Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Apr 2, 2020
We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
|RHODE ISLAND STATISTICS SUMMARY||DETAILS|
|Road Miles||Miles Driven: 7,677 millions|
Miles of Roadway: 6,027
|Most Popular Vehicle in Rhode Island||Toyota RAV4|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding-Related Fatalities: 41|
DUI Fatalities: 34
|Full Coverage Average Premiums (Annual)||Liability: $759.80|
Full Coverage: $1,303.50
|Cheapest Provider||State Farm|
Rhode Island, the ‘Ocean State,’ may be the smallest by area but on average it has the sixth-highest insurance premiums in the country. Therefore, it is imperative that you plan and shop for auto insurance coverage that is not only cheap but provides you adequate coverage.
We understand it can be intimidating researching different resources and therefore we have put together this comprehensive guide on the Rhode Island auto insurance.h
In this guide, we will arm you with all the essential information on the auto insurance market in your state. Bookmark this guide for reference as we will be covering different types of coverage, rates by city and ZIP code, insurance providers, laws, and much more.
You can start saving by comparing rates from different insurance companies now. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE comparison tool!
Rhode Island Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
Look, we get it. Insurance in Rhode Island is expensive.
RI is the second densest state in the country, and this means the chance of getting into an accident increases substantially. Drive Safe!
Because of the dangers on the road, the state law in Rhody requires you to carry a minimum amount of coverage, so it would help if you grasp the basics about different types of coverage and factors that influence rates in your state.
Below, we can see the average rates in Rhode Island versus in the other 49 states.
To help you purchase the best coverage for your automobile, we have put together important information about the minimum liability coverage requirement, premium rates for different personal factors, etc.
Rhode Island Minimum Coverage
Rhode Island is an ‘at-fault’ state with Pure Comparative Negligence (PCN), which means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for damage to other drivers to the extent of his/her fault. Take a look at how Rhode Island’s mimimum coverage lines up with other states.
For example, if you are driving in a lane and all of a sudden the car beside you merges into your lane without any indication and hits you – he/she will be at 100 percent fault. However, if you were overspeeding, then the other driver can hold you partially responsible for the accident. Based on the percentage of fault in the accident, your accident settlement may be reduced.
It is illegal to drive without Rhode Island’s state-mandated minimum liability car insurance coverage. If you are caught driving without the minimum insurance in Rhode Island, you could lose your driving permit and may be fined under the law. To drive on the roads, you have to obtain the minimum level of liability coverage:
|Coverage Type||Minimum Requirements|
|Bodily Injury Liability||$25,000 limit per person/$50,000 limit per accident|
|Property Damage Liability||$25,000 limit|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist||$25,000 limit per person/$50,000 limit per accident|
But what is liability coverage?
The minimum liability coverage is designed to protect you from financial implications if you are the at fault for property damage or bodily injury in an accident.
Bodily injury liability helps cover the costs, such as emergency aid, medical expenses, and funeral expenses, related to the injury/death of a pedestrian or driver and passengers in the other car due to your fault.
Remember, bodily injury liability doesn’t provide cover for medical costs that you might incur on yourself or your co-passengers.
Much like bodily injury liability, property damage liability helps you cover the expenses related to someone’s property damage in case the accident is your fault. It also provides cover for expenditure related to damage to structures (home/stores, etc.) and vehicle repair.
Take a look at the video to learn about liability coverage:
It is your responsibility to do a cost-benefit analysis to decide if it’s worth saving on the additional premium compared to the financial risk that you may be vulnerable to in case of an accident.
For instance, if you have substantial assets, it is prudent to purchase liability coverage higher than the state minimum so that you aren’t required to expend your assets to settle damages.
That was about the third-party injuries in an accident. It’s important to note that the state minimum liability coverage doesn’t cover the medical injuries you or your co-passengers sustain in an accident.
You might have to bear the cost out-of-pocket. In this case, you might want to opt for medical payments coverage that will kick in regardless of who is at fault.
Experts at CBS suggest that you should match the liability coverage to the value of your net worth to protect yourself against lawsuits.
Let us now look at how much fellow Rhode Islanders spend on car insurance.
Premiums As A Percentage of Income
Rhode Islanders have to shell out a large share of their disposable income towards auto insurance compared to their neighbors in Connecticut and Massachusetts. If you are in RI, you may pay 2.95 percent of your annual disposable income towards an auto insurance premium.
In 2014, the annual disposable income in Rhode Island was $42,585, while the full coverage annual premium was $1,257. From 2012, the average premium for Rhode Islanders has been steadily increasing and amounted to 2.95 percent of the disposable income in 2014.
|Full Coverage Premiums (Annual)||$1,257.40||$1,210.55||$1,176.05|
|Personal Disposable Income (Annual)||$42,585.00||$41,139.00||$41,492.00|
|Percentage of Income||2.95%||2.94%||2.83%|
Core Car Insurance Premiums in Rhode Island
Full auto insurance coverage includes liability cover, along with collision and comprehensive coverage. Below is the average cost of each along with the national average:
The average annual premium for liability coverage in Rhode Island is $720 while the national average is only $516. The premiums for collision and comprehensive coverage is comparable to the national average at $377 and $122 respectively.
To save money on premiums, The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation recommends that you shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance providers. Our FREE tool can help you get quotes from various insurance companies for a convenient comparative shopping experience.
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
You can take the following steps to save on premiums:
- Opt to have multiple vehicles on the same policy
- Optimize the deductible – higher deductible will help reduce the premium rates
- Complete a certified driving course for a discount
- Teenagers can get a discount if they can earn B average or better grades
- Safety equipment such as ABS, parking sensor, Anti-theft alarm
- And lastly, aim to reduce your mileage
Additional Liability Coverage in Rhode Island
|Loss Ratio||2014 - RI||2014 - US||2013 - RI||2013 - US||2012 - RI||2012 - US|
To answer questions such as if the premium is expected to increase or if the insurance provider is paying claims, we can look at the loss ratio.
What is the loss ratio? Why is it essential and more importantly, why you should know about it?
Definition: Loss Ratio is the incurred loses as a percentage to earned premiums. In other words, an insurance company’s loss ratio is the total claims it serviced compared to total premiums earned expressed as a percentage. Take a look at the following video to understand the concept better:
If the loss ratio of company A is very high compared to the average, it could mean that the premium might increase in the future. However, if the loss ratio of company B is low compared to the norm, then it could mean that the company isn’t paying claims.
Medical Payment: Medical payment is an add on coverage that provides medical insurance (plus coverage for funeral expenses), for you or your co-passengers in the event of an accident regardless of fault.
Tip: Medical Payment Coverage is also applicable if you are hit as a pedestrian by a vehicle.
The MedPay coverage might be relevant even if you have medical insurance as some medical policies may not have cover for medical expenses sustained during a car accident.
Also, it might help pay the deductible portion of your health insurance in case of a car accident. Please check with your health insurer to know about the inclusions and exclusions before making a decision.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Over 15 percent of drivers in Rhode Island are uninsured, making it the 13th worst state in terms of uninsured drivers. RI requires you to purchase a minimum coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured insurance.
This coverage is, however, not mandatory and may be declined by signing a waiver form, but it is prudent to maintain coverage given the high number of uninsured motorists in the state.
But what is uninsured motorist coverage? Take a look at the video for a brief overview:
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
Thus far, we have discussed various types of coverage, but there are a few add-ons and riders that you can avail for your auto insurance policy. Here’s the list of the various add-ons and riders:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$9,610.11||$15,000.77||$3,967.26||$5,397.88||$3,967.26||$3,967.26||$3,781.20||$3,781.20|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$4,204.16||$5,604.41||$1,680.96||$2,003.27||$1,529.96||$1,529.96||$1,349.64||$1,349.64|
|Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||$17,367.38||$27,457.38||$1,729.94||$1,922.42||$1,681.61||$1,701.83||$1,712.33||$1,702.69|
Premiums are generally high when you are a teenager, especially if you are a male. However, with age, insurance companies become gender neutral when it comes to premium rates.
|Rank||Company||Demographic||Average Annual Rate|
|1||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Single 17-year old male||$27,457.38|
|2||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Single 17-year old female||$17,367.38|
|3||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Single 17-year old male||$15,000.77|
|4||Geico General||Single 17-year old male||$13,683.07|
|5||Progressive Direct||Single 17-year old male||$13,361.63|
|6||Progressive Direct||Single 17-year old female||$11,882.34|
|7||USAA CIC||Single 17-year old male||$11,028.79|
|8||Geico General||Single 17-year old female||$10,460.06|
|9||Nationwide Mutual||Single 17-year old male||$9,664.73|
|10||USAA CIC||Single 17-year old female||$9,649.96|
|11||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Single 17-year old female||$9,610.11|
|12||Allstate F&C||Single 17-year old male||$8,211.70|
|13||Nationwide Mutual||Single 17-year old female||$7,505.22|
|14||Allstate F&C||Single 17-year old female||$6,951.89|
|15||State Farm Mutual Auto||Single 17-year old male||$5,604.41|
|16||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Single 25-year old male||$5,397.88|
|17||Allstate F&C||Single 25-year old male||$4,314.24|
|18||State Farm Mutual Auto||Single 17-year old female||$4,204.16|
|19||Allstate F&C||Single 25-year old female||$4,181.73|
|20||Allstate F&C||Married 60-year old male||$4,138.80|
|21||Allstate F&C||Married 35-year old female||$3,991.81|
|22||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Married 35-year old female||$3,967.26|
|22||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Married 35-year old male||$3,967.26|
|22||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Single 25-year old female||$3,967.26|
|25||Allstate F&C||Married 60-year old female||$3,965.46|
|26||Allstate F&C||Married 35-year old male||$3,919.97|
|27||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Married 60-year old female||$3,781.20|
|27||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Married 60-year old male||$3,781.20|
|29||Nationwide Mutual||Single 25-year old male||$3,709.14|
|30||Geico General||Single 25-year old male||$3,624.88|
|31||Geico General||Single 25-year old female||$3,471.31|
|32||Geico General||Married 35-year old male||$3,435.27|
|32||Geico General||Married 60-year old female||$3,435.27|
|34||Nationwide Mutual||Single 25-year old female||$3,412.17|
|35||Geico General||Married 60-year old male||$3,358.93|
|36||Geico General||Married 35-year old female||$3,352.25|
|37||Progressive Direct||Single 25-year old male||$3,307.02|
|38||Progressive Direct||Single 25-year old female||$3,245.10|
|39||USAA CIC||Single 25-year old male||$2,983.23|
|40||Nationwide Mutual||Married 35-year old male||$2,916.99|
|41||Nationwide Mutual||Married 35-year old female||$2,870.60|
|42||USAA CIC||Single 25-year old female||$2,842.49|
|43||Nationwide Mutual||Married 60-year old male||$2,676.05|
|44||Progressive Direct||Married 35-year old female||$2,657.85|
|45||Progressive Direct||Married 35-year old male||$2,523.06|
|46||Nationwide Mutual||Married 60-year old female||$2,522.14|
|47||Progressive Direct||Married 60-year old female||$2,442.97|
|48||Progressive Direct||Married 60-year old male||$2,428.75|
|49||USAA CIC||Married 35-year old female||$2,081.24|
|50||USAA CIC||Married 35-year old male||$2,057.69|
|51||State Farm Mutual Auto||Single 25-year old male||$2,003.27|
|52||USAA CIC||Married 60-year old female||$1,994.32|
|53||USAA CIC||Married 60-year old male||$1,954.09|
|54||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Single 25-year old male||$1,922.42|
|55||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Single 25-year old female||$1,729.94|
|56||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Married 60-year old female||$1,712.33|
|57||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Married 60-year old male||$1,702.69|
|58||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Married 35-year old male||$1,701.83|
|59||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||Married 35-year old female||$1,681.61|
Irrespective of gender and age, you should always shop around for the best discount on premium rates. For example, a 17-year-old single male can potentially save $6,789 in premium rates by switching from Liberty Mutual to Allstate.
Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code
|City||Zipcode||Average||Allstate F&C||Geico General||Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||Nationwide Mutual||Progressive Direct||State Farm Mutual Auto||Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||USAA CIC|
|WOOD RIVER JUNCTION||2894||$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|
A quick browse through the data suggests that State Farm is the cheapest option in a slew of ZIP codes. It would be prudent to get a quote from State Farm for your specific case.
|Rank||ZIP code||Grand Total||Compared to Average (+/-)||City|
|75||2894||$4,240.72||-$762.64||WOOD RIVER JUNCTION|
As the statewide average premium is $5,003.36, you can see how much the premiums deviate for your ZIP code.
Best Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
People who choose their insurance product wisely follow these two steps:
First, they choose a reputed insurance company with good financial health.
Second, they optimize the options in their policy for their specific case.
You can see how rates vary by carrier vs the overall state average.
But you’re probably wondering:
“How do I choose my insurance provider?” or “Should I go with the cheapest quote in my ZIP code?”
Insurance is a product that should help you avoid financial loss. You need to consider the financial health, reputation, credit rating, loss ratio, etc. before deciding on your insurance company.
In the following section, we will help you figure out the best possible insurance provider by comparing credit ratings, reviews, loss ratio, and much more.
Financial Ratings of the Leading Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
To start with, let’s look at the financial ratings of the large insurance companies in Rhode Island.
Why is it important?
A sound financial rating means that the company has the financial strength to meet future claim settlement obligations. Choosing companies with a larger market value will generally mean greater financial security for you, since a company will be more willing to payout a claim.
We have provided the AM Best credit ratings of the top insurance companies in Rhode Island. AM Best is one of the most reputed credit rating agency in the insurance industry. Here’s a quick read to understand how AM Best rating works.
|Company||AM Best Rating||Loss Ratio|
|Allstate Insurance Group||A+||62.08%|
|Amica Mutual Group||A+||63.36%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||A||65.17%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||A+||63.34%|
|Mapfre Insurance Group||A||63.64%|
Customer Satisfaction Ratings of Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
Customer reviews can provide an answer to a lot of our questions concerning the quality of service, response time, ease of claim settlement, etc.
We are providing customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power, which is a globally reputed automotive review and rating agency.
As per the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Amica Mutual, State Farm, and Allstate are the highest rated car insurance companies in the New England region.
Companies with Most Complaints in Rhode Island
In the competitive insurance market, companies are always trying to improve their service quality to retain customers. However, in the case of dissatisfaction, you can file a complaint against the insurer with your state insurance department. To register a complaint against your auto insurer in Rhode Island, you can use this online form.
A complaint filed against your auto insurer will increase the complaints ratio.
Complaints ratio is the number of complaints received per 100,000 policies written and a high ratio may mean that the service quality of the auto insurer is not satisfactory.
Here’s a list of top insurers in Rhode Island and the respective complaints data:
|Company Name||Complaints Ratio||Total Complaints|
|Allstate Insurance Group||0.5||163|
|Amica Mutual Group||0.46||52|
|Liberty Mutual Group||5.95||222|
|Nationwide Corp Group||0.28||25|
|Mapfre Insurance Group||6.25||27|
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
|Company||Average||Compared to State Average|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$6,184.12||$1,180.76|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,406.50||-$2,596.85|
|Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co||$6,909.45||$1,906.09|
We see that State Farm is approximately 107 percent cheaper than the state average. You can now combine rate, review, financial strength, and other data to shortlist car insurance companies for your policy search.
Start comparison shopping today using our FREE online tool.
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
|Company||10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.||25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.|
Insurance companies provide a low mileage discount if you drive less than 25 miles. However, as evident from the table above, the difference in Rhode Island is marginal.
For higher coverages, State Farm is by far the cheapest option in Rhode Island. State Farm can potentially save more than $4,000 compared to the most expensive option.
From the data, it’s evident that State Farm provides the cheapest rate for people with bad or fair credit. However, if you have good credit, you can save nearly $5,000 compared to the most expensive option.
An important factor determining your auto insurance rate is the credit score. Your insurance may be substantially high if you have a bad credit score.
Do you know: As per the 2017 State of Credit Survey conducted by Experian, the average credit score for Rhode Island residents was 687 while the national average was 675.
|Company||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
Insurance companies may increase premium rates based on your driving record. If you were in an accident where you were at fault or were caught driving under the influence (DUI), then the premium rates can substantially increase. Companies see this as risky behavior that could lead to additional claims in the future.
Still, there are few companies that provide accident forgiveness incentives that may help keep your rates down.
– Largest Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
|Company||Direct Premiums Written||Loss Ratio||Market Share|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$107,256||62.08%||11.63%|
|Amica Mutual Group||$105,708||63.36%||11.47%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$65,124||65.17%||7.06%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||$52,881||63.34%||5.74%|
|Mapfre Insurance Group||$42,523||63.64%||4.61%|
– Number of Car Insurers in Rhode Island
|Type of Insurer||Count|
State Laws in Rhode Island
We understand that state laws are extremely complex and tedious to peruse through.
But to purchase the best possible insurance, you need to understand the applicable laws in Rhode Island. By being on the right side of the law, you can avoid traffic violations, and the insurance company may provide a discount for safe driving.
Here we have listed down all the essential rules and regulations that you need to follow while driving in Rhode Island.
Car Insurance Laws in Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island implemented the Tort System in 1993 under which you have to buy a ‘liability’ protection that covers other drivers. The Secretary of State usually approves the regulations after the due consultation process.
State laws allow a +/-5 percent flexibility in rate revision to the insurers. If the rate revision is any more than the threshold of 5 percent, they have to seek prior approval from the Department of Business Regulation.
Windshield Coverage Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island windshield insurance laws don’t require insurance companies to provide cover for windshield damage or no-deductible replacement. However, companies may offer glass protection under comprehensive coverage.
Insurance companies can use aftermarket parts that are equal in kind and quality if the car is older than 30 months. If your vehicle is 30 months old or less, then the insurance company must notify the consumer that they are eligible for OEM parts and get consent from the consumer.
High-Risk Insurance in Rhode Island
If you were convicted for DUI or generally you have accumulated points by violating the traffic rules, you are considered a high-risk driver by insurance companies. The process of getting insurance in the voluntary market might get complicated for you in that situation.
If you are refused coverage in the voluntary market, you can apply for the Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan (RIAIP). It is an assigned risk plan that provides insurance coverage to drivers who were denied coverage in the voluntary market.
The policy purchased through RIAIP tends to cost higher than a voluntary program, but the coverage provided is intended to be the same.
To be eligible for the RIAIP, you must meet the following conditions:
- You will have to attest in the insurance application that you were unsuccessful in searching for insurance in the voluntary market for a minimum of 60 days
- You must have a valid driver’s license
- You should have a vehicle registered in Rhode Island
In 2018, Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles stopped accepting SR-22 financial responsibility filings. Instead, the state DMV has asked insurers to adjust the premiums in accordance with the cancellation of financial responsibility filings.
Automobile Insurance Fraud in Rhode Island
Between 2013-17, the property/casualty insurance industry incurred losses amounting to $30 billion per year.
Auto insurance frauds are either hard frauds or soft frauds. Hard frauds include crimes such as claim fabrication or faking an accident. To reduce premium rates, people may commit soft frauds including underestimating mileage, reporting a wrong ZIP code, wrongly claiming garage parking, etc.
Committing Insurance fraud is a crime in Rhode Island, and you may attract severe punishment.
Statute of Limitations in Rhode Island
The statute of limitations in Rhode Island is three years for personal injury claims and 10 years for property damage.
Vehicle Licensing Laws in Rhode Island
It is illegal to drive without a driver’s license in Rhode Island. And, it is required to be in your possession while operating a vehicle. If you drive without a valid driver’s license, you may be cited, arrested, and charged for a misdemeanor offense.
Real ID Implementation in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles started issuing Real ID-compliant licenses in December 2018. The Real ID is an optional program, and there is no additional fee if you apply during your license renewal period. Real ID is required if you want to board a domestic flight and enter a secure federal facility without a valid passport.
You can use the DMV wizard to check if you need a Real ID.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Rhode Island
|Penalty||First Offense||Second Offense||Third Offense|
|License, Registration Certificate, Plates Suspension Duration||Upto 3 Months||Upto 6 Months||Upto 1 Year|
Apart from the penalties, you can also incur a substantial financial burden if you are in an accident and you don’t have insurance.
Teen Driving Laws in Rhode Island
|Driver’s Education||Minimum 15 years, 10 months||Complete a 33-hour driver’s education course certified and approved by the Rhode Island Community College||Only drive a dual-control vehicle with an instructor|
|Limited Instruction Permit||Minimum 16 years||Pass a vision exam pass a test on traffic laws|
Parents or guardians also required to attend a short course on driver education
|Teen only authorized to drive with an adult in the front seat who is 21 years or older and who has held a driver’s license for at least 5 years|
|Limited Provisional License||Minimum 16 years, 6 months||Teen must have held the Limited Instruction Permit for a minimum of six months|
Have to submit an affidavit signed by parent indicating minimum 50 hours of suprevised driving with a minimum of ten hours of night driving
Pass a driving test
|May drive unsupervised except between 1:00AM-5:00AM|
In the first 12 months, the teen driver can't have more than one passenger who is younger than 21 years
|Full License||Minimum 17 years||A Teen can apply for a full license if the teen has held the Limited Provisional License for minimum 12 months and has no traffic or seat belt violation||N/A|
Older Driver License Renewal Procedures in Rhode Island
|License renewal||Proof of Adequate Vision||Mail or Online Renewal Permitted|
|2 years for 75 years and older; 5 years for the rest||Required for every renewal||Online or in-person|
Driver’s License for New Residents
A new resident of Rhode Island who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license must take the computerized knowledge exam and the road test.
Out-of-country applicants, who are in the country on a visa, must also pass the computerized knowledge exam and the road test at the Cranston DMV headquarters. No other DMV will entertain applications from out-of-country applicants.
Rules of the Road in Rhode Island
It is crucial that you know the driving rules to follow as it not only keeps you safe on the road but also helps you maintain a clean driving record (read: insurance discounts.)
Fault vs. No-Fault
Rhode Island is an ‘at-fault’ state which means that you have to mandatorily buy liability coverage to provide cover for third party injury and damage expenses in the event of an accident where you are at fault.
Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws in Rhode Island
Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved around 14,668 lives of vehicle occupants in 2016 alone. Let’s take a look at some of the seat belt laws and facts in Rhode Island.
4 and Younger
5 and Older
|Additional Lives Who Would Have|
Been Saved at 100% Use
On average, only 78 percent of Rhode Islanders wear seat belts compared to the national average of 86 percent.
Rhode Island follows primary enforcement of seat belt laws and is applicable for all seats. The base fine for the first offense is $40, but additional fees may also apply.
|Law||Age||Child Safety||Adult seat for children|
|Primary||18+||Children 2 years and younger or less than 30 pounds should be in a rear-facing child restraint|
Children 7 years and younger and less than 57 inches/80 pounds must be in a front-facing child restraint
Children 7 and younger must be in rear seat
|Children 7 years and younger that weigh more than 80 pounds/at least 57 inches tall|
Age 8-17 are allowed in adult seats with seat belts
Do you know: Primary seat belt law allows a police officer to stop and ticket someone for not wearing a seat belt.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws in Rhode Island
Drivers must keep in the right lane except overtaking and passing another vehicle. You also have to stay in the right lane if you are proceeding slower than the flow of traffic unless passing another vehicle.
Move over Law: Rhode Island state law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashlights to move over to the adjacent lane and slow down.
Speed Limits in Rhode Island
|Type of Road||mph|
|Other limited access road||55|
Ridesharing Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island passed a bill in 2016 regulating ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to ply in the state under certain conditions. Some of the salient points of the act are:
- Drivers opting to drive for ridesharing services have to undertake a national mandatory criminal background check
- The law has zero tolerance policy towards a record of DUI driving, homicide, sexual assault, etc.
- Uber/Lyft Coverage rates depend on two possible scenarios:
- The driver is available for rides on the app but is not on a route – $50,000 limit per person and a $100,000 limit per accident along with $25,000 liability coverage for property damage but no collision coverage
- The driver is en-route to pick up the customer or has picked up the customer – $1 million liability cover but $1,000 deductible in case of Uber or $2,500 deductible in case of Lyft
Geico and Liberty Mutual provide insurance coverage for rideshare drivers in Rhode Island.
Safety Laws in Rhode Island
Driving while being intoxicated is not only dangerous for you and other people on the road, but it also invites harsh penalties from the law enforcement and insurers. Let us look at the laws concerning DWI and distracted driving.
DUI Laws in Rhode Island
Formally called Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) by the state, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is considered a severe offense.
The first and second non-injury offense is a misdemeanor, while the third non-injury offense is a felony. Any DUI offense that results in a bodily injury is considered a felony. The DWI charge has a lookback period of five years in Rhode Island.
The lookback period is the period of time that a DWI offense will remain on a driver’s record. Any repeated offense within the five year period will be counted as second or subsequent offense resulting in harsher sanctions.
|Offense||License suspension or revocation||Imprisonment||Fine||Other|
|First||60 days - 18 months||Up to 1 year or 10-60 hours of community service||$100-$500 and another $500 for Highway Assessment Fund||Possible attendance to a treatment program|
|Second||1-2 years||10 days - 1 year||$400 and another $500 for Highway Assessment Fund||Mandatory alcohol treatment program|
Ignition interlock device for 1-2 years
|Third||2-3 years||1-5 years||$400-$5000 plus $500 to Highway Assessment Fund||Vehicle may be seized or forfeited|
Mandatory treatment program
Ignition interlock device for two years.
Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws in Rhode Island
State of Rhode Island has zero tolerance for THC and metabolites while driving and is punishable under the DWI law.
Zero tolerance: If there is any trace of cannabis in the blood while driving, the driver can be charged under the DWI law.
Distracted Driving Laws in Rhode Island
When electronic devices are all pervasive in our life, distracted driving due to these devices are a growing problem that can result in death and severe injuries.
It is illegal to use a cell phone or other wireless devices while operating a vehicle. If you are caught holding a phone and talking or texting while driving, you may be fined up to $100.
Driving in Rhode Island
If you own a vehicle in Rhode Island, you will find the data around theft and fatalities in the state relevant. It can help you find out the number of cars stolen and the different causes of road fatalities.
Vehicle Theft in Rhode Island
|Make & Model||Most Popular Model Year||Number of Thefts|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2003||36|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||1999||32|
The most stolen vehicle in Rhode Island is the 1997 Honda Accord.
You can also look at the following data from the FBI for the number of cars stolen in your city.
Road Fatalities in Rhode Island
Let us now look at the various causes of road fatalities in Rhode Island.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
Fatalities by county for all crashes in Rhode Island
Traffic Fatalities in Rhode Island
Fatalities by Person Type in Rhode Island
|Person Type||Car Type||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
|-||Light Truck - Pickup||4||3||3||4||3|
|-||Light Truck - Utility||3||3||5||6||6|
|-||Light Truck - Van||1||1||1||0||4|
|-||Light Truck - Other||0||0||0||1||0|
|-||Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||3||0||0||2||2|
Fatalities by Crash Type in Rhode Island
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||65||51||45||51||83|
|Involving a Large Truck||5||2||1||2||8|
|Involving a Rollover||8||7||12||11||11|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||36||24||23||23||47|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||18||10||7||8||12|
Fatalities Trend for the Counties in Rhode Island
|Ranking||List of Counties||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County in Rhode Island
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County in Rhode Island
Teen Drinking and Driving in Rhode Island
As per the alcohol-impairment driving statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, law enforcement arrested 11 teens for DUI in 2016.
In 2016, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities for drivers under 21 in Rhode Island were 0.8 deaths per 100,000 population. The national average for 2016 was 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
EMS Response Time in Rhode Island
|State||Average Time of Crash to EMS Notification||Average EMS Notification to EMS Arrival||Average EMS Arrival at Scene to Hospital Arrival||Average Time of Crash to Hospital Arrival||Total Fatal Crashes|
Transportation in Rhode Island
The congestion on I-95 and I-195 affects the residents of the Ocean State. Let us look at the transportation data to understand the reason for the traffic congestion.
Car Ownership in Rhode Island
Households in Rhode Island own two cars on average, which is on par with the national average (as illustrated in grey)
Commute Time in Rhode Island
According to DataUSA, The average commute time in Rhode Island is 23.9 minutes, which is shorter than the average US commute time (25.5 minutes).
The average commute time in Rhode Island is also less than the neighboring states of Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Commuter Transportation in Rhode Island
As per DataUSA, around 80 percent of commuters prefer to drive alone in Rhode Island while only 9.4 percent opt for carpooling.
We hope that after having gone through the guide, you have all the data to make an informed decision on your insurance policy.
Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your ZIP code in our FREE tool below.