Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in Rhode Island (2024)

Being a high-risk driver in Rhode Island may increase your auto insurance premiums, but you can still find ways to save money.

Erin Gobler
Written byErin Gobler
Erin Gobler
Erin Gobler
  • 5+ years of finance writing experience 

  • Certificate of financial planning from Boston University

Erin is a personal finance writer and journalist with work featured in major publications. Her writing explores investing, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and more.

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Katie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Amber Benka
Reviewed byAmber Benka
Amber Benka
Amber BenkaLicensed Insurance Agent

Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance. She has owned the R.A.L Insurance Agency for four years.

Updated May 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM PDT

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When shopping for car insurance in Rhode Island as a high-risk driver, you might find rates much higher than premiums for drivers with a clean record. Depending on your violation history, you might even struggle to qualify for a policy because some insurance companies don’t take on drivers with increased risk.

Plenty of insurance companies offer policies to high-risk drivers in Rhode Island, though. You should understand what to expect when signing up for coverage.

Quick Facts
  • A high-risk driver describes someone an auto insurer views as more likely to file a claim based on their driving history, credit score, age, or another factor.

  • Drivers with certain risk factors often pay higher insurance premiums to account for what they may cost their insurance company.

  • You can save money as a high-risk driver by improving your driving record, shopping around for insurance, and using discounts.

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Factors that determine high-risk status in Rhode Island

Though Rhode Island doesn’t have a legal definition of a “high-risk driver,” it’s a term insurance companies use to describe someone with a greater likelihood of filing an auto insurance claim.

“A high-risk driver can also be a newly licensed operator and/or someone with low liability limits on their insurance policy,” says Kristen Gryglik, a senior insurance agent with Comparion Insurance Agency.

You can’t simply divide drivers into categories of low-risk or high-risk, though. Drivers fall somewhere on a broad risk spectrum. Lower risk results in lower insurance rates, and greater risk leads to more expensive coverage.

The following factors could cause insurance companies to view you as a high-risk driver:[1]

  • Traffic violations, tickets, and DUIs: The presence of one or more driving violations on your record can indicate a certain level of risk — especially if your record demonstrates a pattern of tickets or you have a serious conviction, like a DUI or driving while uninsured.

  • Accidents and claims: Recent or frequent at-fault accidents will make insurers wary of having to pay out future claims. A history of multiple claims indicates future risk.

  • Credit score and financial history: Drivers with a poor credit history tend to earn higher rates than drivers with good or excellent credit because of how insurers calculate insurance scores.

  • Age and driving experience: Teenagers and drivers younger than 25 typically pay the highest rates for car insurance by age group because their lack of experience leads to a greater likelihood of accidents.

  • Location: Some factors tied to your location — like bad weather or high rates of vehicle theft, accidents, or uninsured driving — can cause average rates in your area to increase.

Best Rhode Island auto insurance companies for high-risk drivers by violation

High-risk drivers typically face higher premiums than drivers with clean records. Different violations and risk factors will increase your premiums by different amounts. For example, your premiums will likely increase a lot more after a DUI than after a single speeding ticket.

Best car insurance for Rhode Island high-risk drivers with an at-fault accident

Having an at-fault accident on your driving record typically increases your insurance rates — especially if you filed an expensive claim. Your liability insurance protects you financially from the cost of injuries and property damage you cause in an accident. If you have collision insurance, your policy pays for the cost of damage to your vehicle.

The cost of auto insurance for someone with an at-fault accident varies widely depending on your insurance company. For example, USAA offers the cheapest average rate for Rhode Island drivers with an at-fault accident, at $159 per month for full coverage. A Liberty Mutual customer with an at-fault accident on their record could see an average rate of $492 per month.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality (IQ) Score
USAA$1594.5
State Farm$2044.4
Safeco$2793.8
GEICO$3234.3
Nationwide$3354.1
Travelers$4364.3
Midvale Home & Auto$4533.2
Allstate$4804.1
Liberty Mutual$4923.8
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
  • Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.

    Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.

Best car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Rhode Island with a DUI

A driving under the influence (DUI) charge typically increases your rates more than any other driving violation.

In Rhode Island, a DUI results in license suspension, lasting anywhere from 30 days to three years depending on the offense.[2] If you lose your license and cancel your insurance, the DUI will affect your rates if you reinstate your license and sign up for insurance again.

The cheapest average rates for full-coverage insurance following a DUI in Rhode Island range between $222 and $685 per month.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality (IQ) Score
USAA$2224.5
State Farm$2854.4
Safeco$3883.8
GEICO$4494.3
Nationwide$4664.1
Travelers$6074.3
Midvale Home & Auto$6313.2
Allstate$6684.1
Liberty Mutual$6853.8
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Best auto insurance for Rhode Island high-risk drivers with speeding tickets

A speeding ticket can also increase your insurance rates. Unlike an at-fault accident, a speeding ticket doesn’t necessarily cost your insurance company any money. But someone who drives over the speed limit may cause an accident and file a claim in the future.

In Rhode Island, the cheapest average full-coverage rates for drivers with speeding tickets start at $149 per month, from USAA.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality (IQ) Score
USAA$1494.5
State Farm$1924.4
Safeco$2613.8
GEICO$3024.3
Nationwide$3144.1
Travelers$4094.3
Midvale Home & Auto$4253.2
Allstate$4504.1
Liberty Mutual$4613.8
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest Rhode Island car insurance companies for high-risk drivers with poor credit

Your credit history is a factor that determines your insurance premiums. Data has shown a correlation between people with lower credit scores and an increased likelihood of filing insurance claims.[3]

Some states prohibit insurance companies from using credit as a factor in setting insurance rates, but Rhode Island allows the practice. However, insurers in the state can’t penalize drivers due to an absence of credit history.

Drivers with a poor credit score tend to face higher rates than drivers with good and excellent credit history. Average quotes for drivers with poor credit start at $244 per month for full-coverage insurance.

Insurance CompanyAverage Quote: Full CoverageInsurify Quality (IQ) Score
USAA$2444.5
Safeco$3193.8
State Farm$3374.4
GEICO$4894.3
Liberty Mutual$5373.8
Midvale Home & Auto$5633.2
Travelers$5834.3
Allstate$8264.1
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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How to find affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers in Rhode Island

If you have violations on your record or qualify as high risk for another reason, you’ll likely pay more for insurance.

However, you can still find ways to save money on car insurance when shopping for a policy:[4]

  • Comparison shop. The amount you pay for car insurance varies not only by violation but also by the insurance company. You can often save money on premiums by comparing quotes from a handful of different insurers before signing up for a policy.

  • Work with an agent or broker. An insurance professional — especially an independent one — can help you find the best insurance rates. Based on their experience, they may have a better idea of which insurers will be most affordable based on your situation.

  • Take advantage of discounts. Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to help customers save money on their policies. Common discounts include savings for maintaining low mileage, having vehicle safety features, or paying your premium up front.

  • Bundle your policies. If you also have renters or homeowners insurance, purchase your auto insurance policy with the same insurer. Many insurance companies charge a lower premium to customers who bundle policies.

How to improve your driving record and lower your car insurance rates in Rhode Island

Improving your driving record is one of the best ways to lower your car insurance rates over time.

“There’s not much that can be done once the violation is on your record,” says Gryklik. “However, if you do get a surcharge notice for an accident or moving violation, I always advise to appeal if there is any chance you can be found less than 50% at fault for an accident.”

In Rhode Island, violations usually only affect your insurance premiums for three years.[5] And you can take advantage of the state’s Good Driver’s Statute. This statute allows you to have a violation dismissed from your record if you’ve had an active driver’s license for at least three years and haven’t had any other violations on your record within the past three years.[6]

You can improve your driving record and lower your insurance rates in a few other ways, as well:

  • Take a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies lower insurance rates for someone who’s completed a defensive driving course.

  • Maintain a good credit score. Your credit score is a major risk factor when it comes to your insurance rates. Even if you have a violation on your record, you could improve your rates by increasing your credit score.

  • Sign up for accident forgiveness. Many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, which means your rates won’t increase after your first accident. While this won’t help you with accidents already on your record, it’ll help improve your record in the event of any future accidents.

  • Seek legal help. If you cause an accident or end up with a violation on your record, seek the help of an attorney to see if you can keep the violation off your driving record (or at least lessen its severity).

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Rhode Island high-risk drivers insurance FAQs

Signing up for auto insurance as a high-risk driver presents challenges, and doing your research ahead of time may help you. Here’s what you should know about high-risk car insurance in Rhode Island.

  • What kind of driver is considered high-risk in Rhode Island?

    A high-risk driver in Rhode Island is someone with a greater likelihood of filing a claim based on their driving record, lack of driving experience, or credit score.

  • How do auto insurance companies calculate risk in Rhode Island?

    Each insurance company uses its own formula for calculating risk and insurance rates. But generally speaking, drivers are grouped with others who have similar risk characteristics. Drivers within each group pay a similarly priced premium.

    Factors included in this calculation may include your driving record, location, gender, age, coverage type and amount, credit score, and more.

  • What’s the cheapest insurance company for high-risk Rhode Island drivers?

    USAA has the cheapest auto insurance for most high-risk drivers, but the company only provides coverage to current and former military members and their families. State Farm offers the next-cheapest high-risk policies and offers more widely available coverage.

  • How much does high-risk auto insurance cost in Rhode Island?

    Rates start as low as $149 per month but can increase to more than $650 per month. The amount you’ll pay for high-risk auto insurance in Rhode Island depends on several factors besides your driving violations, including your amount of coverage, where you live, your insurance company, your credit score, and more.

  • How long does reckless driving affect insurance in Rhode Island?

    In Rhode Island, moving violations remain on your driving record for three years, meaning they can affect your insurance rates for that long. You may also have to deal with other long-term effects of reckless driving, including jail time and license suspension.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed May 9, 2023
  2. State of Rhode Island. "Title 31 Motor and Other Vehicles." Accessed May 9, 2023
  3. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Consumer's Guide to Auto Insurance." Accessed May 9, 2023
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "How to save money on car insurance." Accessed May 9, 2023
  5. State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Insurance Division. "Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance." Accessed May 9, 2023
  6. Government of Central Falls, Rhode Island. "Good Driving Record Dismissal Policy." Accessed May 9, 2023
Erin Gobler
Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a personal finance writer and journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. With more than five years of experience, Erin has covered topics such as investing, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and more. Her work has been featured in major publications like Business Insider, Fox Business, and Time. Erin received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2013, studying journalism and political science. She also received a certificate of financial planning from Boston University in 2022.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Amber Benka
Reviewed byAmber BenkaLicensed Insurance Agent
Amber Benka
Amber BenkaLicensed Insurance Agent

Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance. She has owned the R.A.L Insurance Agency for four years.

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