Why Is Car Insurance so Expensive in Rhode Island?

The average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island is $1,822 per year, which is $398 higher than the national average. Drivers in the state pay higher rates for car insurance primarily due to high urban population density and higher-than-average highway density and uninsured motorist rates.

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Last Updated: 10/4/2022
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MoneyGeek analyzed the most significant factors impacting car insurance rates to help those wondering why car insurance is so expensive in Rhode Island. As defined in our methodology, we researched quotes for an average 40-year-old driver with a full coverage policy and a clean driving record.

In Rhode Island, drivers have to pay high rates for car insurance. While individual factors like age, credit score, location and driving history affect premiums, the state's high urban population density, higher-than-average highway density and higher-than-average uninsured motorist rate also play a role.

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Key Takeaways

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Rhode Island’s high car insurance rates are due to factors like dense urban population, as well as higher-than-average highway density and uninsured driver rates.

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Individual factors like age, credit score, driving history, location, insurance company and vehicle make and model also affect rates.

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Despite high rates, it’s possible to save money on car insurance in several ways.

Why Rhode Island Car Insurance Rates Are so High

Rhode Island is the seventh-most expensive state for car insurance in the U.S. Insurance companies in the state charge high rates due, in part, to the state's urban population density, highway density and uninsured motorist rates.

High Population Density In Urban Areas

MoneyGeek’s data shows that 91% of the population in Rhode Island lives in cities. With most people living in urban centers, the likelihood of accidents increases, raising the number of potential claims for insurance companies. In urban neighborhoods, accidents, theft, and vandalism are higher than in non-urban areas, contributing to increased car insurance rates.

Higher-Than-Average Highway Density

There are an estimated 753,143 licensed drivers in Rhode Island. The state also has an elevated highway density compared to other U.S. states, which means reduced distance between cars on the road. This results in more accidents and an increase in the number of claims for insurers, causing them to charge higher rates.

Higher-Than-Average Number of Uninsured Motorists

In Rhode Island, about 17% of drivers are uninsured. Due to a high number of uninsured motorists, it would be wise to add uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your policy, which raises your costs. Insurers also base their rates on the number of uninsured motorists in a region, which causes base premiums to go up.

Why Car Insurance in Rhode Island Might Be Expensive for You

While car insurance in Rhode Island is generally more expensive than the national average, other significant factors like your location, age, credit history, driving record, insurance company and car’s make and model also affect your rates.

Where You Live

Your location within the state generally significantly impacts your car insurance rates. In Rhode Island, the average cost of car insurance is higher than the national average; however, the price of a policy may vary slightly depending on where you live. Getting quotes from multiple providers is the best way to find the most affordable rate in your area.

Insurance Company

Your car insurance rates can vary depending on your insurer. That’s why it’s smart to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers to find the most affordable option. MoneyGeek identified the best insurance company in Rhode Island that balances excellent service quality and affordability. Our tool can help you find the cheapest company in Rhode Island.

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Age

The driver's age is an important factor in car insurance costs. Insurers usually consider it risky to insure drivers younger than 25 due to inexperience. MoneyGeek's research shows that it costs an average of $1,822 per year to insure a 40-year-old driver, while car insurance for a 16-year-old costs an average of $5,056 annually in Rhode Island.

Average Car Insurance Rates by Age in Rhode Island

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  • State
    Average Driver (40-Year-Old)
    16-Year-Old
    25-Year-Old
  • Rhode Island
    $1,822
    $5,056
    $2,033

Driving Record

Insurance companies charge lower rates to drivers with clean driving records. Having a violation like a speeding ticket or a DUI can significantly increase your car insurance premiums. MoneyGeek found that drivers with a ticket pay $406 more on average in Rhode Island than someone with a clean driving record.

Average Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record in Rhode Island

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  • State
    No Violation
    Speeding Ticket
    Accident
    DUI
  • Rhode Island
    $1,822
    $2,227
    $2,457
    $3,369

Credit Score

Poor credit history can indicate risk to car insurance providers — that’s why insurers charge higher rates for such drivers. A driver with an excellent credit score would pay $351 less on average than someone with a good credit score in Rhode Island. For a driver with a bad credit score, insurance costs an average of $1,325 more than it does for someone with a good credit history.

Average Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score in Rhode Island

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  • State
    Excellent Credit Score
    Fair Credit Score
    Poor Credit Score
  • Rhode Island
    $1,568
    $2,386
    $3,244

Car’s Make and Build

Your car’s make and model affect your car insurance rates. Insurers generally charge less to insure newer models than older ones, as a newer model is less likely to end up at the mechanic. Rhode Island’s auto repair costs are high, affecting insurance rates.

You can use MoneyGeek’s car insurance calculator to get a personalized estimate if you’re thinking of shopping for a particular car make or model.

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How to Save on Car Insurance in Rhode Island

Car insurance in Rhode Island is costlier than in other U.S. states. However, it’s still possible to save money on a policy. MoneyGeek found ways to help you save, including shopping around for quotes, bundling, using discounts, increasing deductibles, enrolling in a pay-per-mile program and dropping unnecessary coverage.

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    Shopping Around for Quotes

    You can save on car insurance by shopping around and comparing quotes from different companies. MoneyGeek’s tool can help you compare quotes and find the best deal.

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    Bundle Your Policies

    Bundling your auto insurance policy with a home insurance policy of the same company is also a great way to save on car insurance. Many insurers offer significant discounts for bundling.

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    Find Discounts

    You can save money by looking for age-based and behavior-based car insurance discounts offered by insurance companies. Contact a provider to ask if you qualify for a special rate.

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    Increase Your Deductible

    An auto insurance deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company starts covering the rest of a claim. If you increase your deductible, your premiums will be lower, but you may have to pay more after a crash.

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    Consider Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

    Enrolling in a pay-per-mile program can also help you save money. It’s best suited for drivers who drive fewer than 12,000 miles a year.

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    Drop Unnecessary Coverage

    You may want to drop comprehensive and collision coverage if your premiums are more than 10% of your vehicle’s cash value. However, be careful about leaving yourself underinsured.

Frequently Asked Questions

MoneyGeek researched the following frequently asked questions to help you understand why car insurance is so expensive in Rhode Island.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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