Columbus, a large city and the capital of Ohio, requires that all drivers care liability insurance if they expect to drive. This is actually the case throughout the state as well as in all 50 of the states. Ohio drivers with driving violations or who meet certain criteria are required to utilize the SR-22 form in order to maintain driving privileges.
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What is an SR-22?
With the SR standing for safety responsibility, the SR-22 or SR22 form is a certificate of financial responsibility that verifies that a driver meets the Ohio legal requirements for auto liability insurance. It’s important to understand that even though it’s often referred to as SR22 insurance, the SR-22 is not an insurance policy but rather a document that proves the driver has the required insurance.
It’s also not the same as an ID card issued by an insurance company when a driver has auto insurance. The SR-22 is a specific form issued by the insurance company, filed and then forwarded to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). It’s used for the sole purpose of reinstating a suspended driver’s license.
What Requires an SR-22?
An SR-22 is required in Ohio when a driver wishes to have his or her driver’s license reinstated after the following convictions.
- Driving while under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
- Driving without insurance
- Any moving violation that results in a suspension
Even if a driver doesn’t own a vehicle, he or she will still be required to have an SR-22 in order to have the driver’s license reinstated. To be eligible to have an SR-22 filed, the driver must purchase liability insurance that meets Ohio’s minimum legal requirements. Once the SR-22 is filed with the Ohio BMV, it must stay in place for five years.
If the driver fails to pay the insurance premium when it’s due, the insurance company is required by Ohio law to file a SR-26 form with the BMV stating that it’s not been paid. When the BMV receives the SR-26 form, the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended. It will remain suspended until the BMV receives a new SR-22. This can extend the period beyond the initial five years.
Liability Auto Insurance Requirements in Columbus, Ohio
According to the Ohio DMV, drivers in Columbus, Ohio, or any part of this state, are required to have at least the following minimum coverage. These same limits apply to drivers who are required to file an SR-22 with the Ohio DMV.
- $25,000 per person for death or injury caused by an accident
- $50,000 for 2 or more people for death or injury caused by an accident (per accident)
- $25,000 for accident-related property damage
Accidents or Violations in Other States
If drivers are involved in an accident in one of the 12 states that utilizes the no-fault insurance system, it will be treated as though the driver had a no-fault policy, and the individual’s insurance provider will be required to pay for the driver’s damages, according to DrivingLaws.org.
In most cases, the driver’s limits of liability will automatically be increased to meet the requirements of the state in which the accident occurred. If drivers move to another state or live in a state other than Ohio, they must still keep the SR-22 in place if it’s a condition of an Ohio driving license suspension.
Premiums for Drivers with SR-22
When an insurance company sees a driver that requires an SR-22, they deem the driver as high risk, which means that the driver is at risk of costing the insurance company money through claims, accidents or possible lawsuits. Therefore, insurance premiums are typically going to be higher than they would be for safe drivers or drivers without violations on their driving records.
Various factors come into play when determining insurance premiums. One might think that two drivers both the same age with the same driving records would have the same premiums. Unfortunately, this is not how it works with insurance rates.
What Determines Auto Insurance Premiums?
Determining a driver’s premium is not a simple thing for an insurance company. They use several factors to determine the insurance rates and often utilize other companies so they can give their customers the lowest possible rates. With drivers needing SR-22 forms, this may become difficult. Below are the factors that can affect insurance rates.
- Age – Drivers under 25 usually pay more and drivers from 50-65 may pay less.
- Driving record – DUIs, moving violations and accident-related claims increase the rates.
- Miles driven – The fewer miles driven, the lower the premiums.
- Credit scores – Poor credit scores often increase the premiums.
- Occupation – Jobs that require a lot of traveling may increase premiums.
- Gender – Females typically pay lower premiums.
- Marital status – Premiums are usually lower for married people.
- Type of car – Expensive and fast cars increase premiums.
- Location – Drivers living in high-crime areas generally pay higher premiums.
True Cost of SR-22 Forms
When a driver is required to have an SR-22 form, it’s generally from a traffic violation. There are filing and administrative fees for getting the SR-22 and having it filed with the BMV. However, these are not the only costs the driver will incur.
The traffic violations that resulted in the suspension and the need for an SR-22 almost always come with high fines, particularly DUIs. There may also be legal fees, more court fees and reinstatement fees. These are just the violation-related costs. Next comes the insurance.
Auto insurance is a requirement. As stated above, although Ohio requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, having an SR-22 is going to result in higher premiums than a driver would normally pay. Combine all these costs together, and it’s easy to see that the true cost of an SR-22 filing can be quite expensive.
Drivers should be aware that not all Ohio insurance companies can or even will provide a driver with an SR-22 form. If they feel the driver has the potential of being too costly to the company, they do have the right to refuse the driver. In such a case, the driver would need to find a different insurance company – one that could charge an even higher premium, thus adding to the cost of having to have an SR-22.