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Rhode Island auto insurance laws require all motorists to always carry the minimum coverage. When you drive without insurance, and law enforcement officers catch you, you will have to pay for the consequences – literally and figuratively. This is why you should never undermine the value of having a Rhode Island car insurance policy. And to help you understand just how important it is, here are just some of the most critical facts about it you should know.

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Average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $1,066.25 for car insurance in Rhode Island each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$719.53 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$372.15 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$118.86 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Rhode Island

Our case study found that Ocean State offers the following yearly premium averages to a young driver:

  • $2193.2 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $3377.2 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $4220.4 for premium full coverage3.

Lack of good driving qualities drives these high costs. Because these motorists are still learning, they don’t have the skill level that older, much more experienced drivers have. This puts them at a greater risk of getting into an accident or causing a collision. Keep in mind that insurers take into account as many factors as possible when determining risk, and they consider inexperience as a huge influencer of premiums.

Female Drivers in Rhode Island

A female driver can expect to pay a yearly premium average of:

  • $1040.4 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1910 for basic full coverage and
  • $2009.6 for premium full coverage.

In our case study, we found that on average, women can have much lower premiums than new and teen drivers. And they can further bring down their costs through several strategies. Insuring a vehicle that comes with exceptional safety features is just one of the many money-saving tactics they can implement.

Senior Drivers in Rhode Island

With our methodology4, we found that a senior driver can have an annual premium average of:

  • $1273.6 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1938 for basic full coverage and
  • $2451.2 for premium full coverage.

Our case study also suggested that the City of Newport, with an estimated population of 24,232 (2015, latest data5) offers its senior drivers with one of the cheapest premiums, at only $46/month. Take note that in general, the bigger the city, the better the premiums.

Minimum car insurance requirements

You remain in compliance with RI’s motor vehicle insurance laws as long as you have maintain the minimums for liability insurance. Note that without uninsured motorist coverage, your policy remains incomplete or lacking.

The regulations that the state enforces when it comes to liability coverage requires you to have at least these minimums: a $25,000 bodily injury coverage for each person, a $50,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident (in the event you caused an accident that results in more than just a sole victim), and a $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. With these minimums in your policy, your chosen insurance company will help pay for the bodily injury- or property damage-related expenses your victims have incurred.

As mentioned above, the state also requires all drivers to include uninsured motorist coverage in their policies. One of the primary reasons for this is because 15 per cent of the driving population in RI still doesn’t carry the mandatory car insurance coverage. The minimums for this part of your policy equal those for liability insurance. Having this in your arsenal will protect you from legal, financial responsibilities in the event you get involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

There are also a variety of other optional coverage types that you can include in your policy. These include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, as well as towing and labor coverage.

Violations and Penalties 

Since Rhode Island requires all its drivers to carry an auto insurance policy, failure to do so will just result in a tarnished driving record. Penalties vary depending on the number of offenses.

For instance, fines range from $100 to $1,000. License and registration suspension terms also vary, with first offenders having to face a duration of up to three months, six for second time offenders, and twelve for subsequent offenders. Those found in violation of these rules also have to pay a reinstatement fee of $30 to $50 for their license and a separate one for their registration.

Driving safety in Rhode Island

As what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say, only 78% of drivers and front-seat passengers have the habit of using their seatbelts. This is 8% lower than the 86% national average.

The National Highway Safety Administration cited the 2015 count of driving fatalities as 45 all in all. 43% of this (19 cases) were caused by alcohol impaired driving.

The CDC has then given RI the overall vehicle occupant death rate of 4.5 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

Feel a sense of peace of mind while driving your car as long as you comply with all of the Rhode Island car insurance rules. And to protect yourself even more, consider purchasing the minimums for the other optional coverage types.

0
licensed drivers in Rhode Island, 2014
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privately insured vehicles in Rhode Island

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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