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Rhode Island Car Insurance

Auto Insurance Basics in Rhode Island

The economic toll of car accidents in the United States is vast. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performs periodic deep analyses into the topic and have recently reported that that the total cost of car accidents on individuals and the the American economy as a whole is measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Every year there are more than 6 million car accidents on our roadways and over 34,000 fatalities. The direct medical costs of these deaths average over $ 1 million each. The total number of people injured from crashes is multiples higher. It is estimated that approximately 3 million people suffer nonfatal injuries annually. The average medical cost of a serious accident related injury is over $60 thousand and the average fender bender costs, by some estimates, around $3,500 per incident. Getting into a car crash can result in medical costs, property damage, lost wages and productivity. As you can see, if you are involved in a car accident you are exposed to physical harm, significant property damage (cars are expensive things) and potentially huge economic risk.

That risk to individuals and the broader society is why the car insurance industry sprang up and is why Rhode Island and virtually every other state requires vehicle owners to insure their cars in order to register them and to legally operate them. Insurance is a contract between a vehicle owner and an insurance provider. The insurance company agrees to cover the policy holder for the cost of certain, well-defined risks (i.e. medical bills and property damage) resulting from an accident in return for annual payments, called premiums.

If you are new to buying car insurance, the product can seem very confusing. For instance, generally speaking every driver will need liability insurance, but there are a variety of other car insurance coverages you can choose from. If you are responsible for causing an accident liability insurance will cover medical costs and property damage of the other party involved. Each policy clearly defines the maximum amount of damages it will pay out for a single accident, and will also define what your deductible is. A deductible is a certain amount you yourself must pay out of your own pocket for accident related damages before your policy kicks in. Bear in mind that in the event that damages to a second party exceed the maximum limits of your liability policy, you can be held personally responsible for the remaining costs. These are normally covered through civil court actions.

In order to cover your own accident related costs, you will need additional insurance coverage. Collision insurance is the type of policy that helps cover the cost of repairing damages to your own vehicle after a crash. It is purchased separately from liability insurance and will have its own set deductible and pay out limits. Cars can be damaged by theft, vandalism, storms and other factors that are out of your control. Comprehensive insurance covers car owners from these risks. Protection from the cost of medical bills is covered by personal injury protection, or PIP insurance. You can also select from a menu of other coverages such as roadside assistance, protection from uninsured drivers and other products.

Car insurance can be expensive and Rhode Island drivers should assess their own risk tolerance and ability to afford appropriate coverage.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island follows the “at fault” model of car insurance. This means that any damages resulting from an accident are the responsibility of the party that caused the crash. In practical terms, this means that the insurance company of the at fault party pays the dames (less deductibles, of course). Rhode Island requires vehicle owners to have sufficient responsibility to cover potential damages for the following minimum coverages: $25,000 for bodily injury of a single person, $50,000 of total injury liability for more than a single person, and $25,000 for property damage.

Average Cost of Coverage in Rhode Island

The cost of full coverage insurance in Rhode Island is above the national average by a few hundred dollars, give or take. The state’s high labor costs and repair rates are believed to drive the increased prices. Among the variable that will influence your rates are your driving history, your credit score, your age, your place of residence, the type of car you drive and a variety of other factors. Having an at fault accident can increase your rates by 30% or more in the state. Urban residents will pay more for car insurance than rural drivers. As you can see, pricing is dependent on many variables.

Age Average Premium (yearly)
16 $9,691
17 $8,308
18 $7,297
19 $4,639
20s $2,613
30s $1,887
40s $1,803
50s $1,699
60s $1,933
70s $2,121

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

Due to complexity of auto insurance pricing, it’s hard to say absolutely who can offer you the cheapest rates. The state is served a many insurers and each one has their own pricing models. There is no single price for all drivers. Driver who are current or retired members of the armed forces will get very competitive rates from USAA who cater exclusively to that market segment. Other drivers should look at regional carriers in addition to the well known brand names. Companies like Quincy Mutual and Amica can often give very good rates. The only way to get the cheapest price is to shop around.

Rank Company Avg. Premium (annual)
1 State Farm $973
2 Travelers $1,237
3 USAA $1,644
4 Amica $2,492
5 MetLife $2,528
6 Progressive $2,532
7 GEICO $2,908
8 Nationwide $3,197

Unique Car Insurance Rules and Penalties in Rhode Island

Technically you can meet Rhode Island’s financial responsibility requirement by posting a bond instead of buying insurance. In that case, you must deposit a surety bond of $75,000 with the appropriate state agency, which will act as a draw down fund in the event you are liable for crash related damages. In practice the overwhelmingly majority of Rhode Island drivers purchase car insurance.

Violation Avg. Annual Auto Insurance Rate % Insurance Rate Increase $ Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run $4,105 95% $1,995
Refused Breathalyzer/Chemical Test $3,970 88% $1,860
DUI $3,970 88% $1,860
Racing $3,894 85% $1,784
Reckless Driving $3,764 78% $1,653
Driving with a Suspended License $3,651 73% $1,540
At-Fault Accident $2,667 26% $557
Driving with an Open Container $3,396 61% $1,285
Operating a Vehicle Without Permission $2,843 35% $732
Passing a School Bus $2,646 25% $536
Improper Passing $2,646 25% $536
Following Too Closely $2,504 19% $393
Speeding $2,600 23% $490
Failure to Stop at a Red Light $2,573 22% $463
Illegal Turn $2,573 22% $463
Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane $2,646 25% $536
Failure to Yield $2,573 22% $463
Speeding in a School Zone $2,540 20% $430
Driving Too Slowly $2,540 20% $430
Distracted Driving $2,504 19% $393
Driving with Expired Registration $2,360 12% $250
Failure to Show Documents $2,460 17% $349
Not-at-Fault Accident $2,139 1% $28
Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint $2,119 0% $9
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt $2,139 1% $28
Driving Without Lights $2,139 1% $28

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Rhode Island

The very best way to ensure that you get the best deal possible is to get free quotes fro three or more vendors. All companies will provide no cost, no obligation quotes. IN order to make sure that your quotes are apples to apples we urge you to try our easy to use online tool at General.com. We can help you get multiple free quotes easily and quickly and make sure you get the best deal you can.

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