The FR in FR-44 insurance stands for “financial responsibility,” and some states require filing an FR-44 certificate as proof that the driver has auto insurance coverage. As with the SR-22, the FR-44 is not a form of insurance, even though it is frequently referred to as such. Both are certificates of financial responsibility, generally filed by your insurance company with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. All filings are done electronically.
The Difference Between FR-44 and SR-22
FR-44 and SR-22 have much in common, yet there are some critical differences. While both will result in higher insurance premiums, liability coverage is much higher with the FR-44. That’s because the FR-44 is filed when more serious accidents occur. The driver must buy double the amount of minimum liability coverage required by the state. The SR-22 only requires motorists to buy the state minimum, although it is always a good idea to purchase more than the minimum if you can do so.
Although violations triggering an SR-22 filing vary by state, they usually include:
- DWI or DUI
- Reckless driving
- Driving without insurance
- Driving while the license is suspended or revoked
- Numerous traffic tickets in a short period
- Serious at-fault collisions
There is overlap in the states requiring SR-22 and FR-44 insurance for certain violations. For example, if you are convicted of drunk driving in a state using the FR-44 form, your insurance company will file both the SR-22 and the FR-44 insurance forms.
How Much Does FR-44 Insurance Cost?
The filing fee for an FR-44 form is generally around $25. Note that this is just for the initial filing; you will not have to pay that amount every year. Because FR-44 is not insurance, your actual premium will depend on your driving history, age, gender, type of vehicle, and more.
How Long Do You Need to File an SR-22 or FR-44?
Usually, a driver must have their insurance company file an SR-22 or FR-44 form for three years. When the circumstances involving the accident were particularly serious, filings may prove necessary for five years or more. If you are convicted of other traffic offenses while requiring these filings, you could end up needing to file these forms for a longer period.
Remember that although your insurance rates will rise due to the underlying reason for filing an SR-22 or FR-44, you should qualify for lower rates once you no longer have to file. Much depends on your driving history, credit score, location, and other variables.
Because a DUI is such a serious offense, insurance companies may take a longer “look back” when determining rates. This look-back period may extend five to ten years, compared to the three to five years for lesser violations. If the driver has multiple DUIs, many insurance companies will not consider them.
How Much Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase With an F-44?
An SR-22 or FR-44 filing requirement automatically makes you a high-risk driver. Expect your insurance premiums to go up a great deal. Because so much depends upon the individual driver, it is not possible to know the exact amount your insurance rates will increase until you start looking at quotes.
There is another factor to consider. Some insurance companies do not allow high-risk drivers to pay for insurance on a monthly basis. Instead, these drivers must sometimes come up with the annual premium all at once. In some cases, they may be required to pay for at least six months’ worth of coverage.
FR-44 Insurance Without a Vehicle
Drivers needing FR-44 insurance who don’t own a vehicle will need to buy a non-owners car insurance policy if they frequently borrow the car of a non-household member. Even if they don’t have regular access to a vehicle, they are required to purchase such a policy to remain compliant with the FR-44 requirements for the three-year filing period.
Also known as non-drivers insurance, this type of liability-only policy permits those with a license who do not own a car to carry secondary insurance coverage in case of an accident. This insurance serves as supplemental coverage in such a situation since the owner’s policy is always primary.
You can’t buy a non-owners car insurance policy if you own a car or if the car you are driving belongs to someone in your household. For example, if you live with your parents and drive vehicles registered to them, you won’t qualify for a non-owner’s policy. Instead, they must add you to their auto insurance policy.
States Using FR-44 Insurance vs. SR-22 Insurance
Only Florida and Virginia use FR-44 forms. They also use the more common SR-22 filings. In these states, FR-44 is needed in addition to SR-22.
In Virginia, an FR-44 filing is required by a driver convicted of the following:
- Maiming while under the influence
- Juveniles court not innocent finding
- Driving with a revoked license.
When it comes to the minimum required coverage, the difference between FR-44 and SR-22 in Virginia is considerable. Drivers must file an SR-22 to prove they have the minimum coverage, or bodily injury of $25,000 for one person, $50,000 for two people, and property damage of $20,000. Those filing an FR-44 must carry double that amount, or $50,000, $100,000 and $40,000, respectively.
In Florida, FR-44 insurance is necessary when the driver has a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction. An uninsured driver found at fault for an accident meeting those circumstances will also need FR-44 insurance.
When Does FR-44 Insurance Start?
In Florida, the state will notify you after your conviction as to when the three-year (or another period) FR-44 filing period starts. In Virginia, the date when the driver’s license revocation period ends starts the minimum three-year FR-44 filing period.
What Happens If I Cancel FR-44 Insurance?
As with an SR-22 filing, the insurance company must notify the state immediately if you cancel your FR-44 insurance. The same holds true if you stop paying your premiums and allow your coverage to lapse.
Canceling or losing your insurance means you could lose your license and the ability to drive. It also means that you will pay additional fees when you do reinstate your license; this fee equals even higher rates and a longer FR-44 filing requirement.
Of course, there are legitimate reasons to cancel your Florida or Virginia auto insurance, such as a move out of the state or the sale of the car. As noted, in the latter case, you will need to buy non-driver’s insurance.
Under some circumstances, your insurance company can file an endorsement to remove the FR-44 filing from the auto insurance policy. You must still replace the insurance policy after cancellation for this purpose, or you will lose your license.
When you cancel the policy for a legitimate reason, expect to provide a sworn statement, which is recorded, detailing why you are canceling the policy and how you will remain compliant with the terms of your license reinstatement.
Ride With The General®
At The General®, we know not everyone has a perfect driving record. We also know that those considered “high-risk” drivers still need insurance so that they can get to work and feed their families. Unlike many insurers, The General® offers SR-22 and FR-44 insurance filings for those who need them. We may even provide coverage for those with multiple DUIs.
Our high-risk customers receive the same benefits as standard drivers. That includes paying for coverage on a monthly basis if they prefer, rather than making one annual or two semi-annual payments. Unfortunately, those requiring an FR-44 form do not have a choice when it comes to scheduling payments. Generally, new FR-44 policies in Florida and Virginia are subject to six-month payment premiums. It may prove possible to make monthly payments once the FR-44 filing is renewed.
With The General®, you can choose the way you want to pay. Use a credit or debit card, or even cash.
The General® makes the whole process of obtaining affordable auto insurance fast and easy. Our state-of-the-art, award-winning mobile app allows you to do everything online, from choosing a policy to paying your bill to filing a claim. Our insurance app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and requires iOS 10.0 or later.
Get a free quote in less than 2 minutes. You will have to indicate whether you need an SR-22 or FR-44 filing when requesting your quote.
Do some comparison shopping, and you can see why you want to buy an insurance policy from The General®. You can buy an insurance policy in only 12 minutes. When you’re done, just print out your new insurance card and get behind the wheel again. We will file your SR-22 or FR-44 form on your behalf.
We’ve been helping high-risk drivers find affordable car insurance for over 50 years. Put your trust in The General®.