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What are state minimums for car insurance in Rhode Island?

Things to remember...

  • Rhode Island drivers who are not properly insured according to state laws may be fined or may lose their driver’s license. In some cases, they may also be imprisoned
  • The Rhode Island car insurance requirement includes coverage for liability insurance as well as for uninsured or underinsured motorists
  • Rhode Island drivers should get in the habit of shopping around for new car insurance and comparing rates periodically

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In many states, drivers are required to take financial responsibility for any damages they cause to other people while driving, and this holds true in Rhode Island as well.

However, between paying for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses that you create while driving, you may not have enough cash to pay for all of the costs out of your own pocket.

Rhode Island recognizes that auto accidents and other related events can be expensive, and it has created an auto insurance requirement to ensure that all drivers have a legitimate way to pay for at least a portion of the expenses they cause while driving.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to find the best coverage for your needs. Enter your ZIP code above to get started.

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How to Read Car Insurance Requirements

Before you start shopping for new car insurance rates in Rhode Island, you need to determine how much coverage to buy and what type of coverage you need.

More than that, you need to understand how to read car insurance requirements so that you are knowledgeable about what you are buying.

Car insurance requirements are generally written with a coverage type and a coverage limit, and these are some of the more common coverage types that you may find while you are shopping around:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – This is a required auto insurance coverage type in Rhode Island, and it offers benefits for medical expenses that you create for others. It does not pay for your own medical expenses.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) / Medical Payments – This is an optional type of car insurance in Rhode Island, and it pays for your own medical expenses if you are injured in an accident.
  • Property Damage Liability – This is a required car insurance type in this state, and it pays for the vehicle repair bills and other repair expenses for any damages you cause to another person’s car or personal property.
  • Collision – Collision insurance is optional in Rhode Island, and it pays for your own vehicle’s repair or replacement expenses if the car is damaged in a collision only.
  • Comprehensive – This is an optional auto coverage type in Rhode Island, and it pays for your own vehicle’s repair or replacement expenses if your vehicle is stolen, damaged by weather, catches on fire, involved in a collision, and more.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This is a required type of auto coverage for Rhode Island drivers. It pays for your own expenses if you are involved in a hit and run accident or if the other party does not have sufficient coverage to pay for expenses they create.

Rhode Island drivers should understand that there may be instances when some of the optional coverage types described above are required.

For example, if you have a car loan on your vehicle, your lender may require you to have collision or comprehensive insurance as a condition of your car loan.

You will still need to comply with the state’s insurance requirements as well, so you would need liability insurance as well as collision or comprehensive insurance.

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Minimum Coverage for Rhode Island

One of the first steps you need to take before you shop around for new car insurance rates in Rhode Island is to determine how much coverage you need or want to buy.

The state’s insurance requirements should serve as a minimum amount of coverage for you to buy, and these requirements include:

  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage with a limit that matches your liability insurance limits
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability insurance
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage liability insurance

Rhode Island may have unique car insurance requirements for special situations. For example, if you store your vehicle in a garage and never drive it on public roads or if you drive your car for business purposes, other insurance requirements may apply to you.

Explore these special situations in greater detail to ensure that you buy the right type of car insurance for your needs.

Penalties for Being Uninsured in Rhode Island

Rhode Island authorities check your car insurance coverage when you are pulled over as well as through random requests. If you are not properly insured, you may:

  • Be fined between $500 and $5,000
  • Have your vehicle’s registration revoked for between three months and one year
  • Be sentenced to spend up to one year in jail

Minimum Requirement vs. Recommended Coverage

While you definitely need to buy at least the minimum amount of car insurance required in Rhode Island to avoid these penalties, you may be wondering if you should buy more than the required coverage types and limits.

There are financial benefits associated with buying more than the required coverage limits.

Remember that drivers are responsible for the full amount of damages they cause, and this means that you may have to pay for expenses out of your own pocket if they exceed the limits of your coverage.

For example, if you cause an injury accident that results in $50,000 of medical bills for one person and you only have the $25,000 liability coverage as required by Rhode Island law, you could be sued for the remaining $25,000 if you are unable or unwilling to pay it on your own.

Getting Your Car Insurance Policy

Regardless of whether you buy more than the state’s required coverage amounts or not, you understandably need to find a fast and easy way to request quotes.

Shopping online is a time-efficient method to consider, but you may want to narrow down your list of providers before requesting quotes.

Look for car insurance companies that have a fast, friendly claims process, great customer service, and a strong financial rating.

There may be numerous auto insurance companies to request quotes from, and you should not assume that all of them will provide you with the same overall consumer experience.

When you focus your attention on these points, you can more easily get affordable, protective coverage from a great insurance company. Get started comparing car insurance quotes today by entering your ZIP code into our rate tool below.


  1. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/traffic_safety/Cost_of_crashes.asp
  2. http://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy
  3. http://www.naic.org/cipr_topics/topic_uninsured_motorists.htm
  4. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/eight-auto-insurance-myths


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