In the state of Ohio, if you're involved in some type of accident, whether or not it is your fault makes a huge difference in your future auto insurance premium. As an agent, I'm noticing more drivers are having issues with this. Part of it is that drivers aren't aware of how at-fault and not-at-fault accidents are classified. But another big problem is that many drivers who were not-at-fault in an accident are being reported incorrectly....
If you've been involved in an accident the last few years that was not your fault, there are some key things you need to be aware of. Having a not at fault accident incorrectly reported as an at fault accident can raise your car insurance premium dramatically. And sometimes you have to jump through some hoops to prevent that increase from happening.
This article will help you understand what you need to know and give you some key tips of how to prepare yourself when you're involved in an accident that's not your fault.
Three Major Things you need to do after being in a Not At-fault Accident:
1. Collect and keep all documentation for five years.
This is by far the most important. Save any and all documents you can related to the accident. You could need these document up to five years from the date of the accident. So be sure to keep them in a safe place. The documentation can be any of the following:
2. Monitor your rate during the renewal period.
If your auto insurance company is going to raise your rates following an accident, it won't be right away while you're in the same policy period. It will happen when your current policy period expires. If there's an increase, it will show up in your renewal offer that comes just before your current policy period expires.
3. Shop around.
The way auto insurance companies calculate rates, the degree that they weigh at-fault and not at-fault accidents vary greatly from one company to the next. Thus the more companies that you quote with, the better your chances are of finding a company that beats your current rate. If you have been with the same auto insurance company for a long while, you might be surprised at how other companies stack up.
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If you need an Ohio SR22 auto insurance filing to reinstate your drivers license, you're going to need to know a few things about how an SR22 filing works, and how to properly set it up. There's been a quite a bit of confusion about how an SR22 works and also how it attaches onto an insurance policy. This article will help you understand what you need to know about how to set up an SR22 auto insurance policy to suit your needs.
Before we get into answering some frequently asked questions, let me start by addressing the 1200 pound elephant in the room, which is the confusion regarding Ohio SR22 bonds.
We've all heard these terms before, such as Ohio SR22 bonds, SR22 insurance, SR22 auto insurance, or SR22 bond insurance. Understand that an SR22 filing is not any type of bond or auto insurance policy at all. An SR22 simply attaches onto either a bond or a regular auto insurance policy. However, the above terms are common commonly used misleading phrases. Now let's get into the frequently asked questions and it will make much more sense to you.
If an SR22 filing is not a bond or insurance, then what is it?
An SR22 is simply a state filing that attaches onto either a bond or auto insurance policy. In itself it's not either a bond or insurance.
What does an SR22 state filing do?
When you have an SR22 attached to some type of auto insurance policy, the SR22 filing serves as a guarantee to the state of Ohio BMV that you're carrying at least state minimum auto insurance liability coverage at all times.
The best way to understand it is to think of it as a tattletale attachment. That is, if at anytime your policy cancels, expires or lapses while the SR22 filing is still attached, the auto insurance company is required by law to notify the Ohio BMV. Once this happens the Ohio BMV will suspend your license again, and it will remain suspended until you start another SR22 again or reinstate the one that canceled.
What is the best way to set up an SR22 auto insurance filing?
The big difference depends on whether or not you have a vehicle that you own or is registered in your name. If you have your own a vehicle or have one registered in your name, I highly recommend that you attach an SR22 filing onto a regular auto insurance policy.
If you do not own a vehicle and need an SR22 filing to get your license back, you can attach an SR22 onto what's known as an Ohio financial responsibility bond.
How long does it take to be covered?
As soon as you buy a bond or an auto insurance policy, the coverage goes into effect right away when you purchase it.
How do I file an SR22 filing with the Ohio BMV?
To file an SR22, you can do one of two things. The most common thing to do is simply nothing. Your auto insurance company or bond company will file the SR22 electronically with the state.
The second way is to simply take the paperwork into the Ohio BMV yourself and have it processed on the spot. Your agent will be able to supply you with all the paperwork you need.
If you do nothing and let the company file it electronically, it usually takes about one business day for the Ohio BMV to process an SR22 filing. Of course, this takes longer than filing the SR22 in person.
Can I buy an SR22 attached while my license is still suspended?
Yes you can. But understand that the company expects you to have your license reinstated in the very near future. So you don't want to start an SR22 filing until you're getting close to the time of getting your license back.
How long do I need to carry an SR22?
This can vary depending on the reason you need the SR22 in the first place. But for the vast majority of drivers, you are normally required to carry the SR22 for a period of three years.
Can I purchase two separate policies, one for auto insurance coverage and the other two just to satisfy an SR22 requirement?
Yes you can. However, nine times out of 10 this is the more expensive way to handle it. There are a few scenarios in which carrying two separate policies is a good idea. But for the vast majority of drivers it's simply better to have everything onto one policy.
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..