Car Insurance Requirements in Rhode Island (2024)

Rhode Island drivers must carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident, $25,000 in property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage.

Amy Beardsley
Written byAmy Beardsley
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Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer
  • 3+ years writing about auto, home, and life insurance

  • 7+ years in personal finance and technology

Amy specializes in insurance and technology writing and has a talent for transforming complex topics into easy-to-understand stories.

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Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Updated March 1, 2024 at 11:00 AM PST

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Car insurance is a crucial part of owning and operating a vehicle, but legal requirements for coverage vary by state. Rhode Island drivers must purchase bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage to drive legally in the state.

If you’re a driver in Rhode Island, understanding the specific coverage you need is essential. You could face penalties, fines, or even the suspension of your driving privileges if you overlook Rhode Island’s car insurance requirements.

No matter what kind of coverage you end up buying, always compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers before deciding on a policy.

Rhode Island car insurance requirements

Your Rhode Island auto insurance policy must meet specific requirements for you to drive legally. If you’re buying coverage for the first time or comparing quotes to find a better deal, you’re looking at a minimum of 25/50/25 liability protection. You can also opt for a single-limit policy of $75,000.[1]

Bodily injury liability coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage protects you financially if you’re responsible for injuring someone in a car accident. If you cause an accident, your bodily injury coverage steps in to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs for another person. It has one crucial caveat — it doesn’t cover anyone in your car.

The first two numbers in a 25/50/25 policy spell out the minimum bodily injury liability protection you need. In Rhode Island, you need at least $25,000 for one person’s injuries and $50,000 for two or more people in a single accident.[1]

Property damage liability coverage

The last number in your 25/50/25 policy is for property damage liability coverage. This covers the costs of damage you may cause to someone else’s property with your vehicle. For example, if you’re at fault, property damage insurance would pay to fix other cars, buildings, fences, or mailboxes you may have damaged.

Rhode Island requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 in property damage coverage.[1] While that’s the minimum, it’s important to consider whether it’s enough to cover potential damages. In serious accidents, expenses can quickly add up to more than this amount, and you’re on the hook for expenses the insurance company doesn’t cover.

Uninsured motorist coverage

A state-minimum insurance policy in Rhode Island also requires uninsured motorist coverage.[2] It kicks in if you’re in a hit-and-run or if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your medical bills and other losses. It acts as a buffer, preventing you from shouldering hefty costs due to someone else’s lack of coverage. Your limits for uninsured motorist coverage must match your bodily injury liability limits.

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Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/a191323daa/states_rhode-island.svg

    The Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan is a helpful resource for drivers who struggle to get car insurance through the voluntary market.[3] It can get you a policy that meets the minimum requirements, even if you can’t find a company to insure you because you’re a high-risk driver, have a spotty driving record, or face other challenges.

    It’s worth noting that finding information about the Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan online is challenging. The State’s Division of Insurance website links to a page for insurance agents, and many areas require specific permission to access.[4]

    For a clear understanding of the services and options, it’s best to reach out to them directly at 1 (401) 946-2600. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.[5]

Do you need more than the state-minimum coverage in Rhode Island?

While you don’t legally need to purchase more than the state-minimum coverage in Rhode Island, deciding whether to opt for more than liability-only insurance depends on your circumstances. Rhode Island’s minimum coverage pays for damages and injuries you’re responsible for in an accident, but it doesn’t cover your vehicle or injuries.

The state’s minimum liability coverage might be enough if you’re driving an older car with a lower value. But full coverage is a good idea if you have a newer, high-value car or are still paying off your vehicle. Full-coverage car insurance upgrades your protection to cover a broad range of incidents through collision and comprehensive coverages.

Good to Know

Insurance professionals, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, typically recommend getting more coverage for better protection.[6] Additionally, if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry full coverage.

The cost of liability-only car insurance in Rhode Island

Rhode Island drivers spend an average of $136 on liability-only car insurance per month, or $1,627 per year. The table below shows the companies offering the cheapest auto insurance quotes for liability-only policies in Rhode Island.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Friday, March 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA83
Safeco84
Liberty Mutual99
State Farm107
Midvale Home & Auto132
GEICO163
Progressive164
Nationwide190
Travelers201
Allstate261
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.

The cost of full-coverage car insurance in Rhode Island

The average car insurance rate for full coverage in Rhode Island is $180 per month, or $2,162 per year. The table below shows the companies offering the cheapest quotes for full-coverage car insurance in the state.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Friday, March 1 at 11:00 AM PST
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA113
State Farm145
Safeco156
Liberty Mutual211
Midvale Home & Auto218
GEICO222
Progressive222
Nationwide258
Travelers276
Allstate353
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.

Penalties for driving without proof of insurance in Rhode Island

In addition to having coverage, you must carry proof of insurance while driving in Rhode Island. You face a steep $500 fine if you’re caught without it.[7] And if you don’t have insurance coverage at all, the penalties are much more severe and depend on your insurance history.

  • First offense: Drivers face losing their driving privileges for up to three months. They may also have to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $500.

  • Second offense: The second time a driver doesn’t have car insurance, the state will suspend their license for six months. The fine for a second offense is $500.

  • Third offense: For a third or subsequent violation, drivers can lose their license for up to one year. Rhode Island law considers these offenses to be civil violations, and the fine increases significantly, to $1,000.[1]

Find Affordable Car Insurance in Rhode Island

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Optional car insurance coverages to consider

Minimum required coverages aren’t usually enough to fully protect you, especially if you’re involved in a severe accident. You may want to explore these additional coverage options for peace of mind and greater financial security.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Collision coverage

    Collision coverage pays for repairs to your car after an accident with another vehicle or object, such as a fence or a tree. However, it also covers the cost of replacing your vehicle if it’s beyond repair.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive coverage

    Comprehensive coverage acts as a safety net against non-collision events. It covers scenarios often out of your control, like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters, such as floods or fires. It even includes animal encounters, like hitting a deer.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/4c9753bdbe/medical-payments.svg

    Medical payments coverage

    Medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, no matter who was at fault in the accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/abffe6238f/financial-protection.svg

    Gap coverage

    Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe on your vehicle loan and its current market value if it’s stolen or totaled.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/9997698e9e/emergency-roadside-service.svg

    Roadside assistance and towing coverage

    Roadside assistance and towing coverage provides help for emergencies on the road, such as tire changes, jump-starts, lock-outs, towing, and fuel delivery. It’s usually available 24/7 so car trouble doesn’t leave you stranded.

Rhode Island car insurance requirements FAQs

Rhode Island, known for its beautiful coastline and rich history, has specific car insurance laws you must follow. Here are answers to common questions drivers have when shopping for coverage or registering a vehicle with the Rhode Island DMV.

  • Does Rhode Island require car insurance?

    Yes, drivers must have car insurance to drive legally in Rhode Island. State law requires you to have liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional, but lenders or leasing companies might insist on it. You must also carry uninsured motorist insurance at the same limits as your bodily injury liability coverage.[4]

  • Do you need car insurance to register a car in Rhode Island?

    Yes, you must have car insurance before registering a vehicle in Rhode Island. The state’s DMV provides an Application for Registration with a checklist of the necessary documents for different situations, such as buying from a dealer or private seller or after a lease buyout. You must show proof of Rhode Island car insurance for all these cases.[8]

  • Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Rhode Island?

    Car insurance follows the car, not the driver, in Rhode Island. If you let a friend or family member drive your vehicle, your insurance policy is typically the primary coverage in case of an accident or damage.[9] However, details can vary based on the terms of your coverage, so it’s always best to check with your insurer.

  • Is it illegal to not have car insurance in Rhode Island?

    Yes, driving in Rhode Island without car insurance is against the law. As long as your vehicle is registered with the state, you must keep a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage. When registering your car, you must sign a statement that you agree to keep the vehicle insured.[8]

  • What is considered full-coverage insurance in Rhode Island?

    In Rhode Island, full-coverage car insurance generally means your policy has the legally required 25/50/25 liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage. It also includes comprehensive and collision insurance for damage to your vehicle and uninsured motorist coverage to protect against an accident with an uninsured driver.[4]

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Rhode Island Department of Insurance. "Title 31 Motor and Other Vehicles." Accessed December 13, 2023
  2. Rhode Island Department of Insurance. "Liability Insurance." Accessed December 13, 2023
  3. Dept. of Business Regulation. "Division of Insurance - Consumers." Accessed December 13, 2023
  4. Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office. "Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan." Accessed December 13, 2023
  5. Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan. "Hours of Operation." Accessed December 13, 2023
  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Consumer's Guide to Auto Insurance." Accessed December 13, 2023
  7. RI Division of Motor Vehicles. "Laws You Must Know." Accessed December 13, 2023
  8. RI Division of Motor Vehicles. "New Registration." Accessed December 13, 2023
  9. Nolo. "Rhode Island Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements." Accessed December 13, 2023
Amy Beardsley
Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer

Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

Featured in

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