Is Auto Insurance Needed in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island state flagDrivers in the smallest state in the nation do not necessarily have to purchase auto insurance coverage to drive legally, but they do have to prove that they are financially responsible, and many residents do so by buying a policy. Alternate methods of proving financial responsibility for damages caused in an accident include filing a bond, certificate of deposit, or certificate showing the driver is self-insured in the amount of $75,000. Since coming up with that $75,000 may be difficult for some, simply buying a policy will be the most practical method for most Rhode Island motorists.

Policies issued in the state must provide bodily injury and property damage liability with limits great enough to meet state minimum requirements, but exceeding these limits or purchasing additional coverage is also encouraged. Drivers must carry a policy with limits of at least 25/50/25, but because this is designed to cover damages the policyholder is responsible for, increased limits may be beneficial. For example, if a motorist struck a newer automobile and caused more than $25,000 worth of property damage, he or she may have to pay the remaining costs out of pocket.

Motorists in the Ocean State have the option of purchasing a Rhode Island auto insurance policy that excludes uninsured motorist coverage, but choosing this option means the policyholder may be vulnerable to damages or injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver or someone with insufficient coverage. Because the Insurance Research Council estimated that roughly 18 percent of drivers in RI were without coverage in 2009, motorists may want to consider including this protection and compare quotes from numerous insurers to find a policy that is adequately priced. Researching this information before buying a plan could help residents afford a more extensive policy and save money.

Because RI car insurance laws require residents to prove financial responsibility before driving, motorists may want to know that not all companies are created equal. Insurers typically vary in the prices they offer as well as the quality of customer services that are available. As previously mentioned, finding the lowest rates typically involves completing a quote comparison. By evaluating estimates over the Internet, a motorist can usually see dozens of quotes at once to make shopping more efficient. Determining the quality of an insurer may involve more research but is often well worth the effort.

Rhode Island street signContacting several low cost car insurance companies directly and speaking with a customer service representative can be a helpful way of determining how well an insurer interacts with customers. Additionally, residents may want to investigate the many different websites and forums available online that are dedicated to discussions about coverage providers. At times the opinions of current or previous clients can also be helpful, but it should also be noted that opinions may be biased. The many different resources that are readily available to residents can make shopping for and purchasing a plan fairly simple.