The FR in FR-44 insurance stands for financial responsibility, and some states require an FR-44 certificate as proof of auto insurance coverage. As with the SR-22, the FR-44 is not technically 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. Learn who needs FR-44 insurance, how it differs from SR-22 insurance and where to find affordable coverage.
The Difference Between FR-44 and SR-22 Insurance
FR-44 and SR-22 insurance have much in common, yet there are some critical differences. While both will result in higher insurance premiums, the price of liability coverage is much higher for drivers who require an FR-44. That’s because an FR-44 is filed instead of an SR-22, or in conjunction with an SR-22, in the case of extreme accidents. Drivers who need FR-44 insurance must buy double the amount of minimum liability coverage required by their state. The SR-22 form only requires motorists to meet minimum liability limits, although it is always a good idea to purchase more if you can do so.
What warrants filing an SR-22 varies by state, but most states require an SR-22 after the following:
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) or DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
Driving without insurance
Driving with a suspended license or revoked license
Accruing multiple traffic tickets in a short period
Serious at-fault collisions
FR-44 forms are only used in Virginia and Florida. While most drivers will never need an FR-44, committing the following violations might warrant one:
Losing your license
Driving with a suspended license
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 initial filing fee for an FR-44 form is usually a one-time payment of around $25. Because the FR-44 is not insurance but a certificate that proves you have insurance, your insurance premium still depends on your driving history, age, gender, type of vehicle, and more.
How Long Do You Need to Maintain an SR-22 or FR-44?
Usually, drivers are required to maintain an SR-22 or FR-44 form for three years. If the circumstances involving the accident are particularly serious, the driver involved may require SR-22 or FR-44 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 require the form. The length of time depends on your driving history, credit score, location, and other variables.
Because a DUI is such a serious offense, insurance companies may look further into your past driving history when determining your 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, and they’ll need to find a company that specializes in high-risk drivers.
How Much Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase With an F-44?
Filing an SR-22 or FR-44 form automatically makes you a high-risk driver and significantly raises your insurance premiums. Because so much depends upon the individual driver, it is impossible to know the exact amount your insurance rates will increase until you start looking at quotes.
In addition, some insurance companies do not allow high-risk drivers to pay for insurance on a monthly basis. Instead, these drivers must commit to an annual premium upfront. In some cases, they may be required to pay for at least six months’ worth of coverage at a time.
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 a car from someone they don’t live with. If the driver lacks regular access to a vehicle, they’ll still need to purchase a policy if they require an FR-44 form.
Also known as non-driver insurance, a non-owner policy permits drivers who don’t 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 drive belongs to someone else in your household. For example, if you live with your parents and drive their registered vehicles, 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 forms. In these states, FR-44 is needed in addition to SR-22.
In Virginia, the state will mandate FR-44 insurance if you’re convicted of the following:
Maiming while under the influence
Driving with a revoked license.
DUI or DWI
When it comes to the minimum required coverage, the difference between the FR-44 and SR-22 in Virginia is considerable. Drivers must file an SR-22 to prove they have the minimum coverage, or $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for one person, $50,000 for two people, and $20,000 of property damage coverage. 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 or DWI 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 end of your driver’s license revocation period usually marks the beginning of the 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 FR-44 insurance could result in the following penalties:
Losing your license and the ability to drive
Paying additional fees to get your license reinstated
Higher rates and a longer FR-44 filing requirement
Are There Any Circumstances Where I Can Legally Cancel My FR-44?
Of course, there are legitimate reasons to cancel your Florida or Virginia auto insurance, such as moving out of the state or selling your car. As noted, in the latter case, you will need to buy non-driver insurance.
Under some circumstances, your insurance company can file an endorsement to remove the FR-44 filing from your auto insurance policy. However, you must acquire a new insurance policy after the cancellation to keep your license.
If you cancel your policy for a legitimate reason, you’ll need to record a sworn statement detailing why you’re canceling the policy and how you’ll remain compliant with the terms of your license reinstatement.
Get Affordable FR-44 Insurance from The General®
At The General, we know that not everyone has a perfect driving record. We also know that drivers in the high-risk category still need insurance to 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.
With The General, you can choose the way you want to pay. Use a credit or debit card, or even cash. You can even make payments on our state-of-the-art, award-winning mobile app.
If you’re looking for an affordable policy, get a free quote in less than 2 minutes and indicate if you need an SR-22 or FR-44 filing when requesting your quote. 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®.