Tremendous costs are usually associated with car accidents. Many people are unable to come up with the cash that's needed to pay for them out of pocket, which is one of the many reasons that auto insurance is necessary. In an effort to prevent major financial problems following accidents, the state of Rhode Island requires all drivers to have automobile insurance. Drivers face several consequences for going without coverage, so it's in their best interests to maintain it at all times. It's also important for them to be aware of the state's minimum car insurance requirements.
Even after learning that car insurance is required by law, some people are on the fence about getting it. Those who do sometimes opt to stick with minimums that are enforced by the Ocean State. In reality, however, those minimums tend to fall woefully short. Drivers who only get basic liability insurance often end up with massive bills anyway. Drivers who are unconvinced about the importance of top-quality car insurance should consider driving statistics for the state of Rhode Island. This kind of information is very revealing and generally prompts people to get better insurance.
Who Drives in Rhode Island?
Although Rhode Island is the smallest state in terms of total area, it doesn't have the smallest population. In other words, there are many people on the road in this pint-sized state at any given moment. With so many people sharing the road, it's little wonder that accidents are everyday occurrences. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of Rhode Island in 2012 was 1,050,292. Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration reports that there were 749,706 licensed drivers in the state as of November 2012, which means that a full 71.4 percent of the population is legally allowed to operate motor vehicles.
Car insurance providers use complicated calculations to determine how much to charge for premiums. Gender isn't something that they consider because there's no evidence that it reflects a person's safety - or lack thereof - on the road. Still, it's interesting to consider how many men drive in Rhode Island versus how many women. The FHA reports that 367,444 people, or 49.01 percent of all drivers, are men and that 382,262 people, or 50.99 percent of all drivers, are women.
It stands to reason that those who have been driving longer tend to be safer. Car insurance providers know this, which is why they take age into consideration. Older drivers tend to enjoy much lower premiums because they have been driving a lot longer. According to driving statistics for Rhode Island, 12,152 people, or 1.6 percent of all drivers, age 19 and below. The largest group consisted of people between the ages of 50 and 54. It totaled 37,714 people, or 5 percent of all licensed drivers.
Car Insurance Requirements in Rhode Island
Unlike quite a few states, Rhode Island doesn't give people multiple ways to show proof of financial responsibility. The only way to do so is by buying and maintaining liability insurance. There are strict minimum requirements. At the very least, such policies must include the following:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
These minimums may sound sufficient, but it's easy for the costs of a single accident to far exceed them. Drivers can more adequately protect themselves by purchasing car insurance policies with higher limits and more extensive levels of coverage.
Like many states, insurance carriers report lapses and cancellations to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Drivers face serious consequences for allowing their policies to lapse or be canceled.
If a driver is pulled over and unable to show proof of coverage, he will be cited. As long as he shows up with proof of coverage within 10 days, he can avoid fines and other consequences. If he is unable to do that, he faces a fine of up to $500. His driver's license and registration may be suspended for up to three months.