What is FR-44 Insurance and Who Needs to Carry It?
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FR-44 insurance is a unique document that some drivers in Florida and the Commonwealth of Virginia must file. This article will cover everything you need to understand FR-44 insurance, who it’s for, its coverage requirements, and how much it costs.
We’ll also share expert tips to help you lower your rate if you’re required to file an FR-44 certificate. Let’s get those questions answered.
- FR-44 insurance is a certificate of financial responsibility filed with the DMV, proving a driver carries mandatory car insurance coverage.
- It’s required for three years after a driver has a DUI conviction or drives with a suspended or revoked license.
- FR-44 insurance is only applicable to Florida and Virginia drivers.
- It has two costs: a filing fee of $15 to $20 and an average increase in car insurance rates between $500 and $1,000 annually.
- Drivers who need to carry FR-44 insurance can lower car insurance rates by comparison shopping, raising deductibles, and using discounts.
What is FR-44 Insurance?
FR-44 insurance is not a car insurance policy. It’s an official document filed with a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles proving that a driver carries enough liability insurance to comply with FR-44 minimum requirements. It’s sometimes called an FR-22 certificate. The car insurance company files the certificate on behalf of the driver.
Who Needs an FR-44?
The FR-44 is designed for drivers convicted of a DUI/DWI to file with the Florida or Virginia DMV. In Florida, the DMV is called the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
Those caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol usually have their license suspended, and they need an FR-44 to reinstate it. But even if their license isn’t suspended, they’ll still need to get an FR-44 immediately after a DUI/DWI arrest.
Drivers caught behind the wheel with a suspended or revoked license are also required to file an FR-44 certificate and must do so before they can reinstate their license.
How Much Does FR-44 Insurance Cost?
FR-44 increases insurance costs for drivers in three ways:
- Depending on the insurance company, they incur a filing fee between $15 and $25.
- Drivers who need FR-44 certificates are considered high-risk and pay higher premiums.
- FR-44 insurance has higher minimum liability coverage requirements, which can also increase insurance rates.
Drivers with severe offenses like DUIs see high rate increases because impaired driving dramatically increases the chance of being involved in a car accident and the severity if you are. Car insurance providers charge high-risk drivers higher rates to cover the additional risk they pose to the company. It may seem unfair, but this is how insurers stay solvent and can pay out claims.
|State||Average Annual Rate Without a DUI||Average Annual Rate With a DUI|
Source: The Zebra
As an important reminder, the FR-44 is not the trigger that increases rates. Instead, the incident that triggered the FR-44 filing requirements raises them.
What are the Coverage Requirements for FR-44 Insurance?
FR-44 requirements are higher than state minimum coverage, and they differ by state. In Florida, drivers with an FR-44 must carry liability coverage of 100/300/50.
That is $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person, $300,00 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $50,000 of property damage liability coverage.
State minimum insurance in Florida only requires drivers to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 of property damage liability protection.
In Virginia, drivers with an FR-44 must carry at least 50/100/40. That is $50,000 in bodily injury protection per person, 100,000 per accident, and $40,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Compare that to the state minimum auto insurance requirement, which is only 25/50/20.
How Long Do You Need to Carry FR-44 Insurance?
In Florida and Virginia, drivers must comply with FR-44 filings for at least three years following a DUI/DWI conviction. The auto insurance company will handle filing compliance. But drivers need to ensure they stay continuously insured during this time. Failing to file the FR-44 certificate results in driver’s license suspension, fines, and fees.
If you fail to pay your premiums and your policy is canceled, your insurance company will notify the DMV. Insurance companies also report policy cancellations or can decide not to renew the policies. Then, you’ll have a short period between the notice of cancellation or non-renewal and the policy’s end date to take action and find a new car insurance provider.
Additionally, Florida insurance companies can only cancel an FR-44 policy during the first 30 days of coverage while verifying eligibility.
FR-44 drivers can switch providers. However, you’ll submit a sworn statement proving that a current policy exists and that you are continuing to comply with court orders.
When you complete three (or more) years of filing requirements, you can apply to request the removal of FR-44 status.
What’s the Difference Between FR-44 and SR-22 insurance?
SR-22 and FR-44 Insurance are certificates of financial responsibility proving a high risk driver is carrying state-required car insurance. However, SR-22 insurance is required for drivers charged with the following:
- Driving without insurance
- Reckless driving
- Serious at-fault accidents
- Receiving several tickets within a short period
Drivers caught driving under the influence or with a suspended/revoked license usually file an FR-44 instead of the SR-22 form. The main difference is that the FR-44 requires higher liability limits. Also, the FR-44 is only required for Virginia and Florida drivers.
|State||FR-44 Minimum Liability Requirements|
Saving Money While Carrying FR-44 Insurance
Drivers with severe infractions on their records will pay higher rates than others. But that doesn’t mean they can’t save money. Here are some proven techniques to try:
Save Where You Can
First, take advantage of discounts. Next, raise your deductible which is how much you pay when filing a claim before your insurance company’s coverage kicks in. Selecting a higher deductible will lower your premium.
You should also compare rates from companies that specialize in covering high-risk drivers. Popular high-risk car insurance providers include Kemper, National General, SafeAuto and Dairyland. These companies are less likely to turn down drivers with driving records that make them difficult to insure. They also offer lower rates than average for high-risk drivers. But you may sacrifice customer service.
Compare rates from smaller or regional car insurance companies as well.
These are companies outside the big national brands (GEICO, State Farm, etc.) and include well-regarded providers like Erie Insurance, Southern Farm Bureau, MAPFRE Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, and West Bend Mutual Insurance.
Often, they can offer competitive rates along with personalized customer service. But you may have to sacrifice on ease-of-access (website, mobile app) and availability of perks such as roadside assistance.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the FR-44 Insurance
Who has the cheapest FR-44 insurance?
No one insurance company provides the cheapest FR-44 insurance to all drivers. But a few consistently offer lower rates on average, including State Farm, Progressive, Mercury, and Erie Insurance. To know which company will provide you with the best rate, compare quotes from multiple providers offering coverage in your ZIP code.
How do I get a Florida FR-44 removed?
So long as you have complied with court requirements, you can apply to have your FR-44 endorsement removed from your insurance policy. Your provider may have specific rules, so check with them. It helps to double-check your legal paperwork to ensure you follow the necessary steps to comply with the terms of the court decision.
What does FR-44 stand for?
The FR in FR-44 stands for “financial responsibility” because the certificate proves that a driver covers their financial responsibilities while on the road.
How long do I need FR-44 in Virginia?
Virginia drivers must comply with FR 40 for three years after arrest or conviction. The court may lengthen filing requirements depending on the circumstances of the case.
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