who consult with an insurance bad faith lawyer, enlightenment comes in short order, and so might a lawsuit.