Rhode Island is not the cheapest place to buy car insurance. Still, Rhode Island auto owners can lower their rates by following a few simple steps when insuring their vehicles. Here’s the latest available information on car insurance in Rhode Island, along with stats, facts and helpful tips on how to choose the right plan for your budget.

Rhode Island Minimum Liability Coverage

Rhode Island has a minimum required coverage of 25/50/25 per owned vehicle. This means that Rhode Island drivers must purchase at least $25,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP), $50,000 of insurance to cover the cost of others who are injured, and another $25,000 in coverage against property damage. So Rhode Island state law requires a total of $100,000 in liability coverage per vehicle.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Rhode Island

The first offense penalty for getting caught driving without adequate insurance is a fine of up to $500 and license suspension for up to 3 months. The second offense is met with another $500 fine and a suspended driver’s license for up to six months. Third and subsequent offenses are met with fines of $1,000, and a suspended license for up to one year. Additional penalties not mentioned under state law include increased car insurance premiums, high reinstatement fees, and lawsuits filed by drivers you hit with your uninsured vehicle.

Auto Insurance Rates in Rhode Island

The average annual car insurance premium for a vehicle owned in Rhode Island in 2016 was relatively high at $1,608. Quite a bit higher than the national average of $1,347. Analysts at Top50States.com suggest that Rhode Island’s relatively high percentage of uninsured drivers plays a role. Also, Rhode Island’s extremely high population density jacks up the rates, as higher population densities correlate with an increase in minor auto accidents. With well over a thousand people per square mile, Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in America, behind only New Jersey.

Low Cost Car Insurance Programs in Rhode Island

Low cost insurance programs in Rhode Island are about the same as they are for other states. There are two good ways for a Rhode Island driver to get relatively low premium rates on car insurance. One way is to qualify and apply for every available discount. Most car insurance carriers offer good driver discounts, good student discounts, senior citizen discounts, vehicle safety discounts, multiple auto discounts and quite a few others. Another way is to practice safe, smart driving habits. This will result in fewer accidents, and may also qualify you for the good driver discount.

Obtaining Auto Insurance Quotes in Rhode Island

Based on recent customer satisfaction ratings, the biggest auto insurance providers in the state of Rhode Island are Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Progressive, State Farm, Travelers and 21st Century Insurance. Of these, Allstate has the greatest rate of customer complaints filed against it, while Progressive has the fewest. Other popular options are smaller carriers like Chubb and Harleysville. The easiest way to obtain a low quote on auto insurance in Rhode Island is simply to call numerous carriers and ask their agents for free quotes. Also, don’t forget to ask about their discounts. If minimum coverage is your choice, just compare quotes and choose the cheapest deal that serves your purposes.