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If you are not familiar with the terms SR22 Insurance, SR22 Form, SR26 Form and SR22 Filing, than its probably a good idea to read more on the subject now. Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible will help you save a lot of money.
SR22 Insurance is nothing more than a standard auto insurance policy with the simple addition of a SR22 Form being submitted to the local authorities. This process is referred to as SR22 filing and it is a way to prove financial responsibility.
What are the auto insurance requirements in Washington?
Every driver in Washington is required by law to have liability protection. As most people don’t have $60,000 for a certificate of deposit or liability bond, they choose the most sensible option of purchasing auto insurance. The minimum liability coverage is often referred to as 25/50/10.
- $25,000 bodily injury liability for 1 person in an accident
- $50,000 bodily injury liability of any 2 people in an accident
- $10,000 property damage liability in any one accident
These liability limits are, as you can see, quite low. If you cause a serious accident with serious injuries, fatalities and a lot of property damages, you insurance policy will pay only up to these limits and that may not be enough. If that happens, all your assets and savings may be at risk. That is the main reason why its recommended to purchase as much cover as you can comfortably afford.
Why you may need SR22 Insurance in Washington?
Needless to say, not every driver in Washington needs to carry SR22 Insurance. Its a requirement mostly for high risk drivers or other motorists who have done something illegal. Here are some of the reasons why you may be mandated to show a proof of financial responsibility:
- Drink driving
- Driving without insurance
- Causing an accident while uninsured
- Accumulating too many speeding tickets in a short period of time
- Any violation that gets your drivers license suspended or revoked
The period for which you may have to carry SR22 insurance can vary. Usually, it is 3 years and during that time continues auto insurance coverage must be maintained. In case you let your insurance coverage lapse, your insurance company will be required by law to notify the authorities by filing a SR26 form. In most cases, this leads to license suspension.
DUI Laws Washington State
The most common reason is SR22 insurance in the state of Washington is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If a driver is suspected of DUI, the alcohol levels are measured by using blood or breath tests. For adults the limit is .08, while for anyone under the age of 21 the limit is 0.2.
It is worth noting that by driving a vehicle in Washington you automatically give consent to be tested for DUI if a law enforcement agent sees it necessary.
If you are convicted of DIU, your license will be suspended for a period between 90 days and 4 years. It all depends on your past record and previous offenses.
How does SR22 insurance affect insurance rates?
Lets face it, if you find yourself in the high risk driver category your insurance premiums will increase. It is possible that some insurance companies will even refuse to insure you. Following a DUI your current insurer may even terminate your policy depending on their terms and conditions.
It is of paramount importance to do all you can in order to find cheaper SR22 insurance in Washington. Many factors are taken into account when insurance rates are calculated and your driving record is only one of them. The vehicle you drive plays an important role, so does your credit score, place of residence, occupation, annual mileage and age.
Make sure your vehicle has all the safety and anti-deft features which make it ‘insurance friendly’. Attending a defence driving class is an excellent idea as it shows insurers that you are trying to be a responsible driver. Pay your bills on time in order to maintain a good credit score and lower your car usage as much as possible.
All that being said, the easiest way to find cheap SR22 insurance which offers adequate protection, is to compare quotes from different insurance companies. You may be surprised by the difference you see. The biggest mistake you can make is to go with the first quote you go. You don’t even have to spend hours on the phone repeating the same information over and over again. Now, it only takes a few minutes to complete a simple form online. A small effort on your part may save you a lot of money.