An SR22 insurance policy is required by any driver in the state of Florida who has been deemed to be high risk. This form, which must be submitted to the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) by your insurance carrier, provides the state with proof that you are maintaining financial responsibility by carrying an auto insurance policy that meets the minimum liability requirements. A driver is generally classified as high risk if he is convicted of certain driving-related offenses.
Offenses that Require Florida SR22 Insurance
Not all traffic violations result in the need for SR22 insurance, but any offense that results in the suspension of driving privileges will almost always require such a filing. Some of the offenses include:
Causing an accident while uninsured
Failing to satisfy a court judgement that resulted from an accident
Failure to provide proof of insurance when stopped for a traffic violation
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be required to obtain the much more stringent SR44 insurance.
The Different Types Available
There are three types of certificate available in Florida, depending on your personal circumstances. The owner’s certificate covers liability for any vehicle owned by the covered driver, whether or not he drives the car. An operator’s certificate covers the driver if he does not own his own vehicle but is driving one owned by someone else. Finally, an owner-operator’s certificate covers all vehicles the driver may operate, both those owned by him and those owned by others. You should discuss the type of driving you do with your insurance agent in order to determine which certificate you will need to file with the state.
Any driver who has been notified of the need for SR22 insurance must ensure that this form is filed with the state within 30 days of notification. It is also the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the form is filed each time the policy renews throughout the duration of the SR22 requirement, which is typically 36 months from the date of suspension. The state does not notify drivers that a renewal date is approaching and failure to maintain a current SR22 certificate will result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Obtaining Coverage After the Fact
It is possible for driver’s to avoid license suspension for causing an accident without adequate insurance coverage. In order to do so, you must meet the following conditions:
You must pay any fines imposed due to the accident.
You must obtain a qualified policy and file notice with the state.
You must come to an agreement for restitution with all involved parties and obtain signatures attesting to such.
All of this must be completed before the suspension date listed in the inquiry notice sent to you by the flhsmv
Moving To or From Florida with an SR22
Whether you are a resident moving out of state or are moving to Florida from another location, you will be required to maintain an the proper filing in the state that imposed that requirement. Residents must ensure that the policy in their new state of residence meets the minimum liability requirements, which are:
$10,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$10,000 property damage per accident
If you are travelling within the state borders and cause an accident, you will need to have your insurance company certify in writing that your out-of-state insurance policy complies with the minimum requirements. Failure to do so can result in your driving privileges being suspended, which may or may not affect your license status in your home state.
SR22 insurance is meant to provide Florida residents with the assurance that every driver on the road has insurance coverage that at least meets the state’s minimum requirements. High risk drivers who have demonstrated an unwillingness to do this on their own will be forced by the state to provide proof of adequate coverage through an SR22 filing.