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Florida SR22 Auto Insurance

The truth is that most of us will never have to carry SR-22 car insurance, so not understanding the basics of it will have no effect on our life but if you have recently been convicted of a DUI, reckless driving or other serious driving offense, you will quickly need to familiarize yourself with this type of specialty coverage.

Unfortunately, DUIs are more common than you think. In Florida, there were 33,625 DUI convictions in 2011. Surprisingly, Tampa was number one in the DUI list with 3,256 drunk drivers convicted, followed closely by Miami Dade with 2,274 and Jacksonville (Duval County) came in third with 2,222.

In almost all cases, SR-22 or FR-44 insurance is court mandated and that is the standard here in Florida.

SR-22 and FR-44 Explained

Technically, despite the common misperception, an SR-22 filing is not an insurance policy or type of car insurance. In simplest terms, it is just a document that is prepared and filed with the local DMV by an insurance company. The SR-22 or FR-44 filing is proof that the driver named in the filing is carrying the required limits of coverage as ordered by the court.

Drivers involved in a DUI, reckless driving or driving without insurance case are mandated by the court to carry the state minimums or higher limits depending on their offense. They must carry these limits if they want to get their license reinstated. In order to verify that the convicted driver carries, and maintains those required coverage limits, an insurance company must verify it with a SR-22 filing.

SR-22 and FR-44 Coverage Levels

An SR-22 filing means that the driver must carry the state mandated car insurance levels, when it comes to SR-44 policies the driver is required to carry much higher limits than the state minimums.

Florida is a no-fault state which means that every driver out on the road must carry certain types of car insurance, at certain coverage levels. This insurance is required to receive a Florida license plate and to register a vehicle.

The following coverages are required in the state of Florida:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP coverage will help pay the hospital bills for a driver in the event they are injured in a car accident. PIP protection will also cover family members and any passengers who were in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Florida requires PIP so that every person involved in a car accident will have access to medical care.

PIP is required at a $10,000 coverage level. Unfortunately, this will rarely be enough in the event of a serious accident. Most industry experts recommend carrying much higher limits.

If you are required to carry an SR-22 filing in Florida, your insurer will have to verify that you have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.

Property Damage Liability (PD)

PD coverage will pay for damage that you do to other peopleís property with your car. This type of insurance will pay for not only the damage that you do to another personís vehicle but other property as well. Coverage is extended to property such as fences, mailboxes and even garages.

The state of Florida requires drivers to carry PD coverage in a minimum amount of $10,000. Again, this amount of coverage is rarely enough for a serious accident.

FR-44 Coverage

Florida goes one step further with their FR-44 requirement. It is usually imposed on drivers who have been convicted of a DUI. It dramatically increases the required coverage levels for bodily injury liability levels. Just like SR-22 filings, FR-44 is not an insurance policy, it is simply a form that your insurer must file to provide proof that you are carrying the proper coverage levels.

The FR-44 law requires that drivers carry bodily injury liability protection in the amount of $100,000/$300,000 per person/per accident and an additional $50,000 in PD coverage. These limits are significantly higher than state minimums and will dramatically increase your insurance costs.

It Will Cost You

If you are convicted of an offense that requires filing a SR-22 or an FR-44 plan on your car insurance premium skyrocketing for at least the next few years. While the court will decide how long you need to file an SR-22/FR-44, in most cases it is at least three to five years.

The increase in your rates will vary depending on your offence but in most cases expect it to go up at least 100 percent and in some cases, 300 percent. There is also the possibility that your current insurer will drop you.

SR-22/FR44 filings are serious. If you stop making your payments or are dropped, your insurer will immediately revoke the filing with the state and your license will be suspended. Keeping your driving record clean is key during this time period as any new infractions will increase the amount of time you are required to file an SR-22/FR-44.

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