Understanding FR44 Insurance: Essential for DUI Recovery

What is FR44 Insurance and Who is It For?

FR44 insurance isn’t just another policy—it’s a critical requirement for individuals who have been convicted of a DUI. Often referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, FR44 is not actually insurance but a certification added to your insurance policy proving that you carry car insurance with the increased liability limits required by law. This certification is generally required in states like Florida and Virginia and is necessary for reinstating your driving privileges.

What are the Specific Requirements for FR44 Insurance?

Unlike the more common SR22 form, which also deals with vehicle insurance, FR44 requirements involve higher liability limits. Typically, the required coverage limits with FR44 insurance are significantly greater than standard auto insurance policies. For instance, in Florida, the FR44 must carry 100/300/50 coverage: $100,000 for bodily injury per person, $300,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $50,000 for property damage.

How Does One Go About Obtaining FR44 Insurance?

Securing FR44 insurance can be a daunting step, especially after a DUI conviction. First, you’ll need to find an insurer that offers FR44 filings (not all do). After choosing a provider, the insurance company will file an FR44 certificate on your behalf with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This process signifies that you meet the required insurance standards to legally drive again.

How Does FR44 Affect Your Insurance Premiums?

It’s important to brace for impact: FR44 can significantly increase your insurance premiums. Because DUI convictions categorize you as a high-risk driver, insurers will adjust your rates accordingly. Premiums may double or even triple, depending on your previous driving record and the severity of the DUI offense.

Are There Differences in FR44 Requirements by State?

Yes, requirements for FR44 insurance can vary. While only Florida and Virginia use the FR44 form, the specifics, like minimum liability coverage and the period you must carry the FR44, can differ. Always check your state’s regulations to ensure compliance.

What Are Some Tips to Manage Costs with FR44 Insurance?

Managing costs with FR44 insurance involves several strategies. Shop around for quotes from different insurers, as rates can vary widely. Consider adjusting your coverage amounts once the FR44 requirement is lifted, and focus on maintaining a clean driving record to lower rates over time. Additionally, some insurers offer discounts for taking defensive driving courses or for vehicles with enhanced safety features.

What Happens After the FR44 Requirement Ends?

Once the FR44 requirement period is over—typically three years if you maintain continuous coverage—you can expect your insurance rates to start decreasing, assuming a clean driving record. At this point, you can also switch to a less expensive policy, as the high liability coverages are no longer mandated.

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