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Rhode Island Auto Insurance
In the insurance world, Rhode Island is what is called a tort state. This system that guides Rhode Island auto insurance laws has many implications, but the most important points for individual drivers to understand are:
- All motorists in Rhode Island are required to purchase liability insurance to protect their fellow drivers when they cause an accident.
- When an accident occurs, one party will be labeled "at fault" and that party will be responsible for compensating the other individuals involved.
- If the damages caused in an accident are greater than the amount of liability coverage held by the at-fault party, they are personally responsible for covering the additional damages.
- Because so many drivers do not carry what is legally required, everyone must also purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury protection.
Rhode Island Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements
Rhode Island auto insurance requires liability minimums of 25/50/25. When a driver has an accident and is found to be at fault, this coverage limit pays $25,000 per person injured, $50,000 for all people injured, and $25,000 for any property damages.
As mentioned, Rhode Island also requires drivers to have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the amount of 25/50. This coverage pays for expenses if you are involved in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have liability coverage. The uninsured motorist coverage can be waived if a driver insures themselves over the liability minimums.
It should go without saying that all legal minimums for Rhode Island auto insurance are just that - minimums - and they should not be considered adequate coverage. A major accident can easily exceed these minimum damage levels and you may be required to pay personal compensation out of your own assets when this is the case.
Also, these minimums offer no protection to your property when you cause an accident, when your vehicle is damaged by weather or vandalism, or when your automobile is stolen. To be protected from such events, you would need to purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage.
Rhode Island Auto Insurance Rates
Rhode Island auto insurance is expensive, ranking 7th out of all states in average annual expenditures. The average amount of money spent in 2003 for auto insurance in Rhode Island was a whopping $992. On average, motorists in Rhode Island spent $650 for liability coverage, $372 for collision coverage, and $133 for comprehensive coverage in that year. What is worse, rates appear to be rising sharply with an overall increase of 25% over the past five years.
Rhode Island auto insurance rates are calculated differently by each car insurance company. A common way for the companies to calculate rates is to first figure the cost of insuring the whole state (including the overall risk level and operating expenses) and spread out these costs among all drivers.
Next, they create risk classes for drivers and place each individual into one of these categories based upon a number of factors. These categories differentiate between safe drivers and unsafe drivers and the riskier the company considers you to be, the more you will pay.
Although different companies may consider different factors and may have differing ideas about the importance of those risk factors, there are some that all companies will use to determine your premiums. These variables include:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- The type of car you drive (even the color can influence your rates!)
- The area of Rhode Island where you live
- Your driving record
In addition, many carriers will consider such items as your credit history, your income, your level of education, and even your occupation when determining what you pay in premiums.
Rhode Island Auto Insurance Carriers
Rhode Island drivers have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting their auto insurance. Since rates are so high in the state, you may find that you can save a considerable amount of money if you shop around to different car insurance companies frequently.
Official Rhode Island Auto Insurance Information
For official information on Rhode Island auto insurance laws and regulations, contact the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.
Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation
233 Richmond Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number (401) 222-2246
For other Rhode Island Insurance Resources, See:
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