"I only want to insure my license, not a car." This is a very frequent statement we hear when someone calls HPM Insurance to get a quote on an SR22 filing. This blog will let you know why this is not a good idea and often more expensive than insuring a car.
My last blog discussed the NH SR22 and when a filing is needed (NH SR-22s) so this blog will discuss the two types of SR22s acceptable by the state of New Hampshire.
The first type of SR22 filing is for an operator-only policy. This means that you are insuring your license and not a specific car. This option is only available to someone who does not have a car registered in their own name. If someone tries to get an operator-only filing and has a vehicle registered to them, Concord will not accept the filing.
The operator-only policy filing gets even more tricky when someone has this filing and regularly drives or has access to a car that is not owned by them. The filing may be legitimate with Concord; however in my experience I have seen an insurance company deny a claim for a man with an operator-only policy based on the fact that he did not list the vehicle that he regularly drove but was owned by his live-in girlfriend. The girlfriend did not have an insurance policy on her car so there was not any coverage anywhere and he was forced to pay for the accident out of their own pocket.
This may seem harsh, but an SR22 is essentially an insurance policy and proves to the state that there will be at least minimum liability coverage in place should an accident occur. If someone is not insuring the vehicle that they regularly drive, this filing may not serve this purpose and would be useless.
It is my opinion that the only person who an operator-only policy is acceptable for, would be someone who does not own a car, lives alone and rarely drives.
I believe that the better option is to get the second SR22 option, which is an "owner's policy/any and all vehicles owned and operated" filing. This can be used if someone owns a car in their own name, or if he or she regularly drives or has access to a car owned by someone else. This does counter the basic rule of insurance in that you need to own something to insure it, but the company we go to most for most SR22 filings, Progressive, allows this option in NH.
It has also been my experience in rating the two options with Progressive that the owner/operator filing is typically less expensive than the operator-only filing assuming that the liability limits are the same on both options and there is not any coverage for the car itself (collision/comprehensive).
The bottom line is that SR22s can be complicated and overwhelming. Truthfully answer any questions your insurance representative has and ask questions. No one benefits when an SR22 filing is incorrect and not worth the paper on which it is written. Refer to the NH Dept of Safety for more information.
This material is for informational purposes only and based on facts at the time it was written. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance policy or the Department of Motor Vehicles.