On average, state car insurance rates in Providence are twice as much as those in Rhode Island's East Bay and other cities. But every ZIP code has a high-cost insurance carrier and a low-cost insurance carrier. We've got the potential savings mapped out below for every city and town in Rhode Island. Average car insurance rates, plus the highest and lowest rate culled from major insurers, are shown in the tool below once you enter your ZIP code.
Learn how to buy the best Rhode Island car insurance policy for your particular situation, what the average car insurance rates are for your neighborhood and how Rhode Island state insurance and traffic laws work.
The average car insurance rate in Rhode Island is $1,688. But every company uses its own method for assessing risk. That’s why the cost for the same policy can vary significantly among insurance companies – and why you should compare rates. For example, in Providence ZIP code 02909, the highest rate among six carriers ($3,533) is more than twice as much ($2,236 more) as the lowest ($1,297).
Cheap car insurance in Rhode Island
Rhode Island car insurance requirements
Rhode Island state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability
Minimum property damage liability
The cheapest insurance policy you can buy in Rhode Island will pay up to $25,000 to anyone you injure and up to $25,000 to repair or replace whatever you hit. Any damage above those amounts will have to come out of your own pockets. We recommend those with a home, a business or much in savings increase liability insurance limits when possible.
Rhode Island requires that insurance companies offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, plus uninsured motorist property damage, but you may decline.
If you choose to buy liability coverage that is higher than the state minimum of 25/50/25 -- a good idea, we think -- you no longer have the option of declining uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Keep in mind that a minor accident could easily exceed minimum liability coverage limits, leaving you responsible to pay for damages not covered by insurance. For example, if you have $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance and you cause an accident that costs $50,000, you have to pay $25,000 out-of-pocket. If you don’t have the money on hand, your assets may be taken to cover the costs. If you go with just the state minimum property damage coverage of $25,000 and hit a car and it costs more than $25,000 to fix it, you’re on the hook for the rest of the bill.
Additional coverage is typically affordable, and, naturally offers more protection. Increasing coverage from the state minimum to higher liability limits costs $125 a year or about $10 a month. Hiking your policy to full coverage with a $500 deductible costs, on average, $937 more, or $78 a month.
Average annual rate
Liability Only – state minimum
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD $500 Comp/Collision deductible
*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Rhode Island from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Recommended car insurance coverage
When deciding how much car insurance to buy, you need to assess your particular situation. To drive legally, you must buy at least the minimum liability insurance required by your state. If you didn’t borrow money from a lender to buy your car and you don’t have a lot of money or assets to protect, that might be a wise choice. If, however, you don’t own your car outright, you will be required to get comprehensive and collision coverage. Additionally, if you have a home and savings to protect, it’s wise to buy more coverage.
The more money and assets you have, the more likely it is that you may be sued following a car accident. Unless you are determined to pay the lowest car insurance rate possible, we recommend you buy higher than minimum liability coverage. If your net worth is:
less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100
If you're leasing or financing your car, you automatically need coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:
less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses. These should match the liability limits you choose. In Rhode Island, insurers are required under state law to offer these, but you can opt out if you want to carry only state minimum liability limits.
Medical coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Rhode Island, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:
Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking
If you and your passengers:
Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.
If you got a loan to pay for your car and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.
If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you don't already have the coverage in your lease agreement.
If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.
Rhode Island car insurance rates by company
Below you'll see average annual rates for Rhode Island, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:
State minimum liability requirements
Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible
State minimum average annual rate
Liability 50/100/50 average annual rate
Full coverage 100/300/100 average annual rate
Best car insurance companies in Rhode Island
Insure.com surveyed 3,700 drivers to find out what they thought of their car insurance companies. Scores are out of 100.
Best customer service:
1. The General -- 100
2. AAA Northeast -- 97
3. Titan -- 96.4
4. American Family -- 95.5
4. The Hartford -- 95.5
5. Progressive -- 93.6
Best claims service:
1. Travelers -- 100
2. Mercury -- 99.8
3. Progressive -- 98.7
4. AAA Northeast-- 95.3
5. Geico -- 94.6
6. State Farm -- 94.5
Best value for the price:
1. AAA Northeast-- 99
2. The General -- 95.9
3. The Hartford -- 88.7
4. State Farm -- 87.3
5. Mercury -- 86.6
5. Titan -- 86.6
6. Safeco -- 85.4
Largest car insurance companies in Rhode Island
Direct premiums written
Market share %
Overall Customer Review Ranking
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2015.
Customer review rankings based on Insure.com's 2016 "Best Insurance Companies" survey of 3,700 customers. Scores are out of 100.
Rhode Island car insurance laws
Penny Gusner CarInsurance.com Consumer Analyst
Insurance needed for registration: Rhode Island requires the name of your insurance company and your policy number to register a car or renew its registration.
Uninsured motorist penalties for Rhode Island: You may be fined $100 to $500, your license and registration may be suspended and you may be required to file an SR-22 form.
When no one will insure you: The Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan is the state's solution for high-risk drivers. Any licensed agent can sign you up, and you will pay exorbitant rates to the insurer that draws your name. But after three years with a clean record, that insurer must offer you a standard -- and much cheaper -- policy.
Double accident reporting: You will need more than a police report for a serious car accident in Rhode Island. You must file a separate report with the state DMV for any crash with damage of more than $1,000.