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General Rhode Island Insurance Guidelines
Rhode Island currently requires that all drivers be financially responsible in case of an accident. The only practical way to comply with this is to purchase liability insurance.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Rhode Island
Rhode Island's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 total property damage per accident
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. Rhode Island requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for Rhode Island are possible to decline if you choose to buy only minimum limits of bodily injury and property damage liability as required by law.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policy holder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. Rhode Island is not a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. Rhode Island does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for Rhode Island
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. Rhode Island requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
Rhode Island DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Rhode Island are:
- Up to 1-year imprisonment and/or 10 to 60 hours community service
- $100–$300 fine if BAC is equal to or greater than 0.08%
- $100–$400 fine if BAC is equal to or greater than 0.09% - 0.15%
- $500 fine if BAC is above 0.15%
- $500 highway assessment fee
- 30 to 180 days license suspension if BAC is 0.08%
- 3-months to 1-year suspension if BAC is 0.09% – 0.15%
- 3-months to 18-months if BAC is above 0.15%
- Mandatory attendance to DWI course
Special Insurance Regulations for Rhode Island
As of November 1, 1993, the laws of the State of Rhode Island require every driver and owner to be financially responsible in case of an auto accident.
Additional Information on Insurance for Rhode Island
For more information, please contact Rhode Island Division of Insurance Regulation: 1-401-462-9520 or visit their website at www.dbr.state.ri.us.
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