Best car insurance in Rhode Island for 2021

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Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S., but its auto insurance premiums are among the highest. Residents pay an average of $749 per year for minimum coverage and $2,018 annually for full coverage. With over 875,000 vehicles registered in the state in 2015, Rhode Island’s roads are busy.

If you are searching for the best car insurance in Rhode Island, Bankrate’s research may be helpful. Our insurance editorial team has analyzed average premiums, available coverage options, discount offerings and third-party rankings for the largest insurance companies by market share in Rhode Island. Our research may help you feel more confident in choosing an auto insurance company.

Best car insurance companies in Rhode Island

We began our search for the best auto insurance in Rhode Island by partnering with Quadrant Information Services to obtain current quoted premium information from the largest insurance carriers in the state. We then reviewed each company’s average premiums, coverage options, discounts and third-party scores to assign a Bankrate Score. The higher the Bankrate Score, the higher each company ranked in each category.

If you are looking for the best car insurance in Rhode Island, you may want to consider the following companies:

Provider Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power auto claims satisfaction score
USAA* 4.7 $1,297 890 / 1,000
Geico 4.6 $1,798 871 / 1,000
Travelers 4.6 $1,308 861 / 1,000
Amica 4.6 $1,810 907 / 1,000
Nationwide 4.2 $1,722 876 / 1,000

*USAA is not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions

USAA

If you are an active military member, a veteran or an immediate family member of a military member, you may want to get a quote from USAA. The company consistently receives high scores from J.D. Power, although its eligibility requirements make it ineligible for official ranking.

Although its premium is not the cheapest on our list, USAA offers several discounts that could help you lower your rate. You might save for storing your vehicle while you are deployed, garaging your car on a military base, insuring a new vehicle or bundling your policies.

Geico

If you are looking for a company with strong digital tools, Geico might fit your needs. The company’s mobile app is highly functional, allowing you to file a claim, call for roadside assistance, view ID cards and pay bills. The app has over 2.7 million reviews on the App Store and a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0.

Geico does not offer many optional coverages, but the company does have one of the most extensive lists of discounts in the industry. You might save for having certain vehicle safety features, being a federal employee, insuring a new vehicle or being a member of an affiliated group.

Travelers

If you are searching for a highly customizable policy, Travelers could suit your needs. The company offers numerous optional coverages, including accident forgiveness, new car replacement, ridesharing coverage and roadside assistance.

Travelers also offers several discounts that might help keep your premium down. There are savings for having continuous insurance, insuring multiple policies, covering a hybrid or an electric car, being a safe driver and owning a home, even if you do not insure it with Travelers.

Amica

If strong customer service is a priority for you, Amica could be a good choice. The company received the top spot in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, indicating that customers tend to be highly satisfied with Amica’s claims handling. Amica offers several optional coverages and discounts that could help you lower your premium, as it is the highest on our list.

One of Amica’s most unique features is its dividend policy options. If you choose a dividend auto policy, you can receive up to 20% of your auto premiums back each year. The policies might be more expensive upfront but could end up saving you in the long run.

Nationwide

If you are looking for an auto policy tailored to your driving habits, you might want a quote from Nationwide. The company offers two telematics discounts, SmartRide and SmartMiles. SmartRide tracks your driving habits, including hard braking, fast acceleration and idle time, and discounts your premium accordingly.

With SmartMiles, you are charged according to how often you drive. If you use your vehicle infrequently, the program might be a good option for you. You do have to pay monthly to take advantage of this program. Other ways to save include bundling your policies, having vehicle safety features and being accident-free.

Average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island

Rhode Island may be small, but its average auto insurance premiums are anything but. The average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island is $2,018 per year for full coverage, about 21% higher than the U.S. national average of $1,674.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Rhode Island Average annual premium for full coverage in Rhode Island
$749 $2,018

Numerous factors go into determining a state’s average rates, including state minimum coverage limits, the likelihood of accidents and the severity of accidents. Because Rhode Island is a small state with a relatively high number of registered vehicles, it may be more likely that you will get into an accident.

State minimum insurance requirements in Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires all drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance to legally have their car on the road. Drivers in Rhode Island must have at least the following coverages:

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

Insurance companies in Rhode Island must offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, although it can be rejected, regardless of what liability limits you purchase.

Most insurance professionals advise that you purchase higher liability limits if you can afford them. If you cause an accident and the damages exceed your insurance limit, you will be responsible for the excess out of pocket. Higher liability limits provide more financial protection.

Minimum coverage also does not provide coverage for damage to your vehicle. For that, you will need to purchase full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision coverages.

How to get the best car insurance

Car insurance is a personal product, so the best company, coverage and optional features will depend heavily on your personal needs. If you are shopping for car insurance in Rhode Island, you may want to:

  • Evaluate your needs: Everyone has different needs when it comes to auto insurance coverage. Maybe you have a young driver, and you need a company with plenty of teen driver discounts. Or perhaps your driving record is not the best, and you need a company that will insure high-risk drivers. Or maybe your budget is particularly tight, and you need the lowest price possible. The first step to finding the best coverage for you is to understand specifically what you need. Then you can search for companies that fit your situation.
  • Consider state factors: Just as every driver is different, so is every state. In Rhode Island, it is estimated that over 16% of drivers are uninsured, so you may want to consider purchasing a suitable amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Taking your location-specific factors into account could also help you choose coverages. Are you in an area known for vehicle theft or vandalism? Are car accidents frequent in your area? You might want to consider buying full coverage.

If you are not sure where to start when it comes to your car insurance coverage, talking to a licensed agent could be helpful. An agent may discuss your specific wants, needs and circumstances and help you find coverage and policy options to tailor your coverage to you.

Car insurance discounts in Rhode Island

Although auto insurance is relatively expensive in Rhode Island, there are ways to save. Most companies offer discounts that could reduce your premium. Every company has its own discounts, but some common ones are:

  • Multi-policy discounts: If you buy more than one type of policy from the same company, you may get a discount on each policy. Insuring your auto and home with the same company often results in one of the most significant discounts providers offer.
  • Vehicle safety discounts: If you have safety features on your car like anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags and daytime running lights, you might qualify for a discount.
  • Telematics discounts: These programs track your driving via a mobile app or plug-in device and give you a personalized discount based on your habits.
  • Paperless discounts: You may qualify for a discount if you sign up for paperless documents or billing statements.

Just like every company has different coverages, every company has different discounts. You can often see a company’s discounts online, but you may also want to talk to a representative to see what savings you qualify for.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in Rhode Island?

The best car insurance company in Rhode Island will depend on your circumstances and rating factors. You might want a company with robust digital tools, for example, while someone else wants a company that offers a specific coverage option. Rates will vary by company and driver. Your age, ZIP code and credit score can all impact your premium, as can the type of vehicle you drive and the coverage you choose. Understanding what matters to you in an insurance company and getting several quotes might help you find a policy that is right for you.

Are uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages required in Rhode Island?

No, neither uninsured nor underinsured motorist coverage is required in Rhode Island. The coverage must be offered, but you can reject it in writing. It is a common misconception that you must carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if you purchase liability limits in excess of the state minimum limits. However, you may still want to purchase these coverages to provide financial protection if an uninsured or underinsured motorist hits you.

What happens if I do not buy car insurance?

Although car insurance can be expensive, it is a required purchase to drive legally in Rhode Island. If you are caught driving without insurance, you may face fines, license suspension and jail time. If you cause an accident without insurance, you will be responsible for paying for the damage out of pocket, which could be devastating to your finances.

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.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.