In Rhode Island, it’s mandatory to have car insurance in order to drive in the state. Rhode Island has specific rules about the minimum amount of insurance you must carry, including a requirement for liability coverage. If you do not meet the Rhode Island auto insurance requirements or you are caught driving without insurance in Rhode Island, you can face fines and, in some cases, the suspension of your license. Knowing the Rhode Island car insurance laws is crucial for protecting both your financial well-being and legal standing.

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Minimum insurance required in Rhode Island

According to Rhode Island car insurance laws, at least 25/50/25 personal liability insurance, which includes bodily injury liability coverage and property damage coverage. If you cause an accident, bodily injury liability coverage will pay for the other driver’s medical expenses up to your policy limits, and property damage coverage will cover the cost of their vehicle repairs up to your policy limits.

Here is a breakdown of the required coverage amounts:

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

When you purchase a minimum coverage policy in Rhode Island, you will also be offered uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. However, you are allowed to decline this coverage in writing as long as you have satisfied the other minimum insurance coverage limits required by state law.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Rhode Island

Driving without car insurance in Rhode Island is illegal, and you will likely face several consequences if you get caught. For a first offense, drivers may receive a fine between $100 and $500. After two, the fine increases to a minimum of $500 and you may face up to six months of your license being suspended. After a third offense, the fine increases to up to $1,000, and the suspension can last for up to one year. You may have to pay a license reinstatement fee that will add to the cost of the penalty. In Rhode Island, violations for driving without insurance do not require any jail time or an SR-22 insurance certificate.

Getting into an accident without insurance

Driving without insurance is a big risk, and if you cause an accident, it is likely to be expensive.

If you hit another person’s vehicle and do not have insurance, you will be fully responsible for compensating the other driver for their medical expenses and vehicle repairs. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average cost of a property-damage only accident is $5,700. With a possible injury, the average cost rises to $24,000. You could also get sued by the other driver, which could also make you responsible for legal fees.

Even if you get hit by another driver, there are still consequences for not having insurance. First, there is no guarantee that the other driver’s insurance will cover the full extent of your losses, so you could end up paying out-of-pocket. When you file the claim, you will have to disclose that you do not have insurance, which means you could subject yourself to the state-mandated fines for being uninsured.

Frequently asked questions

    • It is illegal to drive without car insurance in Rhode Island. Providing false insurance information is also illegal. If you provide fraudulent policy details or present fake proof of insurance, you can expect significant legal repercussions. In Rhode Island, this may involve fines and even imprisonment. Insurance fraud laws vary from state to state, but regardless of your location, you should anticipate fines and the possibility of a suspended license. The severity of the penalties may increase based on your driving record and insurance history.
    • The average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island is $551 per year for a minimum coverage policy and $1,886 per year for a full coverage policy. Car insurance in Rhode Island is cheaper than average. For comparison, the average cost of car insurance in the United States is $2,014 per year for full coverage. Your actual rates will vary, as car insurance premiums are based on several personal factors, including the type of vehicle, what ZIP code it is kept in and the insured driver’s driving history.
    • There are many ways to get cheap car insurance in Rhode Island. Drivers may save money on their car insurance policy by taking advantage of discounts, choosing a cheap car insurance company, or taking advantage of discounts such as paying their annual premium in full and bundling multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company to name a few.
    • If you’ve just moved to Rhode Island or are considering moving to Rhode Island, you may be wondering how long you have to register your car. By law, you are required to register your vehicle with the Rhode Island DMV within 30 days. The 30 day rule also applies to drivers who recently purchased a new vehicle. But how much does it cost to register a car in Rhode Island? Registration fees vary depending on the weight and type of vehicle you own, but registering a new vehicle involves:
      • $15.00 Department of Transportation fee
      • $2.50 technology surcharge (if completed online)
      • Variable fee depending on weight