The purpose of automobile liability insurance is to protect the owner’s legal liability for bodily injury or property damage in the event of an accident that is the fault of the owner. It is controlled by individual states, each with its own set of laws. The federal government does not oversee this insurance, nor does it require it.
For that reason, laws such as speed limits, methods of driving, and automobile insurance are made by and enforced by the individual state. Each state has its own laws with regard to financial responsibility in the event of an at-fault accident.
An SR-22 is a document that shows legal proof of financial responsibility to the state in which an individual resides. The need for an SR-22 filing from your insurance company comes from a number of situations, among them are the following:
• Suspended or revoked drivers license
• Repeatedly offences against traffic laws and accumulating points on a driver’s license.
• At-fault accidents without insurance.
• A DUI or DWI moving violation.
A court ordinarily requires that an SR-22 be filed to ensure that the individual is covered by the necessary liability insurance. The insurance company will subsequently notify the court if the insurance coverage lapses or is cancelled. The length of time that it is required to be in force varies according to the sentence of the court.
Be aware that the SR-22 does not provide backdated coverage for accidents or offenses that have previously occurred. It only provides ongoing coverage from the date the policy was established.
Variations in state laws
Some states do not require an SR-22 filings. These are Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. However, if required to carry an SR-22 in, for example, Colorado, a driver must continue to keep that filing and SR22 insurance in force even though the driver moves to a state that does not require it. Any driver incurs a violation in one state is subject to the laws of that state until the obligation is over.
Legal limits of liability required to be maintained vary from state to state. It is wise to check with a local insurance agent to determine what these might be.
A fee is charged by the insurance company to file an SR-22 because of the additional paperwork involved. The cost of the SR22 insurance policy itself depends largely upon the limits of liability desired, whether physical damage for the vehicle is required, and the surcharge for the violations incurred. An SR-22 filing indicates that the driver has been involved in a rather serious violation. Each insurance company levies a surcharge based upon the experience of the driver(s) of the vehicle(s) and this will affect the cost of the insurance. The only way to determine this is by contacting an agent or company.
Even though the state requires only a certain amount of liability coverage, your agent may suggest that you increase this amount. For example, looking at the most basic coverage the limits are typically $50,000 per person with an aggregate of $100,000. Considering the fact of how much current medical costs are it is easy to see that this will not pay for much in the way of an injury, should an at-fault accident occur. The increments of coverage are relatively inexpensive considering the large amount of liability involved. The fact remains that the person driving the car must assume anything over and above the costs of the accident including, but not limited to, the financial responsibility for hospitalization and property damage.