Rhode Island Car Insurance Requirements
Rhode Island is among those states that don’t give drivers an option regarding car insurance. If you want to legally register and drive a vehicle you must buy at least a minimum liability car insurance policy first. If you want to add extra coverages that’s your business; but you must at least provide minimum liability in order to be in compliance with the law.
Just to be clear, liability insurance is not designed to protect yourself when you’re involved in an accident. It’s intended to protect victims of accidents you’re held liable for. It provides payments to help them cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and damaged property.
In Rhode Island the minimum amounts required are described as 25/50/25. Those numbers refer to:
- $25,000 per accident if you injure or kill one person
- $50,000 per accident if you injure or kill two or more people
- $25,000 per accident to pay for property damage
Because Rhode Island’s car insurance laws are fault based, you can be sued by another driver if your negligence causes severe injuries. With the cost of modern healthcare the chances of a lawsuit increase with the degree of injury severity. It might be a wise idea if you live in Rhode Island to increase the minimum liability limits at least two-fold.
Also don’t forget that liability car insurance doesn’t pay your expenses if you’ve caused the accident. You’ll need collision insurance if you want your car paid for, personal injury protection or med-pay for medical bills that exceed your health insurance plan, and perhaps other coverages according to your circumstances.
Driving without Insurance in Rhode Island
Driving without insurance in Rhode Island is not a wise move. It’s also not a necessary move, given the fact that cheap car insurance is so readily available. Keep in mind that if you’re caught behind the wheel while uninsured you’ll face at least a $500 fine. A court may decide to take it one step further by suspending your license and registration for a time.
Also don’t forget that the Rhode Island statute requires you to carry proof of insurance in your car. Usually that’s accomplished through an ID card provided by your car insurance company. If you’re pulled over in a traffic stop you’ll have to show the ID card to the police officer. The same can be said if you’re involved in an accident that requires police investigation.
If you have insurance but just don’t have the card to show the officer, you can avoid the fines and penalties if you can provide proper documentation to a court. Otherwise you’ll have to face the music.