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Best Auto Insurance in Rhode Island in 2024

Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
Nationwide logo

Full Coverage Averages in Rhode Island
• Annual Premium: $2,299
• Monthly Premium: $192

Learn More: Nationwide Review.

Pros + Cons
Independent agents
Pay-per-mile insurance
X Not cheap for drivers with a bad record

Best Affordable Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
USAA Logo 2023

Full Coverage Averages in Rhode Island
• Annual Premium: $1,406
• Monthly Premium: $117

Learn More: USAA Review.

Pros + Cons
Affordable rates
Excellent customer service
X Only available for military

Best Auto Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit in Rhode Island
Geico Logo

Full Coverage Averages in Rhode Island
• Annual Premium: $2,319
• Monthly Premium: $193

Learn More: GEICO Review.

Pros + Cons
Affordable rates even for drivers with poor credit
Easy-to-use online tools
X Digital-first experience is not right for everyone

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Rhode Island is a small state, but there are still 761,046 licensed drivers who need auto insurance to register and drive their vehicles. The Ocean State is also one of the most expensive states for car insurance, which means the road to your perfect policy may get bumpy. We selected our top picks keeping personal demographic factors, pricing, claims/customer service satisfaction, and coverage offerings in mind so you can hone in on what you need most in a new policy.

Blue CarBest Auto Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

  1. Nationwide – Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
    Nationwide has competitive rates for full coverage in Rhode Island, and its independent agents can help you find the right blend of coverages and discounts for your needs.
  2. USAA – Best Affordable Auto Insurance in Rhode Island
    Available only to the military community, USAA has consistently low rates in Rhode Island, even for high risk drivers.
  3. GEICO – Best Auto Insurance for Drivers with Poor Credit in Rhode Island
    GEICO offers cheap rates for drivers with poor credit in Rhode Island, without sacrificing customer service.

The Best Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

  1. 1.

    Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Rhode Island: Nationwide

  2. 2.

    Best Affordable Auto Insurance in Rhode Island: USAA

  3. 3.

    Best Auto Insurance for Drivers with Poor Credit in Rhode Island: GEICO

  4. 4.

    Best Auto Insurance Customer Service in Rhode Island: Amica

  5. 5.

    Best Auto Insurance for Drivers with a Bad Record in Rhode Island: Travelers

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

Company Average Cost of Full Coverage in RI Average Cost of Minimum Coverage in RI Average Cost for People with Poor Credit in RI NAIC Complaint Score J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Index – New England (average 816 out of 1,000)1
Nationwide $2,299 $1,643 $3,373 0.46 (29 complaints) N/A
USAA $1,406 $629 $2,496 1.19 (255 complaints) 896 (did not qualify to rank due to limited availability)
GEICO $2,319 $1,157 $3,076 0.70 (411 complaints) 836 – #1 ranked
Amica $2,349 $1,117 $5,409 0.75 (51 complaints) 833 – #2 ranked
Travelers $1,751 $803 $3,616 12.23 (4 complaints) 782

HEADS UP:

It’s possible to be self-insured in Rhode Island provided you have more than 25 vehicles and at least $100,000 in collateral.

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

1. Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Rhode Island - Nationwide

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for taking a defensive driver course
  • Network of local agents
  • Usage-based insurance program for low-mileage drivers

Aside from USAA—which, as you’ll see below, isn’t available to the general public—Nationwide has the cheapest full coverage auto insurance in Rhode Island. Nationwide is the 10th-largest auto insurance provider in the United States and works with a network of independent agents. These insurance agents may represent multiple carriers and can provide an overview of the local auto insurance landscape. Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country, but it still boasts many agents available through Nationwide’s online search tool.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers with a good record
  • pro
    Teen drivers
  • pro
    Low-mileage drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Rideshare drivers
  • con
    High risk drivers

Nationwide’s Full Coverage Options

Full coverage auto insurance combines your state’s minimum required coverage limits and additional coverage we usually recommend, depending on your circumstances. Nationwide’s size means it can offer many coverage options and discounts, but here’s what we recommend as a full coverage policy:

Legally-required auto insurance coverage in Rhode Island:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,0002

We recommend getting closer to 100/300/100 limits, and potentially up to $500,000 worth of liability coverage if you can afford it.

Additionally, insurers in Rhode Island must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage with limits equal to your liability coverage. Customers can reject this additional coverage by waiving it in writing. We recommend adding UIM coverage to your policy if it’s within your means.

Other coverages included in our definition of “full coverage”:

  • Medical benefits coverage to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses or funerals for you or those covered under your policy up to the amount you choose
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage with a reasonable deductible (usually $500 to $1,000)

PRO TIP:

Your car’s actual cash value (ACV) equals the replacement cost minus depreciation at the time of loss. The term is interchangeable with actual market value (AMV) or fair market value. Your collision and comprehensive insurance will pay the cost of damages to your car, or its fair market value if the car is a total loss.

Nationwide’s Add-On Coverages

While not included in a traditional full coverage policy, these nice-to-have coverages are worth a look as you shop around:

  • Accident forgiveness: Nationwide accident forgiveness can be used once per policy to prevent a price increase after your first at-fault accident.
  • Roadside assistance: You can use roadside forgiveness through an app to tow your vehicle from a public road, deliver supplies like oil and water, service your battery, change a flat tire, or unlock your car.
  • Loss of use/rental car expense: Nationwide helps pay for a rental car or other transportation expenses if you can’t drive your car due to a covered loss.
2. Best Affordable Auto Insurance in Rhode Island - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Cheapest rates for teens on a family policy or on their own
  • Special discount for teens transitioning off their parents’ policy
  • Strong customer service and claims process

USAA has the most affordable rates in Rhode Island on auto insurance in every category we researched: full coverage, minimum coverage, teen drivers, low credit, and traffic violations. That’s happy news for those eligible for USAA membership: military members, veterans, and their families. Rhode Island counts as residents 3,545 active-duty service members, 1,105 active-duty spouses, 1,947 active-duty children, and almost 10,000 National Guard and reserve members, spouses, and children.3 If you count yourself among any of these numbers or are an Armed Forces veteran living in Rhode Island, USAA should be your first stop for an auto insurance quote.

ProsWho It's Best For
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Non-military families

Lower Costs for Teen Drivers

USAA makes insuring teen drivers, a notoriously expensive demographic, less of a financial burden. The average annual cost of auto insurance in Rhode Island for 16-year-olds is $8,080. The average for teen drivers insured by USAA is $4,954. That’s almost 40 percent lower and doesn’t take into account USAA’s teen driver discounts, which include:

  • Driver training discount when a teen driver completes basic driver training
  • Good student discount savings of up to 25 percent
  • SafePilot discount savings of up to 30 percent if your teen participates in USAA’s safe driving program
  • A multi-vehicle discount if your teen drivers a separate vehicle
  • New vehicle or anti-theft device discount if your teen’s car is less than three years old or has an anti-theft device
  • Safe driving discount if your young driver maintains a good driving record for more than five years
  • 10 percent legacy discount for young drivers transitioning off a parent or guardian’s policy

Discounts for Driving Less

If you’re deployed or storing your vehicle, USAA offers up to 60 percent off your premium. Likewise, if you garage your vehicle on a military installation you could save up to 15 percent on comprehensive coverage. USAA also offers usage-based insurance which is helpful for active duty military without a commute (or who are deployed internationally).

Customer Service and Member Benefits

USAA’s member benefits and customer service offerings should appeal to most eligible drivers in Rhode Island. These benefits include access to banking products (including auto loans with competitive rates), life insurance, health insurance, and member perks:

  • 24/7 fraud monitoring on your accounts
  • Hotel deals
  • Rental car deals
  • Theme park and entertainment deals
3. Best Auto Insurance for Drivers with Poor Credit in Rhode Island - GEICO

What We Like Most:

  • Save money with defensive driving courses
  • Cheapest rates after a speeding ticket
  • Save by installing safety equipment

GEICO has made a name for itself through catchy slogans and funny commercials, but what’s behind the marketing? We often find GEICO in our top picks for its affordable rates, though it relies mostly on its virtual presence. If you’re looking for a reasonable rate—especially with a low credit score—and like doing business via website or mobile app, get a quote from GEICO to compare.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers with poor credit
  • pro
    People looking for an easy online quote
  • pro
    Anyone looking for highly-rated customer service
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Auto insurance policyholders who want the same underwriter for homeowners insurance
  • con
    Drivers who want to work with a local agent for auto insurance

Cheap Rates for Drivers with Poor Credit

Like most states, Rhode Island allows providers to use credit scores when determining auto insurance rates. Auto insurance companies equate bad credit scores with a higher likelihood of making late payments and a higher frequency of claims. The latter association was unfortunately corroborated by a Federal Trade Commission report that found a correlation between low credit scores and higher frequency of claims.4

GEICO has affordable rates for drivers with poor credit in Rhode Island. We found it offered the lowest average rate in Rhode Island for drivers with poor credit after USAA (whose availability is limited to military affiliates) and the lowest percentage increase of all the providers surveyed between drivers with good credit vs. poor credit.

Company Average annual cost of car insurance with good credit in Rhode Island Average annual cost of car insurance with poor credit in Rhode Island Percent increase
Nationwide $2,299 $3,373 47%
USAA $1,406 $2,496 78%
GEICO $2,319 $3,076 33%
Amica $2,349 $5,406 130%
Travelers $1,751 $3,616 106%

Robust Digital Tools

GEICO’s digital tools are robust and include the following:

  • Basic insurance management including updating your policy, accessing ID cards, getting quotes, reporting and tracking claims, and accessing GEICO’s virtual assistant through the app
  • Map of gas stations and reserved/paid-in-advance parking spots
  • Easy Photo Estimate tool to submit photos of vehicle damage directly from a phone and get repair estimates

In J.D. Power’s 2024 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study, GEICO earned an above-average rating for customer shopping experience. Overall customer satisfaction within the digital shopping experience is 516 and GEICO scored 519.5

Top Customer Service Rating in New England

GEICO earned the top spot in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Where surging rates are reducing customer satisfaction overall in the industry, GEICO’s affordability likely plays a role in its high rank. The company earned a score of 836 out of 1,000 in New England, above the regional average of 816.

4. Best Auto Insurance Customer Service in Rhode Island - Amica
Amica Logo 2023

What We Like Most:

  • One of the highest-ranked midsize insurers for customer satisfaction
  • Choose from traditional or dividend policies
  • Bundle auto insurance with renters' or homeowners' insurance

We named Amica one of the best auto insurance companies due to its customer satisfaction ratings. It is a mutual insurer, which means the policyholders own the company and can invest in either a traditional or dividend policy. Amica has higher-than-average auto insurance rates in Rhode Island, but we were impressed with its customer service offerings and third-party ratings.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    People who value customer service
  • pro
    People who use digital tools
  • pro
    Loyal customers
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People looking for the absolute cheapest auto insurance rates
  • con
    Drivers who want a 12-month policy

Top Marks for Claims Processing

It can be difficult to assess how an insurer processes claims because the average driver only files one claim every ten years; however, claims processing satisfaction is the primary indicator of customer service ratings. CRASH Network’s Insurer Report Card helps consumers identify good claims service. Amica is ranked 12th on CRASH Network’s 2024 Insurer Report Card and earned a spot on its “Honor Roll,” which recognizes the top 25 insurers based on survey responses from body shops across the United States. Body shops in New England ranked Amica first overall, earning a regional grade of A.6

Amica also ranked first for the second consecutive year in J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with a score of 909 out of 1,000. The data set for this study includes almost 10,000 responses from auto insurance customers who settled a claim from September 2022 through August 2023.

Great Digital Tools

While we expect auto insurance providers to offer online tools, they don’t always work. You won’t have to worry about a glitchy digital experience with Amica, though. Amica ranked above average in J.D. Power’s 2024 Insurance Digital Experience Study, earning a score of 699 in the service category and 516 in the shopping category.  This survey evaluates the digital consumer experiences of new and existing customers, navigating desktop, mobile web, and mobile apps based on ease of navigation, speed, visual appeal, and content.

Low Customer Complaint Index

Amica’s national complaint index report, provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), indicates a below-average number of complaints for the private passenger insurance industry. The company received 51 complaints and earned a complaint index of 0.75, which means there are 25 percent fewer complaints than expected.7 This is fewer complaints than we’d like to see for a robust assessment, but Amica’s high marks for digital tools and claims processing also contribute to overall customer satisfaction.

Amica also scored the second-highest rating in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study with 833, only 3 points behind the top scorer (GEICO).

5. Best Auto Insurance for Drivers with a Bad Record in Rhode Island - Travelers

What We Like Most:

  • High financial strength rating from AM Best
  • Great customer service reviews
  • Discounts for safe drivers, homeowners, electric vehicle owners, and more

If you’re worried your auto insurance premium will skyrocket after a traffic violation or accident, we recommend getting a quote from Travelers. Travelers is one of the top 10 largest insurance companies in the United States but offers the second-lowest average premiums in Rhode Island for drivers after a DUI, at-fault accident, and speeding violation. The lowest rates belong to USAA and are only available to military and military families. Affordable rates and flexible coverage options make Travelers a well-rounded choice for drivers in Rhode Island.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers with a bad record
  • pro
    People looking for commercial and non-owner insurance
  • pro
    People who want to bundle home and auto insurance
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Rideshare drivers
  • con
    Teen drivers (average cost is $13,324)

Low Rates After a DUI in Rhode Island

35 percent of Rhode Island drivers involved in fatal car crashes in 2021 had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.8 A DUI is a misdemeanor offense in Rhode Island that results in fines, community service, jail, license suspension, education/treatment, and an ignition interlock requirement.9 A DUI will stay on your record for three years or more and increase your car insurance premium. On average, full coverage car insurance in Rhode Island costs $2,450. In comparison, the average cost of auto insurance after a DUI in the state is $4,188—an increase of 71 percent.

Company Average annual cost of car insurance before a DUI in Rhode Island Average annual cost of car insurance after a DUI in Rhode Island Percent increase
Nationwide $2,299 $4,575 99%
USAA $1,406 $2,211 57%
GEICO $2,319 $7,959 243%
Amica $2,349 $7,935 238%
Travelers $1,751 $2,921 67%

 

FYI:

You cannot get a DUI violation dismissed in Rhode Island if the incident involves refusal to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, a school bus, property damage or personal injury, speeding more than 14 miles per hour over the speed limit, or a commercial license holder.

Low Rates After a Speeding Ticket in Rhode Island

Our research found that car insurance rates increase by 24 percent on average after a speeding ticket in Rhode Island. Although Travelers’ annual premium increases by 40 percent, it’s still the second-lowest rate after a speeding ticket of the companies we analyzed due to its generally low rates.

Company Average annual cost of car insurance before a speeding ticket in Rhode Island Average annual cost of car insurance after a speeding ticket in Rhode Island Percent increase
Nationwide $2,299 $2,912 27%
USAA $1,406 $1,434 2%
GEICO $2,319 $3,812 64%
Amica $2,349 $2,811 20%
Travelers $1,751 $2,447 40%

Low Rates After an At-Fault Accident in Rhode Island

Finally, we researched how much auto insurance in Rhode Island will increase after an at-fault accident.  Travelers auto insurance increased only 15 percent, or $269 annually. Like in other high risk categories, its rates are next-cheapest after USAA.

Company Average annual cost of car insurance before an at-fault accident in Rhode Island Average annual cost of car insurance after an at-fault accident in Rhode Island Percent increase
Nationwide $2,299 $3,153 37%
USAA $1,406 $1,213 14%
GEICO $2,319 $2,786 20%
Amica $2,349 $3,072 31%
Travelers $1,751 $2,020 15%

Methodology

To determine the best auto insurance companies in Rhode Island, we evaluated insurers across four key categories—pricing, claims handling, customer experience, and coverage options. Here’s a breakdown of how each category was assessed:

  • Pricing (40%): We analyzed average annual premiums for full and minimum coverage for a good driver profile in Rhode Island. We also looked at average rates for high-risk driver profiles in the state, including those with an accident, speeding ticket, or poor credit. Additionally, we considered available discounts and whether major opportunities like bundling, good student, and telematics discounts are offered.
  • Claims Handling (25%): A company’s ability to handle claims efficiently and fairly is paramount. We considered third-party evaluations from sources like J.D. Power’s Claims Satisfaction Report and CRASH Network’s Insurer Report Card for insurers operating in Rhode Island. We also looked at financial strength ratings from AM Best and Moody’s, which indicate an insurer’s ability to pay claims.
  • Customer Experience (25%): The overall experience of obtaining a quote, purchasing a policy, and interacting with the insurer was evaluated based on: ease of online quote and purchase process, and regional customer satisfaction scores (J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study and Digital Experience Study) for Rhode Island and complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings for companies operating in the state.
  • Coverage Options (10%): We value insurers that provide additional protection beyond legally-required coverage in Rhode Island, through optional endorsements like: gap insurance, rideshare coverage, accident forgiveness, and other offerings.

By evaluating these key areas and weighing them according to their importance, we aimed to provide a comprehensive and data-driven analysis of the best auto insurance options for drivers in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Auto Insurance FAQs

What is the average cost of auto insurance in Rhode Island?

The average cost of full coverage auto insurance in Rhode Island is $2,450 and the average cost of minimum coverage auto insurance is $1,131.

What is the cheapest auto insurance for teens in Rhode Island?

The cheapest auto insurance for teens in Rhode Island is USAA with an average annual rate of $4,954, followed by GEICO with an average annual rate of $6,601.

Does Rhode Island have no-fault auto insurance?

No, Rhode Island does not have no-fault auto insurance because it is an at-fault state.

Citations

  1. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Plummets as Rates Continue to Surge, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2023, Jun 13).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2023-us-auto-insurance-study

  2. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance (230-RICR-20-05-1). Rhode Island Department of State. (2024).
    https://rules.sos.ri.gov/regulations/part/230-20-05-1

  3. Rhode Island. Military State Policy Source. (2024).
    https://statepolicy.militaryonesource.mil/state/RI#:~:text=3%2C545%20active%2Dduty%20service%20members

  4. CREDIT-BASED INSURANCE SCORES: IMPACTS ON CONSUMERS OF AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE. Federal Trade Commission. (2007, Jul).
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/reports/credit-based-insurance-scores-impacts-consumers-automobile-insurance-report-congress-federal-trade/p044804facta_report_credit-based_insurance_scores.pdf

  5. Auto Insurer Websites and Apps Become Primary Driver of New Customers, Putting Pressure on Digital Experience, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2024, 21 May).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2024-us-insurance-digital-experience-study

  6. Amica Mut Ins Co National Complaint Index Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023).
    https://content.naic.org/cis_refined_results.htm?TABLEAU=CIS_COMPLAINTS&COCODE=19976&:refresh

  7. Fatality Facts 2021 State by state. IIHS HLDI. (2022).
    https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state

  8. Title 31 Motor and Other Vehicles – Chapter 27: Motor Vehicle Offenses. R.I. Gen. Laws. (2024).
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE31/31-27/31-27-2.HTM