- What's an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a form that may be required by, and filed with, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation(WI-DOT). The form certifies that an automobile liability insurance policy is in force with liability limits that meet or exceed WI-DOT's requirements. Submitting an SR-22 to WI-DOT is also referred to as filing proof of insurance or proof of financial responsibility.
An SR-22 is needed when your driver's license is suspended or revoked and you want to obtain an occupational license or reinstate a regular license after revocation. It can also be needed if you or an owned vehicle were involved in an accident and automobile liability insurance was not in effect at the time of accident. Most insurance companies surcharge, or add a fee to, the insurance premium for issuing an SR-22 with the automobile liability insurance policy. We can provide the SR-22, but issues concerning your driver's license and eligibility should be addressed with WI-DOT.
For more information regarding the SR-22 click here to go to WI-DOT's website: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/doc/proof-of-ins.htm
To check driver's license, or eligibility, status go to: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/online.htm
- What should I do if I'm involved in an automobile accident?
If possible, contact police and/or exchange information with all parties involved to include: names, insurance companies, note any injuries and/or car damage. Even if the accident is not reportable, you may wish to do so, for your protection. The police, or the department of transportation, should be able to provide assistance regarding a self-reporting form. THEN, as soon as possible, contact your insurance company claim office to report the details of the accident.
- What happens when my car is "totaled" in an accident?
Considering you have physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision) on the vehicle, the insurance company will typically write you a check for the "actual cash value" of the vehicle, minus any deductible on your policy. If you carry a loan on the vehicle, the lien holder will be paid the amount that is owed them, before you are reimbursed. If the actual cash value is less than your current loan amount, you would owe the lien holder the remaining amount. Please note, many insurance companies offer there coverage for any difference in the actual cash value and loan amount, it's normally called GAP coverage.
* "Actual cash value" - this amount is determined by the company, it represents the value of the vehicle at the time of loss, considering the vehicle's equipment, condition, and mileage, in comparison to similar vehicles
** "Totaled" - actual cash value of vehicle exceeds the cost to repair, plus salvage value
- Why do I need liability insurance?
Liability coverage is designed to pay when an insured injures someone or damages another’s property. The “damages” referred to are those sums paid to the claimant, the person who has sustained damage.
- A neighbor slips and falls on the ice on your sidewalk; you are liable for their damages.
- Your teenaged son loses control of your boat and collides with another; you are liable for the damages.
- Your over-active eight-year-old propels a loaded shopping cart down the aisle, hitting a little old lady and sending her flying; you are liable for the damages.
In addition to paying the damages for a covered loss, your liability coverage pays for all the attorney fees and defense costs. With most liability policies, the entire limit of liability shown on the front of the policy goes to pay damages; defense is paid in addition. Today, the cost of defense is often more than the amount of the damages.
- Can moving to a new zip code affect my insurance premiums?
Wisconsin insurance companies are allowed to consider where a person lives when setting auto insurance rates, so moving to a different zip code may affect the premiums you pay. If you live in a highly trafficked urban area, you'll likely pay higher rates than if you live in a rural area.
Car insurance terms
- Pays for bodily injury you cause to other motorists or pedestrians when the auto accident is your fault.
- Pays for damage you cause to others’ cars or property when the auto accident is your fault.
- Pays for a lawyer for you if you are sued because of the auto accident (but not a lawyer to defend you for traffic violations or fines or criminal charges).
- You must have Liability Coverage to get a financial responsibility filing if a filing is needed to get your license.
Uninsured motorists coverage
- Pays for bodily injury to you and/or passengers in your vehicle if you are hit by a car that is not insured and the accident is the other driver’s fault.
- Uninsured Motorists Coverage is a required coverage by law when you purchase Liability Coverage.
Underinsured motorists coverage
- Pays for bodily injury to you and/or passengers in your vehicle to the extent that a motorist who causes your injuries has less coverage for liability than you have for underinsured motorist.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage must be offered to you by law but is not a required coverage.
Medical payments coverage
- Pays for injury to you or passengers occupying your vehicle, it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident is. This coverage may be secondary to any medical insurance coverage.
- Medical Payments Coverage must be offered to you by law but is not a required coverage.
- Comprehensive(Other Than Collision)- physical damage coverage to your vehicle for items specified in policy other than collision, such as glass breakage, animal damage, fire, theft, vandalism.
- Collision- physical damage coverage to your vehicle for collision with another object or upset of your vehicle.
- Car Rental Reimbursement (extended transportation expense)-reimbursement for car rental expenses (to limit of policy) while yours is being repaired for a car damage claim.
- Towing & Labor-reimbursement for towing charges (limit of policy) or emergency services on the scene if your car breaks down.
- Special Equipment-Add-on equipment that can be included for physical damage for items such as cb radios, tape players, custom wheels, tires, paint, seats, etc…
Note: This is a summary of insurance coverage, the policy should be referred to for contractual coverage.