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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Rhode Island for 2019

March 20, 2019
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 seven largest insurers in Rhode Island and found the three cheapest options for several common driver categories.

Cheapest for good drivers

Rhode Island drivers with good credit and clean driving records might want to check out Travelers, which had the cheapest rates for this group at $103 per month, on average. Amica was second-cheapest, and Geico came in third.

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For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. With the exception of age, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including state-required coverage.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

Travelers had the lowest rates in our analysis for Rhode Islanders with spotty credit, at $145 per month, on average. Geico and Amica came in second and third, respectively, with monthly average rates pretty close to each other.

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Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent accident. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record, poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

Travelers had the cheapest auto insurance rates we found for Rhode Island drivers with a recent at-fault accident, at $107 per month, on average. Amica and Nationwide didn’t come close to that average rate, but score the second and third spots, respectively.

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To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with one recent at-fault crash and the typical "full coverage" insurance. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. 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 for low-mileage drivers

Rhode Island drivers who clock few annual miles might want to get a quote from Travelers, which had the cheapest average rate of $103 per month — the same it had for higher-mileage drivers. It was the same story for Amica, which was second, but third-placing Geico has a cheaper rate for low-mileage drivers than the base group.

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Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Cheapest for minimum coverage

Travelers had the cheapest minimum coverage auto insurance we found in Rhode Island, at $47 per month, on average. Amica was only a couple bucks more per month in second place, and Geico was third-cheapest.

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We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers 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.

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 car insurance in Rhode Island, try NerdWallet’s quotes comparison tool.

Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in Rhode Island

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversTravelers
Drivers with poor creditTravelers
Drivers with one at-fault crashTravelers
Low-mileage driversTravelers
Minimum coverageTravelers
For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.