Rhode Island has some of the most expensive auto insurance rates in the country, ranking at number four for average premium and well above the national average. That makes shopping around for car insurance a must, and also makes it really important to watch not just for the lowest rate, but for the best value.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
Rhode Island car insurance law requires that every driver carry a minimum amount of liability coverage in order to be financially responsible in the event of an at-fault car accident.
The legal minimum coverage for Rhode Island drivers is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury, as well as $25,000 for property damage. These limits match up to what most states require for liability insurance coverage.
Rhode Island does not require that you carry any additional coverage, although the state highly recommends the purchase of uninsured motorist coverage.
Drivers that have purchased their vehicle with a loan or have leased a vehicle are also subject to the requirements set out in the agreement with the lender or lessor. In most cases, you will only be required to carry comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, but some companies have additional requirements that include limits on deductibles and even higher liability limits (usually on leased vehicles).
Check your lease or loan agreement to find out what coverage you have to carry.
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Specifics of Rhode Island Auto Insurance
Rhode Island operates in much the same way as other states in terms of car insurance; you have to buy the minimum, but you can elect to buy more.
As a tort state, Rhode Island law places responsibility for damages on the at-fault driver in the accident. Your insurance company will pay out up to the limits you have chosen on claims for both bodily injury and for property damage. If the damages exceed those limits, you will be responsible for the excess.
You can be sued not only for direct damages, but also for pain and suffering, and in a major car accident this can add up very quickly. Carrying higher liability limits is the best way to protect yourself financially.
Our search for the best car insurance in Rhode Island starts as always with the companies that take good care of their customers. Regardless of how low the rate, it is not worth the savings if the company you choose does not have your back when there’s a claim. All of the companies we have chosen, have solid ratings for customer service and claims handling, low complaint volumes, and lots of happy customers.
Given the high cost of car insurance in Rhode Island, however, the price was definitely a big factor in making our choices. We looked for companies that offer great value – a competitive price not just for basic coverage but for a comprehensive policy with plenty of options. Our top picks all offer good prices on a product that is worth paying for.
Finally, we ensured that all of our top picks offer their coverage to everyone in the state. That means that any company with eligibility requirements is not on the list even if they’re a great pick. We always recommend that military members and their families take a look at USAA, which has a great reputation and affordable rates as well. They are not on our list, however, due to the eligibility rules that leave out a large portion of the state’s population.
Our Top Picks
These three companies rose to the top thanks to a great reputation that comes along with good prices for the total package.
Amica Mutual is not just the top-rated insurance company in New England, they are top-rated nationwide. They earned the top award from J.D. Power in regional satisfaction as well as in claims satisfaction on a national level. Their reputation is about as good as it gets.
Fortunately, they are also an affordable choice for Rhode Island drivers, with quotes that are competitive across the board. They have got an excellent auto/home discount as well (and they’re top rated for home insurance, too), which makes them a great pick for bundling your coverage.
Right behind Amica in the New England rankings from J.D. Power is State Farm. They are a national-level powerhouse in the industry and the biggest car insurance company in the country, with a solid reputation for taking care of customers.
State Farm also offers great rates for Rhode Island drivers, and again they have an excellent auto/home discount that can bring everything together at a low price. State Farm is a good pick for those that want the personal service of an agent as well as the financial strength of a big company.
The company that has earned its place as the second-largest car insurance company in the country on the promise of low rates comes through for Rhode Island. They have got some of the most competitive premiums around thanks to a straightforward direct-buy system.
GEICO also has a great reputation, ranking highly with J.D. Power regionally as well as for claims satisfaction on a national level. They are a great pick for those that want the convenience of online and mobile access and are on a budget.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Rhode Island
Shopping around for your car insurance is the best possible way to get a better deal in Rhode Island, and it is important to shop smart. Our top picks are a good place to get started, but there are plenty of other great options out there that are also worth comparing.
Before you start, however, make sure you know what you’re shopping for. Select your liability limits (if there is one place to pay a little more for coverage, it’s on your liability), your deductibles, and any options you want to add. Knowing exactly what you want will make shopping quicker and easier; you will only get quotes on the coverage you need, and you will not have to try to make sense of a list of quotes that all have different coverage.
While our best picks for Rhode Island car insurance are all big-name companies, it is important to leave no stone unturned and compare some smaller companies as well. Working with a local independent agent can take some of that work off your plate and get you several quotes from different companies all in one place.
With high rates, bundling insurance is a great way to save. Shop your home insurance around at the same time to see what discounts are available that can bring your overall insurance bill down.
The Bottom Line
You can pay less than Rhode Island’s high average car insurance rates with a little effort. Shop around and make sure you are comparing rates from companies that are offering you excellent value – just be sure you aren’t jumping at a low rate without checking out the company’s reputation first.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.