Cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island for 2021

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Rhode Island is the smallest state, but it has one of the highest population densities. As of 2019, there were an estimated 761,000 licensed drivers in the state and nearly 869,000 registered vehicles. Every driver in Rhode Island is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance in order to legally operate a vehicle.

Possibly because of the high number of drivers and cars on the roads in such a small area, car insurance rates in Rhode Island are higher than the national average. An annual full coverage car insurance policy costs $2,018, and a minimum coverage policy costs an average of $749 per year. If you are looking for the cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island, Bankrate’s research could make your search easier.

The cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team analyzed current premium data, obtained from Quadrant Information Services, for the largest insurance carriers by market share in Rhode Island. In addition to evaluating average premiums, we also reviewed each company’s coverage options, available discounts and third-party rankings.

If you are looking for cheap car insurance in Rhode Island, these companies could be a good starting point:

Car insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Amica $512 $1,810
USAA $523 $1,297
Travelers $558 $1,308
Geico $643 $1,798
Nationwide $766 $1,722

Amica

Amica is a Rhode Island-based insurance company and received the highest official ranking in New England for overall customer satisfaction in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance study. The company offers the lowest average minimum coverage premium on our list, and its full coverage premium is lower than Rhode Island’s average.

Amica is one of the few property and casualty insurance companies that offers dividend policies, where drivers might recoup up to 20% of their premium at the end of the policy period. Amica also has discounts for homeowners, loyal customers, good students, safe drivers, students away at school, signing up for automatic payments and having certain vehicle safety features.

Learn more: Amica Insurance review

USAA

If you are a current or retired military member of the immediate family member of a military member or veteran, USAA might be a great choice for car insurance coverage. The company offers the cheapest full coverage on our list, in addition to numerous discounts to help you save even more. Although USAA is not eligible to receive official ranking from J.D. Power due to its eligibility restrictions, the company did receive the highest number of points in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study in New England.

If you are looking to save even more money on your premium, USAA offers discounts for new car owners, safe drivers and good students. You might also save for garaging your vehicle on a military base or storing your car while you are deployed. If you want to customize your coverage, you could add options like roadside assistance or accident forgiveness.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Travelers

Travelers may be a good option if you are looking for plenty of optional coverages, like ridesharing coverage, new car replacement, gap insurance, roadside assistance and accident forgiveness.

In addition to great coverage choices, Travelers also offers many discount options. There are savings opportunities for owning a hybrid or electric car, having continuous insurance, getting a quote prior to your current policy expiring, taking a driver training course, being a good student, insuring multiple vehicles, owning a home and more.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Geico

Although not the cheapest company on our list, Geico may be a good choice if you prefer to handle your insurance digitally. The company offers a strong online customer portal and a highly-rated mobile app. The app has over 2.7 million reviews on the App Store and a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0. Over 376,000 people have reviewed the Google Play version of the app and also rated it 4.8 out of 5.0. From within the app, you can view ID cards, make changes to your policy, call for roadside assistance and file a claim.

Geico also offers a long list of discounts that could help you keep your premium low. You might save for having a vehicle with safety features like anti-lock brakes, air bags, daytime running lights or an anti-theft system. There are also savings for federal employees, military members, good students and safe drivers. Geico also received an above-industry-average customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power in the New England region.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide has the highest minimum coverage premium on our list and the second-highest full coverage premium, but you may still want to consider a quote. The company offers plenty of optional coverages that could allow you to tailor your policy to your needs. You may choose to add accident forgiveness, towing and labor coverage or gap insurance. You could also participate in the Vanishing Deductible program, which takes $100 off your deductible every year you do not file a claim, up to $500 total.

Nationwide also offers several discounts you may be able to take advantage of. You could save money by insuring multiple cars or buying multiple policies from Nationwide, being accident free, signing up for automatic payments or being a defensive driver. Nationwide also offers two telematics programs, SmartRide and SmartMiles, which might save you money based on your individual driving habits.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Minimum coverage requirements for Rhode Island drivers

Car insurance is a legal requirement in Rhode Island, as it is in most states. In Rhode Island, you must purchase the following minimum limits to drive legally:

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

Insurance companies in Rhode Island are also required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, although you can decline these coverages in writing, regardless of the liability limits that you choose.

Drivers who choose to purchase minimum coverage often pay the lowest rate. However, minimum coverage limits could leave you with hefty out-of-pocket expenses if you cause an accident and the injuries or damages exceed your insurance limits. Most insurance professionals recommend that you purchase higher limits if you can afford to.

Minimum coverage does not provide any coverage for damage to your own vehicle; that requires that you purchase comprehensive and collision coverages, which constitute full coverage. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, your financial institution likely requires that you carry full coverage, and may even have other requirements, like higher liability limits or a cap on your deductible level.

How to get cheap car insurance in Rhode Island

If you are looking for the cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island, you may want to start with getting quotes from affordable providers, but there are other ways you might be able to save money. Here are some ways to potentially get a lower rate:

  • Compare rates: Getting quotes from several different insurance companies to see which one can give you the lowest rate for the amount of coverage you want might help you find a policy at a lower price.
  • Pay in full: Drivers who can afford to pay their car insurance premium in full may get a discount.
  • Take a defensive driving course: Many insurance companies have a discount for drivers who complete an approved defensive driving course.
  • Improve your credit score: Your credit score impacts your car insurance rate, because drivers with lower credit scores statistically file more claims. Increasing your credit score might help you save money.
  • Use discounts: When choosing a provider, consider which of its discounts you qualify for. Taking advantage of discounts is one of the easiest ways to save money on car insurance.

Car insurance is a personalized purchase, meaning that the company, coverages, policy features and discounts that you choose will depend heavily on your individual circumstances. Taking stock of what you want and need from a company might help you find a policy that is right for you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in Rhode Island?

The best car insurance in Rhode Island varies based on each driver’s individual needs and unique situation. Some drivers are looking for the lowest rates, some are looking for the best customer service and others are looking for specialty coverages. Rhode Island drivers might want to shop around and compare providers to find the company that meets their personal needs.

What is the average cost of car insurance in the U.S.?

In the United States, the average full coverage car insurance policy costs $1,674 per year. Minimum coverage costs, on average $565 per year. In Rhode Island, the average full coverage policy costs $2,018 per year and minimum coverage is $749 annually. The higher-than-average prices could be due in part to the dense population of Rhode Island.

What does full coverage car insurance include?

“Full coverage” means that your auto insurance policy includes coverage for damage to your own vehicle in the form of comprehensive and collision coverages. However, some companies may consider full coverage to include other options as well, like uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, roadside assistance and car rental reimbursement.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.