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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Rhode Island for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
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To avoid the steepest rates and find cheap car insurance in Rhode Island, it’s wise to compare a variety of quotes. Annual car insurance rates can vary by a thousand dollars or more from one company to the next, proving that comparison shopping pays off when it comes to auto insurance.

To help you find competitive rates, NerdWallet researched prices from the eight largest insurers in Rhode Island and found the five cheapest options for several common driver categories.

Cheapest for good drivers in Rhode Island

For a driver in Rhode Island with a clean driving record and good credit, these are the cheapest insurance companies we found, ranked by their average rates for full coverage:

  1. Geico: $1,227 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,245 per year.
  3. Amica: $1,696 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,244 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,322 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Rhode Island

For a Rhode Island driver seeking bare-bones insurance, the cheapest companies and their average rates for minimum required coverage are:

  1. Geico: $521 per year.
  2. Amica: $666 per year.
  3. Travelers: $741 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,028 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,143 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

These are the cheapest insurance companies for a Rhode Islander with a clean driving record and poor credit, listed with their average rates for full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $1,984 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,087 per year.
  3. Amica: $2,932 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $3,391 per year.
  5. Progressive: $3,914 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For a Rhode Island driver who has caused a recent accident, here are the cheapest insurance options we found, alongside their average rates for full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $1,290 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,827 per year.
  3. Amica: $2,786 per year.
  4. MetLife: $3,331 per year.
  5. Allstate: $3,383 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Rhode Island

After a DUI, these are the cheapest insurers we found and their average rates for a Rhode Islander buying full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $1,941 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,870 per year.
  3. Progressive: $3,080 per year.
  4. Allstate: $3,569 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $4,222 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Rhode Island

For a Rhode Island driver with a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and average rates for full coverage are:

  1. Travelers: $1,525 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,932 per year.
  3. Amica: $2,300 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,712 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,803 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Rhode Island

Adding another driver to your policy, such as a partner or teen, can change where you’ll find the cheapest auto insurance. You may get a discount for insuring more than one vehicle, but each company applies rates and discounts differently. As a result, insurers with the best prices for single drivers may not be cheapest for you now. We analyzed rates for couples in Rhode Island, with and without a teen driver, to see which companies are cheapest for families. To get the best rate for you, it’s smart to shop for insurance quotes after big life changes like getting married or adding a newly licensed driver.

Cheapest for a married couple in Rhode Island

For a husband and wife in Rhode Island, both 50 years old with clean driving and credit histories, here are the cheapest insurance companies we found and their average rates for insuring two vehicles with full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $1,753 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,894 per year.
  3. Amica: $2,178 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,388 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,690 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Rhode Island

For a 50-year-old Rhode Island couple with an 18-year-old driver on their policy, these companies returned the cheapest average rates for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Travelers: $2,860 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,988 per year.
  3. Allstate: $4,544 per year.
  4. Amica: $4,593 per year.
  5. Progressive: $5,606 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in Rhode Island

Car insurance can be costly for people in their 20s, who typically pay higher rates than more seasoned drivers. But some insurers can be dramatically cheaper than others, even for drivers with limited experience on the road. Companies consider age, driving experience, and other personal characteristics differently when they set prices, so be sure to compare multiple quotes to find your best possible rate. We took a look at rates for 25-year-olds in Rhode Island to find out which insurance companies are cheapest for young drivers.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old Rhode Island driver buying full coverage, these are the cheapest insurers and their average rates, assuming clean driving and credit histories:

  1. Travelers: $1,254 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,301 per year.
  3. Amica: $1,907 per year.
  4. Allstate: $2,395 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,702 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For a young driver who wants only Rhode Island’s minimum required insurance, the cheapest companies and average rates are:

  1. Geico: $541 per year.
  2. Travelers: $706 per year.
  3. Amica: $747 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,045 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,290 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

A young Rhode Island driver with spotty credit and a clean driving record may want to get quotes from these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for minimum required insurance:

  1. Geico: $782 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,193 per year.
  3. Amica: $1,293 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,977 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,088 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

After a recent at-fault wreck, these are the cheapest insurance options for a 25-year-old Rhode Island driver, ranked by average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Travelers: $761 per year.
  2. Geico: $769 per year.
  3. Amica: $1,170 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,743 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,107 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a young Rhode Islander whose driving record includes a recent DUI, these are the cheapest companies we found and their average rates for minimum required insurance:

  1. Travelers: $1,107 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,142 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,740 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,796 per year.
  5. Amica: $2,718 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

When a 25-year-old driver in Rhode Island has a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Geico: $781 per year.
  2. Travelers: $895 per year.
  3. Amica: $983 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,311 per year.
  5. Progressive: $1,689 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

For Rhode Island drivers with a military connection, cheap auto insurance is often available through USAA, whose policies are exclusively for active service members, veterans and their families. We didn’t rank USAA alongside other companies since it isn’t offered to everyone, but it was among the three cheapest options in Rhode Island for every driver category above.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island

  • Good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage: Geico.
  • Poor credit: Travelers.
  • After an at-fault crash: Travelers.
  • After a DUI: Travelers.
  • After a speeding ticket: Travelers.
  • Married couples: Travelers.
  • Families with a teen: Travelers.
  • Young good drivers: Travelers.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Travelers.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Travelers.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Geico.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum required auto insurance in Rhode Island

Rhode Island car insurance policies must include liability insurance, which covers others’ injury treatment and property damage if you’re responsible for a crash.

The minimum limits you must select are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per incident.
  • $25,000 property damage liability per incident.

While buying the minimum car insurance allows you to drive legally, it might not be enough to pay for an accident you cause. Say you cause a crash and total another driver’s expensive luxury car. The property damage could easily exceed your $25,000 limit, and the remaining balance might have to come out of your pocket.

Most drivers can benefit from raising their liability limits beyond the state minimum. You may also want to consider common optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist insurance. Check out NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state for more help planning your Rhode Island policy.

Alternative Rhode Island car insurance

If you have multiple crashes on record, DUIs, poor credit or other issues, it may be difficult to buy car insurance on the voluntary market. As an alternative, you can seek coverage through the Rhode Island Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help finding cheap coverage in Rhode Island, try NerdWallet’s car insurance quotes comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $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 coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.