What is SR-22 Insurance and Who Needs it in Ohio?
Everyone knows about insurance, even in Ohio, but what is SR-22 insurance and who needs it? SR-22 insurance is a financial responsibility certificate, or filing, that provides proof to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles that an individual is carrying the minimum amount of automobile insurance. It is typically required after a serious driving-related offense or incident such as a DUI or an uninsured accident. If you need SR-22 insurance in Ohio, it must be provided by an insurance company licensed to do business in Ohio.
When an individual is required to file an SR-22, the insurance company will electronically notify the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles so that the person can become eligible for reinstatement of their Ohio driving privileges or receive a license from the BMV. There are a few penalties if someone fails to file an SR-22 such as suspension or revocation of the existing license. The SR-22 filing must remain current or the person will again be subject to BMV penalties, such as license revocation or suspension.
Overall, SR-22 insurance is required in Ohio for individuals who have been convicted of certain driving violations. It is typically associated with serious offenses such as DUI, operating an uninsured vehicle, a driver having too many points on their driving record and drivers that have had multiple traffic violations. The only way for a person to reinstate their license or legally drive in Ohio again is to obtain a SR-22 filing from an Ohio insurance company.
Those who are required to file an SR-22 in Ohio must meet the Ohio minimum auto liability insurance requirements and pay the associated fee to the state. Insurance companies may then assess a premium on top of the filing fee for the SR-22, although it is rarely charged. Often, individuals must file an SR-22 for a period of three years, but this can vary depending on the type of violation.
Some people may believe that they can file the SR-22 directly with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, but this is not the case. The SR-22 must be filed through an insurance company licensed to do business in Ohio. This filing provides proof to the BMV that the person is carrying at least the minimum required auto insurance.
Finally, even though SR-22 insurance is required in Ohio for those committing certain driving violations, it is always essential to drive responsibly in order to avoid costly incidents and penalties. By following rules of the road, driving defensive and always being aware of others, you can avoid the need for SR-22 insurance.
Moving forward, the legal consequences of driving without insurance and the associated fines can be extremely expensive. In Ohio, if someone is pulled over for any reason without liability insurance coverage, they are subject to fines up to twice the annual estimated premiums of the license or permit holder, and can result in the suspension of their license.
Additionally, if a vehicle or motorist caused an accident and was uninsured, the individual is exposed to a personal injury lawsuit or civil judgment that could result in a financial penalty. To protect from such potential legal damages, the Ohio BMV requires individuals found driving without insurance to prove they have obtained coverage or faced a license suspension and restrictions before being able to reinstate their license.
Furthermore, uninsured drivers involved in an accident and at fault are on the hook for any out-of-pocket expenses. Any repairs to property damage and medical treatments associated with any injuries sustained in the accident will solely be the responsibility of the uninsured driver. This amounts to a huge economic barrier for some motorists, so have liability insurance is essential in Ohio.
Moreover, in Ohio, if a motorist drives without a valid license or insurance and causes an accident, he or she could be sued for punitive damages which is a penalty imposed in addition to compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff. When no coverage is in place, punitive damages are most likely to be imposed in Ohio.
Finally, in order for an uninsured driver to reinstate their license in Ohio, they must obtain SR-22 insurance. SR-22 is a form of filing verification provided to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) notifying the state that the motorist has the minimum amount of car insurance allowed, known as liability coverage. This type of automobile insurance provides economically protection from liabilities in the event of an accident caused by the insured party and resulting in injury or property damage for which the policyholder is liable.