Suppose you have been convicted of specific vehicular violations in Florida, such as driving uninsured or guilty of a DUI. In that case, the state may require you to purchase an SR-22 or FR-44 insurance policy before your license is restored.
SR-22 or FR-44 insurance are documents that serve as evidence to the DMV that you possess the minimum liability coverage mandated for every driver in Florida. These policies' cost is relatively inexpensive- around the $35 mark – but the monthly insurance rates can be inflated because of your status as a high-risk driver.
It is essential to remember that SR-22 is not actual insurance but only a certificate proving your financial responsibility. High-risk drivers are required to have it on them at all times as proof of responsibility.
If you don't have it on your person and a law enforcement officer stops you, you will be charged and lose your license. Drivers deemed high-risk must carry SR-22 or lose their driving privileges since it serves as the minimum requirement in Florida.
The court or your local DMV will decide if you need to purchase an SR-22 policy if you're guilty of the following:
- Driving uninsured and causing a collision
- DUI violation
- Refusing to send court-mandated payments resulting from a collision
- Wayward driving
- Failure to show a police officer your proof of insurance during a traffic stop
Usually, Florida's Motor Vehicle Department will send you an alert if you are required to maintain SR-22 insurance. If you have not received this notification, you can safely assume that you don't need to buy SR-22 insurance.
It costs between $15 to $35 to file for SR-22 insurance. The extra cost comes from policy premiums based on the blemishes on your driving record that caused you to apply for SR-22 in the first place. Negative points on your record will plant you in the high-risk drivers' category, which in turn increases your monthly payments.
Your auto insurance company may also ask that you buy a year's worth of coverage at once rather than make monthly payments. Ask about temporary car insurance Florida options if this is a short term need.
On average, SR-22 insurance costs more than other car insurance policies due to the motive behind filing for the SR-22 in the first place, such as DUI or driving uninsured. In some cases, the FR-44 policy can even cost higher, depending on the severity of the violation.
We analyzed four car insurance companies in Florida and discovered that the standard cost of insurance in Florida stands at a whopping $2,463 for a year. Drivers with a DUI conviction paid 53% more than the average price, however.
Using this sample, it is clear that although liability limits stayed constant, SR-22 insurance cost about $3,665 every year, inflation of $ 1,332 compared to the average insurance policy.
If you want to get cost-friendly SR-22 or FR-44 insurance, ensure you shop around between different insurers to compare their rates across the board. In Florida, we recommend getting quotes from three or four insurers.
Although you're guaranteed to be charged higher because of your status as a high-risk driver, auto insurers have different metrics for evaluating driver records. Hence, comparing rates is the best way to get the best price for money.
Fr-44 and SR-22 insurance policies have an accompanying $15 filing fee. We recommend paying the total yearly cost at once rather than monthly payments because of the discounts attached. Your full price will be cheaper with a lump sum upfront payment.
Check if your auto insurance company provides discounts that you qualify for. Some insurers offer discounted rates if you participate in a defensive driver program.
Like the SR-22 policy, FR-44 insurance in Florida is a car insurance certificate endorsed by the state. Your insurance company will file a financial responsibility form on your behalf with the state as proof that you own the mandated minimum liability coverage.
If this insurance coverage lapses, possibly due to non-payment or cancellation, your insurer is required by law to notify the state of your default.
Unlike the SR-22, the FR-44 is exclusive to serious infractions such as drinking under the influence or general intoxication on drugs. This has earned it the nickname "DUI insurance" since it applies only to high-risk motorists.
Florida takes DUI convictions very seriously, and the liability requirements are expensive compared to SR-22 insurance. FR-44 requires personal injury protection coverage as part of its liability limits.
FR-44 liability limits must include:
If you are not a car owner but have been mandated to acquire an SR-22 before you can drive legally, you must obtain an operator's policy, otherwise referred to as named non-owner policy. This policy grants you liability insurance coverage whenever you drive a car as an uninsured driver.
Another alternative is to purchase a car insurance policy that offers liability coverage for the driver and vehicle. Many uninsured drivers who operate a friend or family member's vehicle opt for non-owner SR-22 insurance.
Your auto insurance company can attach SR-22 or FR-44 forms to your non-owner policy before filing it with the state, so you can tick all the required boxes to have your license restored.
The main difference between a non-owner insurance policy and a non-owner policy is that the former doesn't need PIP coverage. At the same time, the latter is cheaper compared to the owner's policy.
If Florida DMV has notified you to obtain SR-22 insurance, you must file the state's insurance form within a month of the alert. It is your responsibility to check in with your insurance company every month to ensure your policy is renewed for the stipulated duration. The standard course is for three years.
Since Florida doesn't alert drivers of the monthly renewal date, the onus is on you to keep up with your payments, or else your license will be automatically suspended. If your driver's license, you will have to take public transportation or hitch rides with friends.