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 30 cities in the Ocean State for two sample drivers. We found that the average cost for our benchmark drivers was $1,785, but the cheapest car insurance company in Rhode Island cost 1/3 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 Car Insurance Companies in RI
- Best Auto Insurance Rates: by City
- Best Car Insurance Companies in RI
- Average Cost of Auto Insurance by City
We analyzed quotes from 13 companies for two driver profiles: a single 30 year old man, and a single 65 year old man across 30 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:
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
We found that State Farm, USAA, GEICO, and Quincy Mutual had the best car insurance quotes. The four carriers averaged an annual premium of $846 for our two drivers, which meant a $535 or 39% savings compared to the 13-company mean. We've included California Casualty to round out the top five most affordable companies, although their rates registered slightly higher than average. Note that USAA and California Casualty are specialty insurers who only serve the military and their families; and educators, safety officers, nurses, and firefighters, respectively.
The Most Expensive Car Insurance Companies in Rhode Island
Peerless, Nationwide, and National Grange Mutual are the three most expensive insurance companies in Rhode Island for our two single male drivers. The three quoted an average annual premium of $1,743 for our two guys, who had great driving histories 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 13 insurers included in our analysis, ranked from those with the lowest car insurance rates to the highest.
|Rank||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rates|
|13||National Grange Mutual||1,801|
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 13 providers in 10 of the biggest 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 two sample men, who commute relatively short distances in their Toyota Camrys, and have a good driving history and credit score.
|Rhode Island Place||Cheapest Insurer #1||Cheapest Insurer #2||Cheapest Insurer #3|
|Providence||State Farm||$700||USAA||$720||Quincy Mutual||$1,086|
|Cranston||State Farm||700||USAA||768||Quincy Mutual||1,086|
|East Providence||State Farm||700||USAA||720||GEICO||996|
|North Providence||State Farm||700||USAA||768||Quincy Mutual||1,086|
|West Warwick||State Farm||531||USAA||642||GEICO||1,008|
Good news for residents living near Narragansett Bay: all of the most affordable cities on our Rhode Island study are located on islands around the Bay. The average premium for our five cheapest locations is $1,566, which beats the state mean by 12%.
|Rank||City||Average Annual Premiums||Decrease vs State Average|
Middletown takes the top spot on the list of the most affordable insurance in Rhode Island. Basical liability protection costs an average of $1,545 – 13% more favorable than the state mean. Middletown is immediately north of Newport, a famous New England summer destination. The city broke away from Newport in 1731 for a very American reason – unjust taxation. Middletown is situated on Aquidneck Island, to the east of the state’s coast, and comprises the island’s central business district.
Newport was founded in 1639 by eight colonists and was the scene of many battles during the American Revolution. The city has become a famed New England summer resort where many celebrities and two presidents (Eisenhower and Kennedy) have had summer homes. Today, it is the site of the United States Naval War College and the Naval Education and Training Command. During the summer, the city hosts several festivals, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Sunset Music Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival with headliners like Bob Dylan. Drivers might see annual rates averaging $1,547 – 13% more favorable than the state mean.
Little Compton, RI
Little Compton ranks third in our lineup, with an average cost that comes in 12% under the state mean. On average, premiums cost $1,572. The city is also located in Newport County, slightly east of Newport. The city was originally settled by Englishmen from Plymouth colony looking to expand their land holdings. Little Compton is also the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red Hen. The city has several sites that have made the National Register of Historic Places, including the Wilbor House Museum (1692) and the Rhode Island Red Monument (1925).
Tiverton is located directly north of Little Compton. Tiverton was founded by English colonists in 1694 as part of the Massachusetts Bay colony. Originally, the city was a farming community with some fishing and boat construction. Today, property values have plummeted in the city since contaminated soil was discovered there. However, auto insurance in Tiverton beats the state average by 11%, with an average premium of $1,581 a year.
This city ranks fourth in our list with an average annual premium of $1,586 – 11% more favorable than the state average. Jamestown is located slightly west of Middletown and Newport, on the Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay. The oldest artifacts found on the island are from around 3,000 BC! The town was used for grazing sheep in the 17th century and was occupied by the British during the Revolution. In modern times, Hollywood movies like Me, Myself, and Irene and Moonrise Kingdom have been filmed in the city.
On the other hand, the most expensive cities cost on average 20% more than the typical city in the Ocean State. Generally speaking, our most expensive cities are clustered around the Providence metropolitan area within easy driving distance. They tend to be more densely populated cities, which contributes to their higher costs, which on average, is $2,150.
|Rank||City||Average Annual Premiums||Increase vs State Average|
North Providence, RI
The smallest area town in the smallest state is also the most expensive for auto insurance in Rhode Island. Drivers can see insurance costs averaging $2,257 – a whopping 26% higher than the state average. The city is quite densely populated, with a population of 5,628 people per square mile, which contributes to generally higher costs for auto insurance. North Providence was founded in 1636 and was originally included with Providence and Pawtucket.
The capital and most populous city in the state ranks second on our list of the most expensive 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 22% higher than the state mean, with an average premium of $2,173.
Cranston, named one of the “100 Best Places to Live” by Money magazine, ranks third on our list. 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. Costs here are 21% higher than the Ocean State's mean, with auto insurance rates averaging $2,167 annually.
Central Falls, RI
Like the others on our list of most expensive cities, Central Falls is located in Providence County. On average, the cost of insurance in the city is $2,087. That’s 17% higher than the state average. Central Falls was the site of a major battle in the King Philip’s War when Captain Michael Pierce and his Plymouth Colony troops were ambushed. The city is home to many historic sites, including the Benjamin F. Greene house and the South Central Falls Historic District.
The fourth largest city in the state rounds off our list of the most expensive cities for car insurance. Pawtucket is located in Providence County, like the other cities on this list. The city was a major contributor of cotton textiles during the industrial revolution. Today, the city is becoming known as a center for arts and culture, owing to the city’s hiring of a Northeastern University researcher to create a plan to attract artists. Auto insurance in Pawtucket is, on average, $2,069 – 16% higher than the state average.
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|
|Michael Karfunkel Grantor Annuity Trust||0||1,710,211||0.00|
|Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company||1||9,833,058||0.82|
|Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company||1||6,855,894||1.18|
|Main Street America Insurance||2||12,374,969||1.30|
|Ohio Mutual Insurance Company||2||8,255,123||1.96|
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.
In addition to the Narragansett Bay and Providence metro area locations mentioned above, there were a number of other cities surveyed in our Rhode Island premium comparison. As we mentioned, the average cost for our two sample drivers in the state overall is $1,785, and here are all of the cities ranked from the motorists' cheapest annual rates to the most expensive.
To arrive at the average auto insurance rates in our analysis, we surveyed quotes for two sample drivers in 30 cities within Rhode Island. Our two profiles were a single 30 year old male and a single 65 year old male. Each driver owns a 2010 Toyota Camry in full, and uses it mostly for work. Miles spent on the road amount to about 12,000 a year. They both have good credit histories and have not been in any accidents or had any traffic violations in the past five years.
Costs are based on basic liability protection for the 2010 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 thirty 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 $1,785.
|City||Average Annual Premiums||Change|
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