Cheap Rhode Island Auto Insurance Guide [2024]

The law requires drivers to hold auto insurance in Rhode Island. Finding the right auto insurance policy is vital, whether your need comprehensive coverage or SR-22 insurance. You can begin comparing affordable auto insurance quotes from top car insurance companies by entering your ZIP code now.

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Tim Bain

Licensed Insurance Agent

Tim Bain is a licensed insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with the best insurance coverage to meet their needs.  His insurance expertise has been featured in several publications, including Investopedia and eFinancial. He also does digital marking and analysis for KPS/3, a communications and marking firm located in Nevada. 

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Jimmy McMillan

Licensed Insurance Agent

Jimmy McMillan is an entrepreneur and the founder of, an independent insurance brokerage. His company specializes in insurance for people with heart problems. He knows personally how difficult it is to secure health and life insurance after a heart attack. Jimmy is a licensed insurance agent from coast to coast who has been featured on ValientCEO and the podcast Modern Li...

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UPDATED: Feb 16, 2024

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Rhode Island Auto Insurance Statistics Summary
Rhode Island Auto Insurance FactsDetails
Average Premiums 2015 (Annual)Liability: $759.80
Collision: $411.51
Comprehensive: $132.19
Combined Premium: $1,303.50
Cheapest ProviderState Farm Mutual Auto

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One thing is certain — if you want to drive up the seaside or visit a friend at Brown University for the weekend, you must have auto insurance in Rhode Island. It’s the law.

We know finding the right auto insurance policy can be extremely time-consuming and sometimes even annoying, so that’s exactly why we wrote this ultimate Rhode Island car insurance guide.

In this guide, we will discuss things like types of auto insurance, auto insurance discounts, auto insurance companies with the best ratings, rules of the road, emergency stats, and much more.

You can start comparing Rhode Island insurance quotes using our free quote tool. This insurance is available in Rhode Island for drivers who find themselves with excessive tickets or who have let their insurance lapse.

Ready to buy Rhode Island auto insurance? Before reading our ultimate Rhode Island auto insurance guide in your area right now by entering your ZIP in the box above. Find the best Rhode Island auto insurance rates today.

Table of Contents

Average Rhode Island Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates

First, we want to make sure you understand different types of car insurance coverage. After all, no one wants to pay for something (or invest in something) if they don’t understand why they need to have it in the first place.

Let’s start with the basics: Auto insurance types, companies, and special discounts. We want to begin by explaining minimum liability coverage and the difference between no-fault and at-fault. Keep reading to find out more.

How much coverage is required for Rhode Island Minimum Coverage?

By law, minimum liability Rhode Island automobile insurance is must-have coverage for every driver. This is to protect drivers if and when an accident occurs.

Having liability insurance ensures a driver is financially covered and is able to cover the costs of any damages resulting from an accident — to his own vehicle and anyone else’s. That’s right, this means Rhode Island is an at-fault state.

In Rhode Island, any person who causes an accident is responsible for covering the costs of damages to all parties involved.

It seems simple and fair, doesn’t it? While Rhode Island is one of 38 states to claim the at-fault title, 12 states in the U.S. are considered to be no-fault states.

Rhode Island auto insurance requirements are:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $25,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle

Remember in the grand scheme of car values and costs, these amounts aren’t that high. Insurance money runs out fast, so it’s good to carry more than the Rhode Island minimum auto insurance coverage.

When is SR-22 insurance required?

High-risk insurance (or SR-22 insurance) is required by any and all drivers who are convicted of a DUI. SR-22 auto insurance is a type of high-risk auto insurance policy issued by an insurance provider that reassures and warranties the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles that the policyholder, as required by the state law, has the minimum insurance coverage.

There are multiple SR-22 insurance companies in Rhode Island.

Besides getting a DUI, here are some other reasons you might need to get SR-22 insurance:

  • Anyone with one or more DUIs on their record
  • Multiple ticket violations
  • Anyone caught driving without insurance coverage
  • Being uninsured at the time of an accident
  • Being unable to verify insurance coverage for a random state verification request

If you need SR-22 insurance, some providers can refuse you as a client because you are considered a “high-risk” driver.

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What are the forms of financial responsibility in Rhode Island?

Because every driver in Rhode Island is required to carry minimum liability insurance, every driver is also required to carry a form of financial responsibility or proof of insurance.

This is a document you will receive after you have purchased an auto insurance policy. If a law enforcement officer asks to see proof of insurance, you can show them any of the following documents:

  • Valid liability insurance ID cards
  • Electronic insurance ID card
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of auto insurance)

Driving without proof of insurance in Rhode Island (or proof of financial responsibility) is a misdemeanor.

Rhode Island residents who do not carry proof of insurance can face fines of up to $1,000, and a license suspension of up to 12 months.

If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, you may be required to get SR-22 insurance. This type of insurance may raise your auto insurance rates.

How much percentage of income are premiums in Rhode Island?

Ever heard of the term “insurance premium”? This is the total amount of money a driver will spend on auto insurance for over one year.

Now, if you’re a new resident or new driver in Rhode Island, you might be interested in knowing what the average premium is compared to the average resident’s income.

Rhode Island’s average per capita income in 2014 was $42,585. The average auto insurance rate was $1,257.40.

Rhode Islanders spend 2.95 percent of their total annual income on auto insurance.

Surrounding states like Massachusetts and Connecticut have significantly higher average incomes — about $10,000 more than Rhode Island — but surprisingly, the average rates are about the same.

When compared to the rest of the country, the average American has an income of just over $40,000 and pays an average auto insurance rate of $981.

What are the core coverages in Rhode Island?

Let’s look at the average annual rates based on coverage for Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Annual Average Core Coverage Auto Insurance Rates
Coverage TypeAverage Annual Rates

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The data above comes directly from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), but because this data was pulled in 2015, insurance costs are likely to be higher today.

Though it is tempting to purchase only the minimum insurance required, it is important to have the right coverage to fully suit your needs and your vehicle.

Up next, we will talk about additional coverage options.

What additional liability is available in Rhode Island?

Let’s say you get hit by an uninsured driver and your car is totaled. You have medical bills up to your eyes. Most likely, that uninsured driver will go bankrupt trying to pay for these costs and you will never see a dime of money that was rightfully owed to you. This is where uninsured insurance comes into play.

But what exactly is a loss ratio? A loss ratio is how we determine a companies financial strength. By knowing these percentages, we can figure out how many filed claims were paid out by an insurance company and how many claims were not paid.

Rhode Island Auto Insurance Loss Ratios
Loss Ratio2012 Percentage2013 Percentage2014 Percentage
Medical Payments (MedPay)99.07%100.17%97.52%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)69.26%63.74%63.43%

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At least 7.60 percent of Rhode Island drivers are uninsured. To be clear, uninsured and medical payment insurance are additional insurance options, but drivers are not required to carry these add-ons by law. Though it’s not required, it still might be a good idea to have these types of insurance.

Rhode Island is ranked 43rd in the U.S. for uninsured drivers.

By looking at the table above, we know that insurance companies in Rhode Island paid about 69 percent of uninsured insurance claims filed from the years 2012-14. If this number was too high (over 100 percent), these companies may have been at risk for going bankrupt because they were paying too many claims — some of these claims may have even been fraudulent.

On the other hand, if the number was too low (under 50 percent) these companies may have been scamming clients because they were only paying about half of all of the claims received.

So what should you look for when finding a new insurance company? Avoid auto insurance companies with low and high loss ratios. Stick with companies that have loss ratios of 50-90 percent.

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What add-ons, endorsements, and riders are available in Rhode Island?

There are many auto insurance add-on options out there. But how do you know which ones are right for you? There are many different types of auto insurance coverage. A few of them are:

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Auto Insurance
  • Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Auto Insurance
  • Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance

This video shows you many of the coverage options that are available.

You don’t have to choose just one policy from this list. Add one or add them all. The decision is completely up to you.

Do gender and age affect my auto insurance in Rhode Island?

Usually, people assume women have higher insurance rates than men, but this is often not the case.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Demographics
CompanyMarried 60-Year-Old FemaleMarried 60-Year-Old MaleMarried 35-Year-Old FemaleMarried 35-Year-Old MaleSingle 25-Year-Old FemaleSingle 25-Year-Old MaleSingle 17-Year-Old FemaleSingle 17-Year-Old Mmale
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,349.64$1,349.64$1,529.96$1,529.96$1,680.96$2,003.27$4,204.16$5,604.41
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$1,712.33$1,702.69$1,681.61$1,701.83$1,729.94$1,922.42$17,367.38$27,457.38
USAA CIC$1,994.32$1,954.09$2,081.24$2,057.69$2,842.49$2,983.23$9,649.96$11,028.79
Progressive Direct$2,442.97$2,428.75$2,657.85$2,523.06$3,245.10$3,307.02$11,882.34$13,361.63
Nationwide Mutual$2,522.14$2,676.05$2,870.60$2,916.99$3,412.17$3,709.14$7,505.22$9,664.73
Geico General$3,435.27$3,358.93$3,352.25$3,435.27$3,471.31$3,624.88$10,460.06$13,683.07
Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co$3,781.20$3,781.20$3,967.26$3,967.26$3,967.26$5,397.88$9,610.11$15,000.77
Allstate F&C$3,965.46$4,138.80$3,991.81$3,919.97$4,181.73$4,314.24$6,951.89$8,211.70

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Normally, men pay more for auto insurance than women do. For example, Progressive auto insurance in Rhode Island charges men more for auto insurance when drivers are younger but charges more for women once drivers get older.

It may seem odd that factors like marital status and gender play a role in an auto insurance rate, but they do.

Age as a factor, on the other hand, is completely understandable. Usually, the older you get, the lower your policy will be. Auto insurance companies know that with age comes experience, and you’re less likely to be an accident or get a ticket when you’re 25 than when you’re 16.

What are the cheapest rates by ZIP code in Rhode Island?

Did you know that where you live plays a role when deciding your auto insurance rate? Some cities have more accidents than others. Injuries are more likely to happen in some places than others.

Auto insurance companies have access to these statistics, and that’s why they need to know not only where you live, but where you drive. Look for your ZIP code in the table below.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Zip Code
CitiesZIP CodesAverage Annual Auto Insurance RatesAllstateGeicoLiberty Mutual Fire Ins CoNationwide MutualProgressive DirectState Farm Mutual AutoTravelers Home & Marine Ins CoUSAA CIC
Little Compton2837$4,027.83$4,018.83$3,886.67$5,236.06$3,731.00$4,480.85$2,034.57$5,473.51$3,361.12
Block Island2807$4,125.16$4,204.43$4,129.79$5,749.70$3,417.05$3,999.24$2,084.74$5,831.01$3,585.36
Prudence Island2872$4,222.09$4,142.01$3,886.67$5,236.06$4,036.99$5,064.86$2,034.57$5,886.01$3,489.60
Wood River Junction2894$4,240.73$4,280.51$4,534.73$5,749.70$3,813.30$3,999.24$2,084.74$5,416.44$4,047.14
Hope Valley2832$4,288.65$4,322.23$4,534.73$5,749.70$3,760.68$3,999.24$2,084.74$5,817.48$4,040.43
West Kingston2892$4,362.34$4,407.99$4,953.55$5,512.74$3,712.07$3,999.24$2,084.74$6,393.60$3,834.82
North Kingstown2852$4,625.78$4,704.29$4,564.15$5,512.74$4,296.51$5,127.81$2,034.57$6,719.02$4,047.14
North Smithfield2896$4,712.58$4,788.03$5,110.94$5,607.51$3,979.08$4,695.54$2,733.99$6,698.38$4,087.14
West Greenwich2817$4,789.81$4,867.09$5,614.71$5,512.74$4,358.70$5,271.32$2,084.74$6,431.08$4,178.12
Peace Dale2883$4,976.25$4,079.57$4,953.55$5,512.74$3,712.07$9,855.70$2,034.57$5,704.68$3,957.14
East Greenwich2818$5,002.54$5,007.06$5,187.83$5,992.38$4,714.15$5,127.81$2,733.99$7,078.97$4,178.12
North Scituate2857$5,035.12$5,459.02$6,145.50$5,749.70$4,501.52$5,271.32$2,084.74$6,736.18$4,332.97
West Warwick2893$5,161.34$5,307.13$6,118.54$6,431.29$4,483.28$5,127.81$2,733.99$6,996.78$4,091.92
East Providence2914$5,580.28$5,306.99$6,040.54$6,431.29$4,824.04$7,082.60$2,733.99$7,548.79$4,674.02
Central Falls2863$5,975.22$5,711.10$7,660.12$6,431.29$5,352.61$6,633.86$2,733.99$8,213.51$5,065.26
North Providence2911$6,341.33$5,770.56$7,510.66$7,555.06$5,736.03$6,818.86$2,733.99$9,171.84$5,433.62

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The cheapest ZIP code in Rhode Island is 02842, coming in over twice as cheap as the most expensive ZIP code of 02907.

What are the cheapest rates by city in Rhode Island?

Now let’s look a how the cities in Rhode Island compare to each other.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by by City
CitiesAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Little Compton$4,027.83
Block Island$4,125.16
Prudence Island$4,222.10
Wood River Junction$4,240.72
Hope Valley$4,288.65
West Kingston$4,362.34
North Kingstown$4,625.78
North Smithfield$4,712.58
West Greenwich$4,789.81
Peace Dale$4,976.25
East Greenwich$5,002.54
North Scituate$5,035.12
West Warwick$5,161.34
East Providence$5,580.28
Central Falls$5,975.22
North Providence$6,341.33

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Providence is the biggest city in Rhode Island, so it makes sense that auto insurance is the most expensive there. Auto insurance in Westerly, Rhode Island, for example, is cheaper because it is a much smaller town.

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Best Rhode Island Auto Insurance Companies

With hundreds of auto insurance companies out there, it’s difficult to choose just one to insure you and your vehicle. How do you know if your claims will be paid when you get into an accident? Does the company have good customer service ratings?

Don’t worry, because we’ve done all the work for you so you can rest assured when choosing a new insurance company. In this section, we cover companies’ financial ratings, A.M. Best ratings, and which companies have the most complaints.

 What are the financial ratings of the largest auto insurance companies in Rhode Island?

The financial strength of an insurance company is very important. Let’s look at some of the companies in Rhode Island to see how their financial rating stack up. In the table above, we show A.M. Best’s ratings.

Financial Ratings of Rhode Island's Largest Auto Insurance Companies
CompanoesAM RatingDirect Premiums WrittenLoss RatioMarket Share
Allstate Insurance GroupA+$107,25662.08%11.63%
Amica Mutual GroupA+$105,70863.36%11.47%
Liberty Mutual GroupA$65,12465.17%7.06%
Mapfre Insurance GroupA$42,52363.64%4.61%
Metropolitan GroupA$55,07557.15%5.97%
Nationwide Corp GroupA+$52,88163.34%5.74%
Progressive GroupA+$193,72065.71%21.01%
Travelers Groupa+$21,85354.69%2.37%
USAA GroupA++$63,85178.38%6.93%

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A.M. Best ratings measure a company’s financial strength. As mentioned previously, a company shouldn’t have a loss ratio of over 100 percent or under 50 percent. All the companies above have great loss ratio percentages and very good ratings.

Which auto insurance companies have the best ratings in Rhode Island?

People don’t know how important customer service is when it comes to auto insurance companies until they’re standing on the side of the road after an accident trying to explain what happened over the phone to a customer service representative.

With the exception of USAA, Amica Mutual was ranked as the best company for customer service in 2018.

Which auto insurance companies have the most complaints in Rhode Island?

The data below is pulled from the NAIC. It includes complaint statistics for the top 10 largest auto insurance companies in Rhode Island.

Complaints for Rhode Island Auto Insurance Companies
CompanoesNational Median
Complaint Ratio
Company Complaint Ratio (2017)Total Complaints (2017)
Allstate Insurance Group10.5$163.00
Amica Mutual Group10.46$52
Liberty Mutual Group15.95$222
Mapfre Insurance Group16.25$27
Metropolitan Group11.3$70
Nationwide Corp Group10.28$25
Progressive Group10.75$120
Travelers Group10.09$2
USAA GroupN/A0$2

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Every company receives complaints at some point or another. What you should really be aware of is how a company handles a complaint. These companies are some of the best in the country, and even though they have received complaints, they are still very highly recommended.

What are the cheapest auto insurance companies in Rhode Island?

This table lists some of the rates of auto insurance companies in Rhode Island compared to the state average.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Company Compared to State Average
CompaniesAverage Annual Auto Insurance RatesRates Compared to State AveragePercentage Compared to State Average
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,406.50-$2,596.85-107.91%
USAA CIC$4,323.98-$679.38-15.71%
Nationwide Mutual$4,409.63-$593.73-13.46%
Allstate F&C$4,959.45-$43.91-0.89%
Progressive Direct$5,231.09$227.734.35%
Geico General$5,602.63$599.2710.70%
Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co$6,184.12$1,180.7619.09%
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$6,909.45$1,906.0927.59%

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Besides USAA, which is a company that only serves military members and their families, State Farm Mutual Auto has the cheapest premium in Rhode Island.

Does my commute affect my auto insurance rate in Rhode Island?

How far you drive every day can also affect your rate.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Commute
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for
10 Miles Commute
6000 Annual Mileage
Average Annual Rates for
25 Miles Commute
12000 Annual Mileage
State Farm$2,333.47$2,479.54
Liberty Mutual$5,983.25$6,384.99

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You can see that for most of the companies listed, the average annual rate based on the commute is very similar no matter the distance traveled. Some companies don’t charge any extra, but Geico and Liberty Mutual charge hundreds of dollars more based on commute.

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Can coverage level change my auto insurance rate with companies in Rhode Island?

Sometimes auto insurance companies will give you a break on your policy if you have more insurance than the minimum that is required.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates for High Coverage
State Farm$2,277.64$2,402.31$2,539.55
Liberty Mutual$5,810.12$6,145.16$6,597.08

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Although you will pay more upfront, the extra coverage will give you peace of mind in the event of an accident.

How does my credit history affect my auto insurance rate with companies in Rhode Island?

Credit can also play a role when it comes to auto insurance rates. If you have poor credit, your rates will most likely be extremely high.

Rhode Island residents have an average credit score of 687.

Collectively, the average credit score in the U.S. is 675, so Rhode Island’s average score is higher than the national average by 13 points.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Credit History
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Poor Credit HistoryAverage Annual Rates with a Fair Credit HistoryAverage Annual Rates with a Good Credit History
State Farm$3,232.92$2,184.74$1,801.84
Liberty Mutual$8,135.91$5,399.61$5,016.84

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Keep your credit report in good standing, and your auto insurance rates will most likely stay lower. On the other hand, if you have poor credit, you could be paying thousands of dollars more per year for your auto insurance policy.

How does my driving record change my rates with auto insurance companies in Rhode Island?

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket and then noticed your auto insurance policy increased? That’s because your driving record is probably the most influential factor when determining auto insurance rates.

Rhode Island Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with 1 Speeding ViolationAverage Annual Rates with 1 AccidentAverage Annual Rates with 1 DUI
State Farm$2,231.90$2,231.90$2,930.32$2,231.90
Liberty Mutual$5,729.87$5,729.87$6,618.39$6,658.34

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Check out Geico’s rates. If you go from having a clean record to getting one DUI, your yearly premium will increase by over $6,000. Not only can drinking and driving cost you thousands of dollars in fines, but it can also cost you thousands of dollars in auto insurance.

How Much Auto Insurance Costs in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, finding affordable auto insurance, especially in cities like Pawtucket, Providence, and Warwick, is crucial for drivers. This guide explores factors influencing insurance costs and offers insights into securing the cheapest options in each city. Whether you’re a seasoned or new driver, understanding these costs empowers you to make informed decisions to protect yourself and your vehicle.

Find the Cheapest Insurance in Your City
Pawtucket, RI
Providence, RI
Warwick, RI

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How many auto insurance companies are available in Rhode Island?

Just how many licensed insurance companies are there in Rhode Island? Let’s take a look at the data.

Number of Licensed Auto Insurance Companines in Rhode Island
DomesticForeignTotal Number of Licensed Insurers

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In total, there are 749 licensed insurance companies in Rhode Island. But what is the difference between foreign and domestic insurance?

Domestic insurance laws are formed under state law. Foreign insurance laws are formed under the laws the U.S. Foreign insurance is applicable to any state in the U.S.

There are also some agencies like HiRoad Insurance company in Rhode Island that are part of a larger company. For example, HiRoad is part of the State Farm family.

Rhode Island Laws

Sometimes it’s difficult to know all of the laws ever written that apply to you and your driving, especially in a state as small as Rhode Island where drivers are constantly crossing over state lines.

No one wants to get fined for disobeying a driving law, so to help you avoid the headache and the fines, we want to make sure you are aware of driving laws specific to Rhode Island.

Remember how we said just one speeding violation could drastically raise your rates? The same concept could apply to breaking just
about any driving law.

What are the auto insurance laws in Rhode Island?

By now you should know it is mandatory for every driver in Rhode Island to at least carry minimum liability coverage at all times. If you decide to drive without this insurance, your license could be suspended and you could be charged with a misdemeanor.

But how are these laws written into practice?

According to the NAIC, state laws have a considerable influence on auto insurance. Each state determines the type of tort law and threshold (if any) that applies in the state, the type and amount of liability insurance required, and the system used for approval of insurer rates and forms.

Rhode Island uses what’s called “flex rating” and “prior approval” when approving an individual’s insurance rate.

  • Flex rating: Prior approval of rates required only if they exceed a certain percentage above (and sometimes below) the previously filed rates.
  • Prior Approval: Rates/forms must be filed with and approved by the state insurance department before they can be used. Approval can be by means of a deemer provision, which indicates approval if rates/forms are not denied within a specified number of days.

Windshield Coverage

Even though there aren’t any specific laws when it comes to insurance companies paying to have a broken windshield replaced, some companies may offer this service with comprehensive coverage.

Check with your auto insurance company to see if you are covered or consider adding comprehensive coverage to your policy.

Low-Cost Insurance

Unfortunately, Rhode Island does not have an insurance program for families with low income; however, there are more ways to save money on your auto insurance policy. When you’re signing up with a new insurance company, always ask for these discounts:

  • Homeowner’s discount
  • Good Driver discount
  • Student discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Military discount

Speak with your provider to see if you qualify for discounts.

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Automobile Insurance Fraud in Rhode Island

Auto insurance fraud is a serious crime in the state of Rhode Island. If convicted, you may face time in prison and have to pay thousands of dollars in fines. As defined by the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud can be “hard” or “soft.”

Hard fraud occurs when someone deliberately fabricates claims or fakes an accident.

Soft insurance fraud, also known as opportunistic fraud, occurs when people pad legitimate claims, for example, or, in the case of business owners, list fewer employees or misrepresent the work they do to pay lower premiums for worker’s compensation.

To report fraud in Rhode Island, please call the Fraud Unit at 1-401-574-8175. You can also visit to report fraud anonymously.

Statute of Limitations

If you get into a car accident, you have a certain amount of time to file a claim with an auto insurance company. This is called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations law protects both the client and the insurer.

It protects the client by giving him or her a decent amount of time to file a claim, but it also protects the insurer from receiving a claim many years after an accident happened.

In the state of Rhode Island, you have three years to file a claim for personal injury, and ten years to file a claim for property damage. Rhode Island holds the record for the state with the longest amount of time to file a property damage claim.

Remember, 10 years can go by quickly, so make sure you file those claims now if you have any.

What are the vehicle licensing laws in Rhode Island?

Now, let’s take a look at some of Rhode Island’s vehicle licensing laws.


By the year 2020, every driver will be required to carry a REAL ID if they wish to go through security at the airport board a domestic flight.

The REAL ID Act was created to cut down on identity theft and increase safety for the general public.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

You must have auto insurance on any vehicle you drive in the state of Rhode Island. But what are the penalties for driving without auto insurance?

Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
Offense Penalties
1st Offense- Fine of $100 to $500
- License and registration suspension up to three months - reinstatement fee: $30 to $50
2nd Offense- Fine of $500
- license and registration suspension up to six months - reinstatement fee: $30 to $50

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Even if you really have auto insurance but you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, you still may have your license suspended. Let’s go back to the basics. What is an acceptable form of proof of insurance?

  • Electronic insurance ID card
  • Original insurance ID card
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of auto insurance)

As a Rhode Island driver, you must be ready and willing to show your proof of insurance to any law enforcement officer who requests to see it — no ifs, and, or buts about it.

Teen Driver Laws

According to the IIHS, in Rhode Island, driver education is required of permit applicants younger than 18. However, young drivers can start driver’s education at 16 years old.

Rhode Island Teen Driving Laws
Teen Driving LawsTime/Age
Mandatory Holding Period6 months
Minimum Supervised Driving Time50 hours, 10 of which must be at night
Minimum Age16, 6 months

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You can also get a discount on your teen’s auto insurance for driver’s education.

This video tells you more about what to expect with auto insurance for teens.

Below are the laws for drivers with a restricted license.

Rhode Island Young Driver License Restrictions
Young Driver LawsRestrictions
Nighttime restrictions1 a.m.-5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions (family members excepted unless noted otherwise)No more than 1 passenger younger than 21
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted
Nighttime restrictions12 months or age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17, 6 mos.)
Passenger restrictions12 months or age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 17, 6 mos.)

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It is important to note that teen drivers have passenger and time restrictions until they meet the age requirements.

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What are the rules of the road in Rhode Island?

As you well know, driving violations and points on your record will most likely increase your auto insurance rate. But don’t worry! In this section, we will cover Rhode Island’s must-know rules of the road.

Fault vs. No-Fault

Rhode Island is an at-fault or “fault” state. This means that anyone who causes an accident is responsible for covering the costs of any damages resulting from that accident, including personal injuries.

Having said that, the person who caused the accident may report a claim with his or her insurance company to help cover the costs of the accident. In the case of this scenario, it’s better to have more insurance than the minimum amount required.

What is the Rhode Island DMV accident report form?

When an accident occurs, the Rhode Island DMV accident form must be filled out and turned in no matter if you are at-fault or not. You can fill it out online or mail in the form. You can access the online form here.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

It’s important to the state of Rhode Island to keep all drivers and passengers safe while in a moving vehicle. If you’re unsure about these state-specific seat belt laws, take a look at the table below.

Seat Belt Laws in Rhode Island
Seat Belt LawsDetails
Effective SinceJune 18, 1991
Primary Enforcementyes; effective 6/30/11
Age/Seats Applicable18+ years in all seats
1st Offense Max Fine$40

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Because the Rhode Island seatbelt law is primary, you can be stopped by the police for not wearing your seatbelt. They do not have to have another reason to stop you.

Adults aren’t the only ones who need to buckle up safely in the car. Children must be in the correct car seat while driving at all times.

Rhode Island Car Seat Rules
Type of Car Seat RequiredAge
Rear-Facing Child RestraintYounger than 2 years or less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing child restraint
Preference for Rear SeatChildren 7 and younger must be in rear seat if available
Child Booster Seat7 years and younger and less than 57 inches and less than 80 pounds
Adult Belt Permissible7 years and younger who either weigh 80 pounds or more or who are at least 57 inches tall; 8 through 17

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The maximum base fine for breaking any of these laws the first time is $85. Additional fees may apply. There are also restrictions against riding in the cargo area of a pick-up truck. You will not be covered by your insurance company in the case of an accident if you are:

  • 16 and older
  • 15 and younger who are secured in the cargo area

Wear a seatbelt and keep children in the appropriate car seat to save yourself money in fines and increase your safety.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

We’ve all heard of “keep right or move over laws.” In the state of Rhode Island, drivers are required to keep right if driving slower than the average speed of traffic.

However, state law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including roadside assistance vehicles, traveling in the same direction to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, and slow to a safe speed. Also included in the law are road maintenance vehicles.

Speed Limits

Do you know the speed limit laws on every type of road in Rhode Island? If you don’t, you are more likely to be pulled over for a speeding violation. This means your insurance company is likely to raise your rates. Pay attention to this table below as it highlights speed limits in Rhode Island.

Speed Limit Laws in Rhode Island
Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstates65 mph
Urban Interstates55 mph
Other Limited Access Roads55 mph
Other Roads55 mph

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Help keep your auto insurance rates low simply by obeying the speed limit.


Have you ever heard of Uber or Lyft? If you want to be employed by a company that offers ridesharing services, you must have what is called ridesharing insurance.

Currently, Geico and Liberty Mutual are the only two companies that offer ridesharing insurance in the state of Rhode Island. Although both Geico and Liberty Mutual have ridesharing insurance, they may have separate requirements for obtaining it.

Automation on the Road

What is
automation? According to the IIHS, in driving, automation involves using radar, camera, and other sensors to perform parts or all of the driving tasks on a sustained basis instead of the driver.

Rhode Island does not currently have any laws about automation. But stay tuned because automation in cars is the future of driving.

What are the safety laws in Rhode Island?

We’ve talked about the rules of the road, but now it’s time to discuss Rhode Island’s safety laws, including the negligent operator system.

What is the negligent operator treatment system? This is a points-based system that assigns points for bad driving behavior and assesses penalties based on the points earned. This can result in fines or license restrictions.

In this section, we will highlight laws about DUIs, impaired driving, distracted driving, and more. First, let’s start with DUI laws.

DUI Laws

In 2017, there were 34 traffic fatalities in Rhode Island resulting from alcohol-impaired drivers. These 34 lost lives are the reason Rhode Island has such strict drinking and driving laws. Take a look at some of these DUI laws in the table below.

DUI Laws in Rhode Island
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) OffensePenalties
BAC Limit0.08
High BAC Limit0.15
Criminal Status1st-2nd non-injury misdemeanors
3rd+ non-injury felony.
DUI w/serious bodily injury is felony.
Look Back Period5 years

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The amount of alcohol you can drink and be under the legal limit will vary based on the type of alcohol and your body type.

What are the penalties for drinking and driving? Penalties include fines, loss of your license, and possible jail time.

DUI Penalties for Rhode Island
DUI PenaltyALS or RevocationImprisonmentFineOther
1st Offense60 days - 18 monthsno minimum, but up to 1 year or 10-60 hours community service$100-$500 +$500 to hwy assessment fundpossible attendance to treatment program; SR-22 insurance
2nd Offense1-2 years10 days - 1 year$400mandatory alcohol treatment program, IID for 1-2 years
3rd Offense2-3 years1-5 years$400-$5000 +$500 to hwy assessment fundvehicle may be seized or forfeited, mandatory treatment program, IID for 2 years
4th OffenseSame as 3rdSame as 3rdSame as 3rdSame as 3rd

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As you can see, there are different punishments depending on how many times you break the law and drink and drive.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

In Rhode Island, there is a zero-tolerance policy for THC and metabolites. If you get caught doing drugs while driving, you could have your license suspended, face jail time, and have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of fines.

Even if you aren’t technically doing marijuana while driving and you are consuming a different drug, law enforcement can still convict you of impaired driving.

Next time you’re considering doing drugs, think twice. Impaired driving isn’t a laughing matter. If convicted, your insurance company is sure to raise your auto insurance rate.

Distracted Driving Laws

Although technology can be a wonderful thing when used appropriately, sometimes it can be life-threatening. Studies have shown that the effects of texting and driving can be worse than drinking and driving. Here are the rules about using your cell phone while driving in Rhode Island.

Distracted Driving Laws for Rhode Island
Distracted Driving LawsDetails
Hand-held banAll drivers
Text banAll drivers
Young drivers all cellphone banDrivers younger than 18

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Primary enforcement means any law enforcement officer has the right to pull you over even if he or she suspects you are using your phone inappropriately while driving.

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Driving in Rhode Island

We’ve covered the safety rules of the road, but now it’s time to get into Rhode Island’s risks of the road. We are going to address topics like vehicle theft, traffic fatalities, traffic congestion, and crash reports.

Being aware of these things can help you avoid accidents, theft, and even sitting in traffic jams. It’s great to have insurance, but as we stated before, we want to help you avoid tragedy so you can keep your rate nice and low. Don’t go away, vehicle theft is up first.

Vehicle Theft in Rhode Island

Did you know some vehicles are more frequently stolen than others? Let’s look at some of the more commonly stolen vehicles in Rhode Island.

Vehicle Theft by Make and Model in Rhode Island
Make/ModelYear of VehicleThefts
Honda Accord1997101
Honda Civic199895
Toyota Camry201469
Nissan Maxima200045
Toyota Corolla201440
Nissan Altima201338
Ford Pickup (Full Size)200336
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee199932
Honda CR-V199927
Toyota Avalon200018

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The data above shows the top ten most stolen vehicles in the state of Rhode Island. The year listed is the most popular model stolen. Keep in mind that if your car is stolen, comprehensive insurance will most likely replace it.

Where you live can play a role in vehicle theft, as well. The list below is pulled from the FBI and shows the cities in Rhode Island where vehicle theft occurred the most in 2016.

Vehicle Theft by City in Rhode Island
Central Falls48
North Providence44
East Providence40
West Warwick27
South Kingstown16
North Kingstown10
North Smithfield8
East Greenwich3
West Greenwich3
Little Compton0
New Shoreham30

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Some of these cities have as little as zero thefts. Cranston has the most vehicle thefts at 136.

What is transportation like in Rhode Island?

Have you ever wondered how many cars your neighbors own? Did you know that how many cars you own can affect your auto insurance rate? If you have multiple cars listed on your policy, you should be able to qualify for a multi-car discount.

Car Ownership

Rhode Island residents own an average of two cars.

Very few residents do not own a car or have five or more vehicles.

Commute Time

According to Data USA, using averages, employees in Rhode Island have a shorter commute time (23.9 minutes) than the normal US worker (25.5 minutes).

Additionally, 2.36 percent of the workforce in Rhode Island have “super commutes” in excess of 90 minutes.

Commuter Transportation

79.4 percent of commuters drove alone to work in 2017. Almost 10 percent carpooled to work.

Very few people took public transportation, walked, or rode a bicycle to work.

Traffic Congestion in Rhode Island

According to TomTom, Providence is 293rd-most traffic-congested city in the world. Not bad!

Traffic Congestion for Rhode Island
CityWorld Traffic
Level on
Travel Time
Providence29319%13 Mins

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The average travel time in Providence is just 13 minutes.

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about Rhode Island auto insurance, it’s time to start shopping for a great rate. To get started, enter your ZIP in the box below  for affordable Rhode Island auto insurance quotes.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Rhode Island Insurance

Keep reading for more information about Rhode Island insurance.

Are there cheap car rentals in Providence, Rhode Island?

There are many places to find cheap car rentals in Rhode Island. Check with your auto insurance company to see if rental cars are covered under your policy.

Is there cheap insurance in Rhode Island?

There are many companies in Rhode Island that offer insurance. In addition to cheap rates, you can also get a discount if you bundle your home and auto insurance.

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