The difference between SR 22 insurance and FR44 insurance in Florida is mostly in the liability insurance requirements: An FR44 requires you to carry much higher levels of liability insurance in Florida than an SR22. That adds quite a bit to your monthly car insurance premiums.
To help you understand, here’s a bit of background:
If you are convicted of a driving-related offense in Florida, the law will impose either an SR22 or FR44 requirement on you. That means you need SR 22 insurance, or FR44 insurance, respectively.
SR22 requirements are imposed for relatively minor traffic offenses, including driving without insurance and reckless driving. FR44 requirements are more onerous and expensive for drivers, and are reserved for those convicted of DUI or DWI offenses. The FR44 is used in only two states: Florida and Virginia.
Purpose of SR22 and FR44 Requirements.
The “SR” in “SR22” stands for “statement of responsibility.”
The “FR” in “FR44” stands for “financial responsibility.”
Both the SR22 and FR44 serve a similar purpose in Florida: To verify to the state Department of Motor Vehicles that the affected drivers/vehicle owners carry liability insurance, and are not driving around uninsured (in the case of SR22) or with insufficient liability insurance (in the case of FR44).
Both are forms that your insurance company files with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles that verify that you have the required insurance coverage in place. Both forms also affirm to the state DMV that the insurance carrier will notify the state if your insurance company lapses.
Florida will also add your name to the National Registry. This will make it impossible to get a license issued out of state unless you obtain the required level of coverage required in Florida.
If you have an SR22 or FR44 requirement, and your insurance lapses or is cancelled for non-payment or any other reason, the insurance company will notify the State of Florida. In turn, the Florida DMV will quickly suspend your drivers’ license.
As long as you have an SR22 or FR 44 requirement in place, you will not be able to reinstate your Florida drivers license until you have an insurance company file a new SR22 or FR44 form with the State.
If your license is suspended because of a DUI or DWI charge, you’ll need to contact an insurance company to file this form so you can drive again. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get your full driving privileges again, or you may only receive a limited hardship license, which will allow you to drive to and from work.
Florida FR44 Coverage Requirements
In contrast to the SR22, which only requires you to carry the state minimum liability insurance requirement that everybody does, the FR44 requires you to carry a much higher level of insurance coverage.
In Florida, FR44 drivers must carry:
Bodily injury liability insurance of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, and;
Property damage liability coverage of at least $50,000.
The SR22, on the other hand, only requires you to carry the state minimum of $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and a minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability insurance.
Because the minimum coverage requirements are so high with an FR44 insurance policy, you won’t be able to drive with a “bare bones” minimum insurance policy anymore. If you’ve been carrying less than the FR44 minimum coverage, your insurance premiums will probably be much, much higher.
But if it’s any comfort, you should probably be carrying these minimum coverages anyway! Even without an FR44!
How Long Do I Need to Carry FR44 Insurance in Florida?
In Florida, you can expect to be required to carry FR44 insurance for at least three years.
Do I need to carry FR44 insurance if I don’t own a car?
Yes, if you want to drive. Even if you don’t own a vehicle yourself, you still need to carry the insurance required of you under SR22 or FR44 rules in order to get your drivers license reinstated.
However, if you don’t own a car, and plan only to rent or borrow a car occasionally, you may save a good deal of money by buying a non-owner car insurance policy.
Note: You can only get a non-owner car insurance policy if nobody else in your household owns a car. Buying ‘non-owner’ insurance and then driving your spouse’s car or your parents’ car if you live with them isn’t going to work.
Be prepared: You’ll have to pay your insurance premiums in advance.
Under Florida law, insurance carriers can’t bill monthly premiums to drivers with an FR44 requirement. You’ll have to pay your premiums in advance – six months to a year at a time.
This can be a significant hardship to a lot of people who don’t have much in the way of savings. All the more reason to avoid getting in trouble in the future!
What happens to my Florida FR44 if I move out of state?
You can move out of state, if you want. But you’ll still need to maintain the same coverage as long as you’re driving with a Florida license. This is true for owners and n0n-owners alike.
Since Florida reports to the National Register, letting your FR44 insurance lapse will trigger the report, and make it very difficult to obtain a license in your new state of residence.
The Number One Mistake Florida FR44 Drivers Make
Obviously, the biggest mistake was committing the offense that got them the FR44 requirement in the first place!
But that aside, the biggest mistake that people who already have an FR44 or SR22 requirement is just taking the jacked up rate their current insurance company gives them, instead of shopping around and getting quotes from every quality insurance company in the state.
Once you have a filing requirement – whether it’s an SR22 or FR44 filing, insurance companies classify you as an “impaired risk” driver. That means they put you in a different category from most other drivers on the road, and charge everyone in your category their higher-risk premiums. They do this because they know that as a group, people who already have FR44 requirements and SR22 requirements are more likely to file claims in the future. And the size of those claims tends to be greater than those of their drivers in their standard and preferred risk categories. That’s insurance-speak for “good drivers.”
But every insurance company price risk a little differently. And those differences create big discrepancies in how one insurance company prices you versus another carrier.
For example, if you have a long driving history and excellent credit, one carrier may not consider you much of a risk at all, and so may not give you a very big premium increase after one incident. But another company might not put much weight on your credit history at all. Or vice versa.
Our job is to help match drivers with the insurance companies that treat them best, and that want to earn their business!
The best way to do that is for you to contact an independent insurance agency that’s not “captive” to a single company, but that can place you with any one of many different competing carriers in the state.
That doesn’t always mean the lowest-priced carrier. Sometimes it means we place you with the carrier that offers the best value, and the one that’s most likely to give you a good experience when it counts: The day you have a claim!
Studies show that more than nine out of ten people who shop around get multiple quotes from many different competing carriers and switch save money. Sometimes they save hundreds of dollars a year compared to their previous coverage!
And when you have a major event, such as a citation or conviction for a DUI, DWI, or reckless driving conviction that would put you in a different car insurance risk category, you should definitely keep your current carrier honest by shopping around!
How to Get SR22 or FR44 Insurance in Florida
When you get cited for a traffic offense in Florida, you’ll receive a notice requiring you to obtain either an SR22 or FR44 filing from your insurance company – normally within ten days. If you don’t comply within ten days, the DMV will automatically suspend your license. You can get your license reinstated, but you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee. In Florida, that could be $150, $250, or $500, depending on how many times you’ve offended before.
When you get cited for a traffic offense in Florida, you’ll receive a notice requiring you to obtain either an SR22 or FR44 filing from your insurance company – normally within ten days. If you don’t comply within ten days, the DMV will automatically suspend your license. You can get it reinstated once you get an insurance carrier to file the form, but you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee. So it behooves you to act quickly and obtain the insurance as soon as you get the notice!
To get free, no-obligation quotes for SR22 or FR44 insurance from Florida’s best carriers, click here and fill out a short information form. It takes just minutes!
Chances are excellent we can improve your coverage, save you money compared to your current carrier. or both!
Sometimes we’re able to help people with an SR22 or FR44 issue structure multiple insurance policies differently, to save them more money, or to quarantine their primary license against an out-of-state offense.
The Select Insurance Group Difference
The Select Insurance Group was BUILT for drivers like you! And me!
I made a mistake once, and got pulled over driving while intoxicated. It’s a mistake I’d never make again. But when I made it, I was shocked at how car insurance agents treated people with one DUI offense as second-class citizens. Or the number of agents who knew little or nothing about how to navigate the legal and administrative challenges that come up for drivers who’ve even had one single incident
That’s why I created the Select Insurance Group. I wanted to create a car insurance agency that treats everyone fairly, and treats everyone with respect.
My agents and their assistants are all specially trained in non-standard risk insurance. That means they know how to advise people in your shoes.
Look, I get it! The weeks and months after my incident were some of the lowest months of my life! It was expensive, it was depressing, and it was frustrating.
I’ve been there. Some of my team has, too.
When it seems like the cops, the courts, and the system are all lining up against you, at least you know you’ll have someone you’ll know is in your corner.
It’s not going to be cheap. But we’ll fight to get you the best car insurance value available. So you don’t needlessly overpay. And you can direct the money you save to getting your life turned around.
So whether it’s been a day since your incident, or it’s been years…. contact us today. Let us show you the Select Insurance Group difference.
See you on the road!
CEO, Select Insurance Group