Oregon SR22 insurance policies are typically reserved for those convicted of a serious driving offense. This can include DUIs, DWIs, and reckless driving.
If you or someone you love received a court order to obtain an SR22 and you aren’t sure what that means or where to start looking, you came to the right place. Finding the right SR22 policy can be stressful, especially when trying to find one you can afford. In this brief Oregon SR22 insurance guide, we will cover all you need to know about the types of insurance available for SR22s and who you can reach out to for more information.
What Is Oregon SR22 Insurance?
Oregon SR22 insurance is not an actual insurance policy; instead, it is a certificate attached to your auto insurance policy. An SR22 certificate is a court-mandated document your auto insurer must fill out on your behalf to prove to the state that you carry the state-required auto insurance minimums. If you’ve had your license revoked because of a serious traffic violation such as a hit and run or a DUI, you may need to obtain an SR22.
Who Needs an SR22?
You can opt for traditional auto insurance if you are a prudent driver without anything on your record. If you were convicted of a serious driving violation, such as a DUI, the state might have mandated that you get an SR22.
Common reasons you may need an SR22:
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Driving without car insurance
- Causing an accident without insurance
- A conviction for a felony involving a vehicle
In Oregon, it is illegal to drive with a suspended license. If you receive a conviction, you may need to get an SR22 before they reinstate your driver’s license.
What Limits Are Required in Oregon?
To ensure that you meet the state-required minimums in Oregon, you must carry property damage liability coverage with a limit of $20,000. You also must carry bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident.
Additional coverages you must carry:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection: $15,000
If you would like, you can increase the limit of your liability coverages. Having more than the state-required minimum will ensure you have more than enough coverage to take care of other damages if you cause an accident.
SR22 Insurance Options
There are two main types of SR22 insurance policies you can purchase. The first option is the traditional SR22 insurance policy. This type of policy covers the vehicle you own and operates similarly to a standard auto insurance policy.
If you were to get into an accident, you could use the policy to take care of the damages caused to the other party. If you carry first-party coverages, such as collision coverage, you can use that to take care of the damages done to your vehicle.
Non Owner SR22 Oregon Insurance
The second type of SR22 insurance is the non owner SR22 policy. A non owner SR22 policy works best if you don’t own a vehicle but you plan on driving other people’s vehicles throughout the duration of your SR22.
Non owned vehicles are vehicles you do not own or have easy access to. This includes rental vehicles and friends who don’t live with you.
If you live in a household where there are other vehicles available for you to use, you cannot use them if you have a non owner SR22 policy. This is because, per insurance rules, cars regularly parked at your residence are easily accessible to you.
Secondary Insurance Coverage
Non owner SR22 policies are considered secondary insurance policies. The auto insurance originally over the vehicle you borrow serves as primary coverage. In the event that the policy on the vehicle has exclusions or cannot completely cover the accident, your policy will then kick in and take care of the rest.
Ignition Interlock Device
If the court mandates you to get an ignition interlock device, you will need to get a traditional SR22 policy. This is because an ignition interlock device must be attached to a vehicle that you regularly drive. Because non owner SR22 policies don’t follow a particular vehicle, you cannot use it if you need an ignition interlock device.
Oregon SR22 Insurance Policy Rates
If you have to purchase a policy with an SR22 certificate, you can expect your rates to be much higher than that of an average driver. This is because you are seen as a high-risk driver if you have an SR22.
The cost of your insurance policy will depend on the insurer you decide to partner with. Regardless of who you choose to partner with, you will also have to pay a filing fee for your SR22. On average, this can cost between $25 to $50.
On average, drivers in Oregon pay between $1,700 to $2,500 per year for the SR22 insurance policy. Of course, several different factors come into play when deciding the final cost of your policy. For example, if you have only one DUI conviction or a traffic violation that is lesser in severity, you can expect better rates than someone with severe violations.
How Are Insurance Rates Calculated?
When comparing quotes, you may wonder why you pay more for one insurance company but less for another. This can be relatively disturbing and confusing, especially if you are unsure how these companies calculate your rates.
Unfortunately, there is no definite formula used across insurance companies as each insurer has its own underwriting process. A few things in common that most of these companies consider when they rate your policy.
Common factors used amongst auto insurers:
- Where you live
- Where you park your vehicle (parking garage, apartment, home garage)
- Marital status
- Driving history
- Credit history
- Vehicle year, make, model, and color
- Amount of coverage you elect
These are the main factors most auto insurers use to rate your policies. Of course, there are other variables involved that are not listed here, but if you have any questions about your rates, be sure to let your insurer know. They should be able to better break down your policy’s overall cost.
Cost per Insurer
As mentioned above, the cost of your insurance policy will differ based on who you use as your insurer. For example, if you decide to use a well-known insurer, you can expect to pay more than you would if you partnered with insurers specializing in SR22 insurance.
Although the bigger well known auto insurance companies have a good reputation, they don’t specialize in SR22 insurance. In general, these companies only take on a small pool of SR22 clients, and when they do, they tend to charge a lot. Make sure you research different insurers specializing in SR22 insurance before making your final decision.
How to File an Oregon SR22
In order to file the SR22, you have to go through your insurer. You can’t file the paperwork on your own because the insurance company needs to directly inform the state and the court that you are compliant. If you let your policy lapse or if you cancel it, your insurer has an obligation to let the state know.
Finding the Right Insurer
When looking for the right insurer to partner with, be sure to check out their online reviews. You can use reputable websites like the Better Business Bureau or Yelp, where companies cannot alter their reviews. This allows you to see what other clients did or did not like about working with a specific company.
If you are unsure if a company has enough financials to handle your claims, you can check out the A.M. Best website. If the company has a rating less than a B+, you may want to look into a different company. Companies with a rating lower than a B+ tend to have the most complaints and issues with paying out on their claims.
How to Save On My SR22 Policy
One way to save on your policy is to compare insurance companies. As mentioned above, each company has its own rating policies, and the most well-known companies may charge more for an SR22 than a company specializing in SR22s would.
The type of SR22 policy you choose can also factor in your policy’s cost. If you don’t need an ignition interlock system and you don’t own a vehicle, you can opt for a non owner policy. Because the policy is not directly tied to a specific car and is only used when you need to drive, the policy is a bit cheaper.
Is an SR22 Mandatory in Oregon?
An SR22 is required across all states if the court mandates you to get one, but a select few don’t. In Oregon, it is mandatory that you have SR22 insurance if you’ve been ordered by the state to do so.
If you fail to file a certificate with the Oregon Department of Transportation within a timely manner, you face a $500 fine. You may also have your driving privileges suspended if an officer catches you driving without the appropriate documentation.
How Long Do I Need an Oregon SR22?
Depending on the severity of your case, you can expect to keep the SR22 certificate on your policy for at least three years. If you have a severe case where there was severe bodily injury or death, you may need to keep the certificate on file longer. Of course, the court where you received the conviction should be able to provide you with further guidance on how long you need to keep the certificate on your policy.
Can I Cancel if I Move?
It is recommended that you keep your SR22 policy, even if you move across state lines. There are some states that don’t require SR22s, but even if they don’t, you may still have a court order requiring you to carry the certificate on your auto policy.
If you cancel your policy without the green light to do so, you risk losing your license and high fines. Make sure you check in with the state before you move out to ensure that you don’t get into any trouble.
How Do I Know When I Can Cancel?
If you are unsure of your completion date, you can reach out to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles to see when you can cancel your policy. Once you’ve met your requirements, the DMV must confirm that you’ve completed all the applicable requirements.
If they say you are good to go, you can then reach out to your insurance company. Your insurer will file a form to the state letting them know that they are taking off the SR22.
You can then switch back to a normal auto insurance policy. Keep in mind that although your rates may decrease, they won’t go back to how they were prior to your SR22. You can expect to pay higher than average rates for a few years.
Affordable and Reputable Oregon SR22 Insurance
Regardless if you need a traditional or a non owner Oregon SR22 insurance policy, there are several different companies you can reach out to for a reasonably priced policy. Although trying to work with a brand-name auto insurer may sound tempting, they typically don’t have the capacity to serve you, and your SR22 insurance needs best.
Contact us if you are ready to see how much you can save on your non owner or traditional SR22 insurance policy. Our team is here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process.