Rhode Island Auto Insurance Requirements
Rhode Island has strict insurance laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in Rhode Island are mandated by state law and the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Insurance Division. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: Rhode Island Insurance Division)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in Rhode Island can result in a $500 fine, suspension of driving privileges and registration, and reinstatement fees. Subsequent offenses are subject to higher fines, reinstatement fees, and jail time.
The Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the AIPSO website.
Alternatively, drivers not wishing to carry basic liability insurance in Rhode Island may deposit cash or securities in the amount of $60,000 with the state treasurer, or obtain a surety bond, and provide receipt of same to the Division of Motor Vehicles, who will issue a certificate of financial responsibility in lieu of an insurance card.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in Rhode Island
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in Rhode Island requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though Rhode Island ranks on par with national averages for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in Rhode Island include:
– Rhode Island is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– Vehicle repair costs are generally more expensive in Rhode Island than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are somewhat lower than national averages
– A much higher percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates above national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in Rhode Island is $1,747 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in Rhode Island
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in Rhode Island
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
Rhode Island Statistics
– Auto Theft: Rhode Island has a relatively high vehicle theft rate, but it has been decreasing (as is the case in most states) consistently over the past 10 years. This can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in Rhode Island has remained constant in recent years, and vehicle accident fatality rates actually increased in 2009, bucking a national trend. Still, Rhode Island is below the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes, despite having a fairly high population concentration.
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