Ohio SR22

SR22 Financial Responsibility Filing

In the United States, State insurance departments recognize the SR22 as a certificate of insurance.  SR in SR22 is actually an acronym for “Safety responsibility” and an SR22 is not insurance but, evidence of insurance. An SR22 is required by a Department of Motor Vehicles because a driver has exhibited driving behavior that is considered high risk, such as having a poor driving record or driving under disability or the influence of drugs or alcohol.  In many instances the SR22 is required because the driver has failed to maintain insurance at the time of an accident, or was uninsured and unable to provide evidence of insurance at the time of a routine coverage audit conducted by a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).   An SR22 is required to verify that the driver continues to meet the minimum financial responsibility requirements in the state while they have an active registration on a vehicle or drivers license issued by the state.

Many people confuse an SR22 with insurance and often equate an SR22 with a financial responsibility bond.  A Bond is an alternative to insurance allowed by some states as a method of accomplishing the minimum insurance financial responsibility in the state.  In order to legally operate a vehicle in Ohio you must be able to prove that you meet the financial responsibility standards of the state.  In Ohio, these limits are $25,000 per person for Bodily Injury, $50,000 aggregate for all individual claims for Bodily Injury liability in a loss, and $25,000 for property damage liability claims.  The latter limits are the minimum required coverage acceptable in Ohio and should not be considered to be the limits that are best for any individual.  A bond is not insurance and differs considerably from insurance but a financial responsibility Bond is an alternative to traditional insurance and a Bond may cost less in some instances.

On the other hand, financial responsibility Bonds are similar to insurance because they provide indemnification for both bodily injury and property damage liability claims for the injuries you cause operating an auto.  Unlike insurance, no one else is covered by a bond.  Only the person that the bond is issued to is covered for the financial responsibility provided by the terms of the bond.  If anyone else operates an auto you own they must either have their own bond or their own insurance covering other vehicles they own.  Financial Responsibility Bonds also do not provide any protection to the bond holder for the injuries that might be sustained by passengers in the auto you are driving.

As choices go, traditional insurance coverage probably provides the best overall value but if an SR22 filing is required by the Department of Motor Vehicles, it can be attached to either a Financial Responsibility Bond or an insurance policy.


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