Q

What is FR-44 insurance?

A

An FR-44 form is used to prove a driver has insurance in Florida and Virginia. If you’re required to prove to the state that you have car insurance, you must request an FR-44 from your car insurance company.

Anna Swartz 1600

Anna Swartz

Published January 8, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • An FR-44 form is submitted to the state by your insurer, as proof that you’ve purchased car insurance

  • FR-44 forms are only used in two states, Florida and Virginia

  • You may be required to get an FR-44 from your insurer if you have a DUI or DWI conviction, or if you were caught driving with an already suspended license

  • An FR-44 form is similar to an SR-22, but it has higher required liability limits

FR-44 isn’t an insurance product, it’s actually a document that proves you’ve purchased car insurance, sometimes called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, or CFR.

If you’ve committed serious traffic violations or you’ve gotten into an at-fault accident while driving without car insurance, your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent department can require you to file a form proving that you’ve obtained insurance. If your license has been suspended, you may have to prove you have car insurance before you can get your license reinstated.

In most states, the form that proves you’ve purchased a car insurance policy is called an SR-22, and your car insurance company submits it to the DMV on your behalf.

But in two states, Florida and Virginia, you may be required to obtain an FR-44 form instead of an SR-22. The FR-44 has stricter requirements, and may lead to high car insurance premiums. However, there are still ways to find cheap car insurance with an FR-44.

In this article:

What is an FR-44?

An FR-44 form is, like its cousin the SR-22, a certificate that proves you’ve purchased car insurance. Most states use just the SR-22 form to fulfill required proof of insurance, but Florida and Virginia also use the FR-44 form. The FR-44 is for more serious driving offenses and sets higher liability coverage requirements than the SR-22.

To get an FR-44 form, you’ll have to purchase significantly more liability coverage than your state’s minimum requirements. In Florida, for example, to get an FR-44 on your car insurance you need to set your liability coverage limits at $100,000/$300,000 for bodily injury coverage and $50,000 for property damage coverage.

If you’re required by your state’s DMV to provide an FR-44 form, you don’t submit it yourself. You must inform your car insurance company that you require an FR-44 and they’ll include it in your car insurance policy and submit it to your state’s DMV. If you don’t have car insurance already, you should shop around for coverage and indicate in the application process that you need an FR-44.

Most major car insurance companies will write you a policy with an FR-44 attached, but requiring an FR-44 marks you as a high-risk driver and you’ll see higher rates than if you were buying a standard policy.

How long do you need an FR-44 form? That depends, but you’ll likely be required to keep the FR-44 on your insurance policy for one to four years. If you cancel your car insurance policy or stop paying your premiums and let it lapse, you’ll lose the FR-44, and you may lose your driver’s license and driving privileges as well.

If you commit any additional driving violations, the FR-44 form may need to stay on your insurance policy for an even lengthier period.

Who needs FR-44 insurance?

As we mentioned above, most states require the SR-22 form as proof of insurance. But two states, Florida and Virginia, require some drivers to submit the FR-44 form instead. You may be ordered to provide the state with an FR-44 form from your car insurance company if you’re a Florida or Virginia driver with any of the following on your driving record:

  • A DUI or DWI conviction
  • Causing an at-fault accident without car insurance
  • Driving with a suspended license

If your driver’s license was suspended for a DUI or DWI conviction or traffic violations and you need an FR-44 form to get your license reinstated, you’ll be informed about the specifics of the requirements.

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How much is FR-44 insurance?

Your insurer may charge you a filing fee of around $25 for submitting the FR-44 form on your behalf. But the real cost of FR-44 insurance is in the premium you’ll pay as a high-risk driver.

Car insurance rates are calculated based on a number of factors, including your age, ZIP code, driving history, including any violations, the make and model of your car and your coverage needs.

Car insurance companies use all of that information to calculate how risky you’ll be to insure (or how likely you are to file a claim). The riskier you are for them, the more they’ll charge you for car insurance.

Requesting an FR-44 form from your insurance company signals to them that you’re a risk to insure, and takes you out of the standard pool of drivers and into the high-risk category. Most major car insurance companies offer policies with an SR-22 or FR-44 form, but you’ll pay much higher than average rates.

And an FR-44 form comes with higher required limits, meaning you’ll have to buy more insurance coverage than you would otherwise.

  • In Florida, an FR-44 requires you to get $100,000/$300,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage and $50,000 of property damage liability coverage coverage
  • In Virginia, an FR-44 requires you to get $50,000/$100,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage and $40,000 of property damage liability coverage coverage

These requirements are much more than the minimum amount of liability coverage required by law in Florida and Virginia. So not only are you paying high insurance premiums for being a high-risk driver, you also need to get relatively high coverage limits, which adds to the cost.

It’s hard to predict exactly how much FR-44 insurance will cost any given driver, but it will certainly be a significant increase from whatever you paying were before the violation, DUI conviction or license suspension that led to your FR-44 requirement. If your car insurance was $800 a year before needing an FR-44, it could easily be $1600 a year after.

Another factor that contributes to the high cost of car insurance with an FR-44 — some insurers may require you to pay your full six-month or annual premium up-front instead of in monthly payments as a condition of being a high-risk driver.

Finding affordable FR-44 insurance

The high costs of getting car insurance with an attached FR-44 form mean it’s all the more important to shop around for car insurance. You should also be upfront during the application process and disclose that you need an FR-44. You should also disclose any driving violations you have in your driving history. Being transparent about your driving history during the application process ensures that your quotes are accurate and that you’re comparing the actual costs of coverage.

An independent broker can help you shop around and get quotes from multiple car insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal on insurance coverage. Car insurance with an FR-44 won’t be cheap, but some companies will still be more affordable than others. Some insurers will simply flat out refuse to write a policy for a high-risk driver, so a broker can also help you figure out where to get insurance coverage in the first place.

Non-owner FR-44 insurance

If you’re a Florida or Virginia driver who’s been required by the state to show proof of insurance through an FR-44 form in order to reinstate your license but you don’t own a car, you might want to look into a product called non-owner car insurance. It basically is what it sounds like — car insurance for people who don’t own a car.

Non-owner car insurance isn’t just for people who’ve had a DUI conviction and need an FR-44 form — it can also be useful for drivers who frequently rent or borrow cars but don’t own one themselves.

Unlike standard car insurance, a non-owner policy is the most basic liability coverage. It can also include personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it does not include comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Buying a non-owner policy with an FR-44 attached means the insurer will submit your proof of insurance even though you don’t own a car.

Many of the most popular car insurance companies offer non-owner insurance, including GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, The General, and USAA, but you won’t be able to get it through a standard online application. If you need non-owner insurance with an FR-44 attached, contact companies directly or work with an independent broker to find insurance coverage that meets your needs.

FR-44 vs. SR-22

How does an FR-44 differ from an SR-22 form? The biggest difference is that the FR-44 is only used in two states, Florida and Virginia. An FR-44 form also requires higher liability coverage limits, meaning it will be more expensive than buying insurance with an SR-22 form.

In the states where it’s used, the FR-44 is reserved for drivers who have committed more serious violations. While you may be required to get an SR-22 form if you have too many traffic tickets or other major traffic violations, an FR-44 is usually reserved for drivers who have caused an at-fault accident without insurance or drivers who were convicted of a DUI, DWI, or driving with an already suspended license.