Unlike most states, New Hampshire does not generally require drivers to carry automobile insurance. However, after a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), New Hampshire requires drivers to carry a minimum auto liability insurance policy even if they do not own a vehicle. The minimum coverage required is $25,000 for bodily injury for each injured person with a maximum of $50,000 for bodily injury if more than two people are hurt, and $25,000 for property damage. This is commonly written as a 25/50/25 policy.
SR-22 Insurance Form
In order to show the state that a driver has current car insurance, the insurance company needs to file an SR-22 form with the DMV. Because a person must make a special request to the insurance company, there is a misconception that SR-22 is a type of insurance. But, SR-22 does not refer to a specific type of insurance policy, just the form filled out by the insurer. Most insurance companies charge a small fee for providing and transmitting SR-22 information to the state DMV.
High Risk Auto Insurance
SR-22 insurance is often confused with high-risk auto insurance. When insurance companies refuse to provide car insurance to a driver, he or she can enter the high-risk pool where an insurance company will be required to cover the driver.
High-risk insurance is typically very expensive. Although insurance rates will increase after a DWI conviction and there may be circumstances where a person is required to purchase high-risk insurance and have an SR-22 form on file, high-risk insurance and SR-22 policies are two different subjects.
Two Types of SR-22 Insurance
- Owner-Type: If you own one or more vehicles, you will be required to get the “owner-type” policy that provides liability coverage for all of the vehicles you own.
- Operator-Type: If you do not own a vehicle, you will need an “operator-type” policy that covers you regardless of what vehicle you are driving. Even if you do not drive, in order to get a driver's license reinstated, SR-22 insurance must be purchased.
NH Auto Insurance Requirements After a DWI Conviction
For a first DWI, a person must have an SR-22 policy on file for three years from the date when the suspension of driving privileges is completed. For a second DWI, this time period is extended to five years. If at any time the insurance policy lapses for non-payment, cancellation by the insured or insurer, or any other reason, the insurance company is required to notify the DMV.
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