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Rhode Island Car Insurance Requirements

Rhode Island Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Every driver in the state of Rhode Island must carry liability insurance in order to be considered a legal driver. Failure to do has some hefty penalties. The mandatory minimums for liability insurance coverage according to Rhode Island law are as follows:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 property damage per accident

What has been outlined above is only what the state of Rhode Island mandates. If you have an auto loan or lease your vehicle, your lender or leasing company may require you to carry additional car insurance.

Rhode Island Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is required for every driver in the state of Rhode Island. This insurance covers injuries and damage you cause in an accident you have found to be at fault for. It is important to note that your liability insurance policy will never cover your injuries or damage to your property.

Rhode Island Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

While uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not required by law in the state of Rhode Island, you will likely have to refuse it in writing. When you go to buy your policy, if you see no value in carrying this coverage, you will have to refuse it, and the insurer will make a note of this. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps protect you if you end up in an accident with someone who lacks liability insurance.

CARCO Inspection in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is one of the few states which utilizes CARCO inspections. This independent inspection verifies the existence of your vehicle and takes note of certain features like mileage and physical condition. It also takes photos of your car to share with your insurance company. This is mandated in Rhode Island when you are going to purchase certain types of insurance like collision coverage. It is done free of charge to you and takes about 15 minutes.

Car Insurance Limits in Rhode Island

Coverage limits refer to the amount of money your insurance company will pay up to in the event of a claim. At the same time, states also set their own minimum limits of coverage that every driver must carry. In the state of Rhode Island, liability insurance limits are expressed as 25/50/25. Each number represents a different aspect of liability coverage: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, respectively. More on those categories and what they cover can be found below.

  • Bodily injury per person refers to the maximum amount of money your insurer will payout for a single person’s injuries in an accident you caused.
  • Bodily injury per accident is how much your insurance company will pay for all injuries you cause in an accident.
  • Property damage per accident refers to the amount of money your insurance company will pay for the property you damage in an accident.

Is Rhode Island’s Mandatory Insurance Minimums Enough Coverage?

Rhode Island does not have the best coverage limits, but they are also not the worst when compared to other states. But this does not mean you should get comfortable and carry only the state-mandated minimum liability insurance coverage. It is highly recommended that increase coverage limits and utilize policy add-ons when shopping for car insurance. Carrying only the limits that are required can leave you on the hook for medical expenses and property damage bills following an accident. This can leave your finances in an unfortunate position.

Driving Without Proof of Insurance in Rhode Island

Due to car insurance being mandated by law in the state of Rhode Island, failing to carry a policy can have some serious consequences. Listed below is what you could be facing every time you are caught driving without proof of insurance in Rhode Island.

First Offense:

  • A fine ranging from $100 to $500
  • Reinstatement fees
  • Licenses suspension for up to 3 months
  • Maintain SR22 insurance for 1 year

Second Offense:

  • A fine of $500
  • Reinstatement fees
  • License suspension for up to 6 months
  • Maintain SR22 insurance for 1 year

Third Offense:

  • A fine of $1,000
  • Reinstatement fees
  • License suspension for up to 1 year
  • Maintain an SR22 certificate for 1 year

Additional Types of Car Insurance in Rhode Island

Due to the fact Rhode Island only requires drivers to carry liability insurance, it would be wise to look into including some additional coverage options to strengthen your policy. Listed below are common types of car insurance that will help better protect you in an accident.

  • Collision: Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle following an accident with another car.
  • Comprehensive: This insurance will protect your car from damages it sustains when not in use. Some perils covered under this policy include theft and extreme weather.
  • Gap Coverage: This coverage will pay for the difference in your vehicle’s actual cash value and what you have remaining on your auto loan. This type of insurance can be handy if your car ends up totaled.
  • Roadside Assistance: If your car breaks down on the highway, roadside assistance can be there to resolve your car issues and get you back up and running.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Despite car insurance being required by law in Rhode Island, many drivers take the risk and drive without it. If you have the unfortunate luck of ending up in an accident with one, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for your medical expenses and auto repairs when the other driver lacks insurance.
  • Medical Payments: This coverage will pay for medical expenses you and your passenger(s) accumulate following an accident. It will pay out no matter who was found to be at fault.

Car Insurance is Important For Any Rhode Island Driver

While you should carry car insurance to be within the law, you shouldn’t just obtain the state-mandated minimum amount for the sake of having something. It may be cheaper and is completely legal to do, but it leaves you and your assets at risk every time you get behind the wheel of a car. For these reasons, it would be wise of you to purchase a policy with adequate coverage limits and includes any policy add-ons you see fit.

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