Rhode Island Car Insurance Laws (2024)

Rhode Island requires all drivers to carry 25/50/25 of liability coverage, including bodily injury and property damage liability.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Edited by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Rhode Island’s
car insurance laws require all drivers to purchase minimum liability coverage, including bodily injury and property damage protection in the amount of 25/50/25.
  • Rhode Island drivers must carry minimum liability coverage, including bodily injury and property damage protection.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in RI if you’re carrying the minimum required liability insurance, but it is required if you raise your liability limits.
  • Drivers and their vehicles do not get any protection under the state minimum policy, so more coverage is recommended.
  • Penalties for driving without insurance in RI include fines, license and registration suspension, and restoration fees.

Minimum car insurance requirements in Rhode Island: Liability

Rhode Island’s minimum car insurance coverage requirements include the following liability limits:
With this insurance coverage, your insurance company will pay for injuries or property damage you cause to others up to the auto insurance policy’s limits.
You may be offered uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage but it’s not required in this state if you only have the state minimum liability insurance. If your liability limits exceed the state minimum, you can not decline UM coverage.
Here is a summary of the minimum insurance requirements for Rhode Island.

Rhode Island minimum auto insurance requirements

Type of coverage
Minimum insurance limit
Bodily injury liability (BIL) per person
Bodily injury liability per accident
Property damage liability (PDL)
Key Takeaway Rhode Island requires only property damage and bodily injury liability coverage under state law, as well as proof of insurance when driving.

Understanding Rhode Island’s minimum insurance coverage requirements

Liability insurance
will help protect you from lawsuits if you cause a car accident. It pays out for damages that you cause to others, but it does not cover any damage to your own property or yourself.
The state minimum coverage requirements do not include any reimbursement for your own medical costs after an accident, unlike most other states.

How much does Rhode Island state minimum coverage cost?

State minimum coverage in Rhode Island costs an average of $1,836 per year, or $153 per month. A standard full coverage policy costs $2,783 per year.
Remember: Car insurance rates are highly individualized based on your age, gender, ZIP code, driving record, vehicle type, credit score, and other factors. You can lower your premiums by raising your deductibles,
qualifying for discounts
like bundling homeowners with auto, and
comparing quotes

Do you need more coverage than Rhode Island’s required insurance minimum?

Yes, probably.
Rhode Island’s minimum coverage requirements are fairly low compared to most states. Experts recommend you increase liability limits to 50/100/50.
Plus, without any mandatory coverage for your own medical expenses after an accident, you’re pretty exposed.
Let’s use an example to see how Rhode Island’s minimum coverage limits would hold up in the event of an accident.

Here’s what it might look like if you’re in an accident with minimal coverage…

Let’s start with liability. The average cost of a bodily injury claim is around $22,000 and the state limit in RI is $25,000.
If you cause an accident with average damage, then your minimum liability policy would cover costs. But if the accident was severe, you’d be on the hook for all the additional costs—not to mention all your own medical bills and replacement costs for your own vehicle. 
Key Takeaway Rhode Island’s low minimum insurance limits could expose you to tens of thousands of dollars of unnecessary liability and out-of-pocket costs.

Additional coverage options

A full coverage car insurance policy with liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage opens up a world of add-ons that you can include in your Rhode Island auto insurance plan. Some of the best additional coverage options include:
  • Comprehensive insurance
    : Get coverage for theft, vandalism, and extreme weather events like storms.
  • Collision insurance
    : This covers costs for collision-related incidents, like hitting a tree or colliding with another vehicle.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:
    This optional coverage pays for your medical expenses if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have enough liability coverage to cover all your costs. Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists, with over 16% of drivers in the state uninsured. 

Some vehicles must pass inspection to get insurance in Rhode Island

Some states, including Rhode Island, require a vehicle inspection when you can purchase physical damage coverage (e.g., collision and/or comprehensive insurance). To get the inspection, visit the Carco location nearest you. A technician will document the condition and mileage of your vehicle.
The inspection won’t cost you anything, and it usually only takes about 15 minutes to complete.
If you don’t have the inspection completed within the allotted time frame, your collision and comprehensive coverage will be suspended.

What is the penalty for not having auto insurance coverage in Rhode Island?

Driving without valid
proof of insurance
in the state of Rhode Island is a serious offense. You’ll face fines, suspension of your license and registration, and fees to restore your documents.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Rhode Island

First offense

  • License suspended for up to three months
  • $100 to $500 fine
  • $30 to $50 reinstatement fee

Second offense

  • License suspended for up to six months
  • $500 fine
  • $30 to $50 reinstatement fee

Subsequent offenses

  • License suspended for up to a year
  • $1,000 fine
  • $30 to $50 reinstatement fee
Rhode Island does not require SR-22 filing, a form proving financial responsibility after a serious traffic violation. However, you’re also likely to face higher car insurance premiums after your driving history labels you a
high-risk driver


Yes, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle without at least the state-minimum car insurance coverage in Rhode Island. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you could face serious penalties, including fines and a possible license suspension.
All RI drivers must carry liability coverage: $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability per accident.
After an accident
, you should stop the car and move to a safe place. Check all parties for injuries and contact the police to file an accident report. Exchange information with the other parties.
Take photos if it is safe to do so, so you can submit evidence to the car insurance company. Then, submit your claim.
You have 21 days to report your accident to the DMV and three years to file a personal injury claim.
not required in Rhode Island
if you only carry the state minimum liability insurance, but you are required to add it if you increase your liability limits.
This is a unique program that allows good drivers (aka no moving violations in the past three years) to potentially qualify to have a ticket dismissed. You must have had your license for more than three years and you must seek a hearing with the court to request the dismissal.
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