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Depending on a drivers State of residence, a certificate of financial responsibility may either be referred to as an SR-22 insurance certificate or an FR-44 insurance certificate.
SR22 insurance is usually required in most States after an alcohol related driving conviction such as DUI (driving under the influence). The length of time you are required to hold SR22 insurance will differ from State to State, although in a lot of States it is three years. You can find out the SR22 insurance requirements for a particular State by selecting the corresponding State above.
FR44 / SR22 Insurance Explained
What is FR-44 / SR-22 Insurance?
SR22 / FR44 insurance is a term used when a form needs to be filed by an insurance carrier which is then sent off to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or relevant drivers license issuing department.
The form proves that the driver has the State's minimum liability insurance coverage and meets the State's minimum financial responsibility requirements.
The SR22 / FR44 filing provides a guarantee to the State that an insurance company has issued a high risk driver with the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required in order to drive a motor vehicle in that particular state.
An SR22 / FR44 filing is usually required following a conviction for DUI (driving under the influence) DWI (driving while intoxicated) and any other alcohol related driving offenses. An FR44 / SR22 filing is commonly referred to as 'proof of financial responsibility'.
How long do I need to provide proof of financial responsibility?
The length of time a driver needs to provide proof of financial responsibility varies from State to State and will depend on a particular States legislation and laws, however the length of time is commonly a period of three years.
The period of time a driver is required to maintain proof of financial responsibility for their auto insurance can be up to five years in some States and less than three years in others.
Some States do not even require an SR22 / FR44 insurance filing but most States do. You can find out how long proof of financial responsibility is required in each State here.
During the time a driver is required to maintain SR22 insurance, the insurance policy must be held continuously (continuously insured).
If a drivers auto insurance policy lapses, expires or is canceled then their insurance carrier has a responsibility to notify the states DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or the relevant authority that deals with drivers licenses and their drivers license may once again be suspended/revoked.
Can I change my SR-22 / FR-44 insurance carrier?
Yes. Drivers are able to change auto insurance carriers during the period of time they are required to maintain proof of financial responsibility.
As long as the SR22 insurance policy is held continuously for the minimum time period required it does not matter which insurance company provides the cover.
If a driver wishes to change insurance carriers during this time period then they should first get their new insurance carrier to make an FR44 / SR22 filing on their behalf and wait until they are insured before canceling their old insurance policy. This way there will be no lapses in insurance coverage as SR22 insurance must be held continuously.
Can I get non-owner SR-22 / FR-44 Insurance?
Yes. Non owner SR22 insurance allows the named insured driver to drive any motor vehicle that they are given permission to drive. If you purchase a non-owners SR22 insurance policy, make sure you do not drive any vehicle you have not been given express consent to drive and ensure that the vehicle in question is insured by the owner.
An SR22 non-owners insurance policy is a great way for drivers who do not own a motor vehicle and who may not have regular access to a motor vehicle to meet the States drivers license reinstatement proof of financial responsibility insurance requirements. Purchasing non-owners liability coverage will enable drivers to satisfy the states SR22 insurance requirements without owning a vehicle of their own.
There are three types of SR22 insurance certificates available:
- SR22 Operators Certificate: This covers the driver for the operation of any non-owned vehicle they have been given permission to drive.
- SR22 Owners Certificate: This covers the driver to drive any vehicles owned by the driver. The certificate may be issued with the details of the make and model of the drivers automobile or it may cover any vehicle owned by the driver.
- SR22 Operators-Owners Certificate: This covers any vehicles owned by the driver and any vehicles that are not owned but the driver has been given permission to drive.
- Comparison Shop - Compare Auto Insurance Rates
Prices for auto insurance can vary a great deal between different insurance companies. You could see hundreds of dollars difference between prices for the same coverage between different insurance carriers in your state. Compare auto insurance rates from different insurers to find the best deal.
- Purchase a low-profile car with a high safety rating
Cars that are very expensive to repair and have a high theft rate will attract higher insurance costs due to the higher risk percentage (probability) of having to pay out by the insurance company. A cars overall safety record and rating can also affect the price you pay. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety assigns ratings to cars based on their safety features. A car with more safety features such as airbags, anti-theft devices etc will be cheaper to insure.
- Offer to pay higher deductibles
A Deductible is the amount of money paid by a driver before their insurance policy begins to cover the cost. For example if you offered to pay a deductible of $500, this is the amount that you must pay towards any claims made against your policy, your insurance company would then pay the rest. The higher the deductible you are willing to pay, the more your insurance coverage cost will decrease.
- Drop comprehensive/collision coverage on older cars
It may not be cost effective to have comprehensive coverage on older cars that are not worth that much. Consider dropping this type of coverage if your car is not worth over a few thousand dollars more than you are paying for insurance. You can find out how much your car is worth at Kelley Blue Book. You may also want to look into taking taking out limited collision coverage instead of dropping collision coverage altogether.
- Maintain a good credit rating
While the use of credit rating scoring and its affect on auto insurance rates will vary depending on which state you reside in and which insurance company you take out insurance with, it can have an affect on your insurance rates. There are agencies on the Internet that will let you obtain access to your credit rating and credit scores such as TransUnion.