Auto Insurance Basics

Who Has the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Rhode Island?

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Rates vary widely for the same motorist simply based on where they live in Rhode Island, and which company they insure with. To measure the difference, we analyzed auto insurance quotes across 25 cities in the Ocean State for a sample driver. We found that the average cost for our benchmark drivers was $1,638, but the cheapest car insurance company in Rhode Island cost 52% less than the price of the most expensive carrier. That's why drivers have to shop around for at least three quotes if they're looking for affordable rates. Enter your zip above for a list of providers active in your neighborhood to begin shopping for good quotes.

Cheapest Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

We analyzed quotes from nine companies for our profiled driver, a single 30 year old man across 25 cities and towns to find out who the cheapest car insurance companies were in Rhode Island. Based on that data, below are the most companies with the best auto insurance rates:

this graph compares the five companies in Rhode Island with the best auto insurance rates against the statewide average.

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We found that State Farm, Progressive, and GEICO had the best car insurance quotes. The three carriers averaged an annual premium of $1,139 for our driver, which meant a $499 or 30% savings compared to the nine-company mean. We've included Quincy Mutual and Allstate to round out the top five most affordable companies, with rates 4% below the state average.

The Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

MetLife, Nationwide, and Encompass are the three most expensive insurance companies in Rhode Island for our single male drivers. The three quoted an average annual premium of $2,069 for our profiled driver, who had great driving history and good credit scores - a cost that was 26% higher than the state average. These rates are for our sample drivers, so it is important for drivers to research their individual quotes from at least three carriers to get the best deal.

Here is the table of average annual rates for the nine insurers included in our analysis, ranked from those with the lowest car insurance rates to the highest.

RankAuto Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rates
1State Farm$1,004
2Progressive$1,172
3GEICO$1,240
4Quincy Mutual$1,558
5Allstate$1,580
6Grange Mutual$1,983
7Encompass$2,048
8Nationwide$2,059
9MetLife$2,101

Cheapest Car Insurance in Rhode Island: by City

The next step in our analysis was to determine which companies had the most affordable auto insurance rates by city within Rhode Island. We analyzed quotes across nine providers in 25 cities in Rhode Island, and the three cheapest insurers are listed by city. Your actual quotes will differ based on these factors, since these premiums were derived from our sample man, who commutes relatively short distances in his Toyota Camry, and has a good driving history and credit score.

CityAuto Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rates
BarringtonState Farm$900
Progressive$1,180
GEICO$1,185
BristolState Farm$900
Progressive$1,180
GEICO$1,266
Central FallsState Farm$1,176
Progressive$1,532
GEICO$1,680
CoventryState Farm$912
Progressive$1,199
GEICO$1,216
CranstonState Farm$1,176
Progressive$1,400
GEICO$1,602
CumberlandProgressive$1,068
State Farm$1,176
GEICO$1,239
East GreenwichState Farm$912
Progressive$1,174
GEICO$1,224
East ProvidenceProgressive$1,174
State Farm$1,176
GEICO$1,336
GreenvilleState Farm$912
Progressive$1,199
GEICO$1,269
JamestownState Farm$900
GEICO$920
Progressive$926
KingstonState Farm$912
GEICO$1,119
Progressive$1,199
NarragansettState Farm$912
Progressive$926
GEICO$1,119
NewportState Farm$900
GEICO$920
Progressive$926
North KingstownState Farm$912
GEICO$1,090
Progressive$1,174
North ProvidenceState Farm$1,176
Progressive$1,551
GEICO$1,617
PascoagState Farm$912
Progressive$1,068
GEICO$1,292
PawtucketState Farm$1,176
Progressive$1,532
GEICO$1,680
PortsmouthState Farm$900
Progressive$926
GEICO$953
ProvidenceState Farm$1,176
GEICO$1,269
Progressive$1,400
TivertonState Farm$900
GEICO$953
Progressive$1,027
WarrenState Farm$900
Progressive$1,180
GEICO$1,266
WarwickState Farm$1,176
Progressive$1,199
GEICO$1,237
West WarwickState Farm$912
Progressive$1,174
GEICO$1,363
WesterlyState Farm$912
Progressive$926
GEICO$978
WoonsocketProgressive$1,068
State Farm$1,176
GEICO$1,206

Cities with the Cheapest Car Insurance in Rhode Island

We decided to take a more in-depth look at the three largest cities in Rhode Island and their auto insurance prices. We found that the largest three cities had an average auto insurance rate of $2,006, or 22% above the state average. Fortunately, even if you do live in these cities, there are still many opportunities to save on car insurance. Below, we've highlighted some of the cheapest companies in each city that you should definitely include on your list when shopping for car insurance.  

Providence, RI

The capital and most populous city in the state is also the first on our list in terms of the most expensive car insurance. Providence is located in eastern Rhode Island and is the third-largest city in New England after Boston and Worcester. Brown University is located in the city. In modern times, new investment has brought about the construction of many public sites, including Waterplace Park and the Providence Place Mall. In the city, auto insurance is about 37% higher than the state mean, with an average premium of $2,246 for our 30 year old male. Fortunately, rates quoted from State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive, the top 3 cheapest companies in Providence, averaged $1,282 for our driver's Camry. This is 43% less than the city mean, and translates to $964 in savings for customers.

This chart highlights the cheapest car insurance companies in Providence compared to the city average.

Warwick, RI

Warwick was established in 1642 and was the home of George Washington's second in command, Nathaniel Greene. Today, visitors can take walking tours of many notable colonial villages that include Apponaug Village, Conimicut Village, Pawutexet Village, and more. The town is located around Narragansett Bay. Auto insurance in Warwick is around 7% higher than the state average. To save money on car insurance, we suggest taking a look at State Farm, Progressive, and GEICO, who quoted our motorist an average rate of $1,204. This is 31% less than the city average and is equivalent to saving $545.  

This chart compares the cheapest car insurance companies in Warwick against the city average based on annual costs for our driver's coverage.

Cranston, RI

Cranston, named one of the “100 Best Places to Live” by Money magazine, ranks third on our list of most expensive cities for auto insurance in Rhode Island. The city is bordered to the south by the Pawtuxet River and was part of Providence until 1754. The city is headquarters to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and a juvenile correctional facility. Auto insurance costs here are 24% higher than the Ocean State's mean,with auto insurance rates averaging $2,023 annually. To save some extra money, try looking into State Farm, Progressive, GEICO, and Allstate for auto insurance. We found that these top four cheapest companies averaged an annual auto insurance rate of $1,510 in Cranston for our driver's policy, which is 25% less than the city mean.  

Here we list the insurers in Cranston with the most affordable car insurance premiums for our sample driver as compared to the city average.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Rhode Island

Rhode Island drivers have to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance in order to legally drive in the state. Rhode Island is not a no-fault state and so drivers must only carry liability protection. The minimum limits in Rhode Island are as follows:

  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability insurance
  • $25,000 of property damage liability insurance
  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist insurance

Best Rated Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

To determine which companies were rated the best, we looked into complaints that were submitted to the State of Rhode Island's Division of Insurance by consumers for each company. We then compiled a consumer complaint ratio by dividing each group's share of complaints with the market share. This way, we can see how many complaints there were compared to how much in premiums a company has written. A company with a smaller share of complaints than its share of business is a provider doing better than average. Below are the companies ranked by their complaint index - the lower it is, the better it is.

Car Insurance Company # Complaints Premiums Complaint Index
Selective Insurance 0 $10,089,460 0.00
Hartford 0 5,402,735 0.00
21st Century 0 3,823,802 0.00
Harleysville Insurance 0 3,053,219 0.00
Encompass 0 2,173,619 0.00
EMC Insurance 0 2,045,114 0.00
NLC Insurance 0 1,991,585 0.00
Michael Karfunkel Grantor Annuity Trust 0 1,710,211 0.00
MiddleOak 0 1,668,965 0.00
Farm Family 0 1,563,395 0.00
Horace Mann 0 1,434,135 0.00
Markel Insurance 0 1,091,946 0.00
Amica 3 87,570,645 0.28
MAPFRE Insurance 1 28,000,885 0.29
Travelers 1 23,622,945 0.34
Progressive 10 134,626,018 0.60
Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company 1 9,833,058 0.82
Nationwide 5 46,795,703 0.86
MetLife 7 64,094,187 0.88
USAA 5 39,103,522 1.03
Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company 1 6,855,894 1.18
Main Street America Insurance 2 12,374,969 1.30
Allstate 15 83,001,278 1.46
GEICO 18 88,861,402 1.64
State Farm 1 4,433,383 1.82
Liberty Mutual 14 60,661,346 1.86
Ohio Mutual Insurance Company 2 8,255,123 1.96
Esurance 4 10,816,493 2.99
National General 3 6,558,519 3.69

By this metric, Selective, The Hartford, 21st Century, Harleysville and Encompass were the five largest providers to tie for the spot of the best auto insurance companies in Rhode Island. Note that in arriving at these index figures, we aggregated companies belonging to the same parent marketing group, and only looked at insurers with more than $1MM of business and premiums in 2014. Together, these 29 companies accounted for more than 99% of the auto insurance market in Rhode Island.

Average Cost of Auto Insurance in Rhode Island

In addition to the three largest cities mentioned above, there were a number of other cities surveyed in our Rhode Island rate comparison. As we mentioned, the average cost for our sample driver in the state overall is $1,638, and here are all 25 cities ranked from the motorist's cheapest annual rates to the most expensive.

This graph presents the average annual rate in 25 cities in Rhode Island, and ranks them from cheapest to most expensive.

How We Conducted the Study

To arrive at the average auto insurance rates in our analysis, we surveyed quotes for a sample driver in 25 cities within Rhode Island. Our profiled driver was a single 30 year old male who owns a 2011 Toyota Camry in full, and uses it mostly for work. Miles spent on the road amount to about 12,000 a year. He has good credit history and has not been in any accidents or had any traffic violations in the past five years.

Costs are based on basic liability protection for the 2011 Toyota Camry, and provides about twice the minimum liability required in the state. Rhode Island requires minimum coverage of $25,000 per person for bodily injury protection and up to $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. The state also requires $25,000 per person and up to $50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist coverage. National insurers include, but are not limited to: GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, MetLife, Nationwide, and regional insurance providers such as Quincy Mutual in our rate comparison. 

Type Rhode Island Minimum Requirements Study Limits
Bodily Injury Liability $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per person, and
up to $50,000 per accident up to $100,000 per accident
Property Damage $25,000 per accident $25,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist* $25,000 per person*, and $50,000 per person, and
up to $50,000 per accident* up to $100,000 per accident

* Coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist protection will usually get bundled with a basic liabilty policy in Rhode Island, but can be declined in writing

Our premium comparison analysis encompassed 25 cities in Rhode Island, which are listed below in alphabetic order. Here they are, from Barrington to Woonsocket, along with their average annual rate and increase or decrease compared to the statewide average of $1,638.

CityAverage Annual PremiumsChange
Barrington$1,563 -5%
Bristol$1,517 -7%
Central Falls$1,966 20%
Coventry$1,606 -2%
Cranston$2,023 24%
Cumberland$1,579 -4%
East Greenwich$1,593 -3%
East Providence$1,739 6%
Greenville$1,657 1%
Jamestown$1,342 -18%
Kingston$1,468 -10%
Narragansett$1,415 -14%
Newport$1,326 -19%
North Kingstown$1,529 -7%
North Providence$2,171 33%
Pascoag$1,534 -6%
Pawtucket$1,977 21%
Portsmouth$1,387 -15%
Providence$2,246 37%
State Average$1,638 0%
Tiverton$1,385 -15%
Warren$1,540 -6%
Warwick$1,749 7%
West Warwick$1,706 4%
Westerly$1,402 -14%
Woonsocket$1,538 -6%

Sources:

Rhode Island Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance: http://www.dbr.ri.gov/documents/divisions/insurance/property_casualty/com_guide-auto_insur.PDF
Population Data in Rhode Island: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/44000.html
Image Courtesy of docsearls / Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/4DbMn7

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