Insurance Considerations in Rhode Island
Getting into a car accident is a terrible and frightening event that can have a significant impact on anyone involved in one. There are physical consequences - the repairs that have to be made to the damaged vehicle(s) or property, as well as the likely medical consequences. Despite advancing technologies, human beings are still much more frail than their cars and liable to suffer serious injury in an auto incident. For these reasons and more, states around the country have mandated certain levels of coverage be required before you are allowed to drive on state roads and highways. These minimums may be met either by self-insuring with the state by depositing a bond, or by purchasing a policy with any of the reputable providers that are licensed and authorized to provide auto insurance in the state.
The minimum levels of auto insurance coverage required in Rhode Island are:
- $25,000 Bodily Injury Liability - 1 person: If you are involved in an accident with another single person, either with them as a pedestrian, or the driver and sole-occupant of a car, this protection will pay for medical expenses if they are injured. Costs for injury beyond this $25,000 amount, including transportation to a medical facility, will be your sole liability and responsibility for which the other driver may sue you civilly for.
- $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability - multiple persons: If you are involved in an incident with more than one person who is injured, this will pay for the medical expenses, including transportation to a medical facility, for all of them. The maximum here can be reached very quickly in a serious crash involving two or more passengers in the vehicle(s) you are involved in an accident with.
- $25,000 Property Damage Coverage: This coverage is actually fairly decent for what it does. The property damage coverage pays for repairs to another vehicle or object that you damage as a result of a collision where you are found to be at fault. This can be to another car or multiple cars, to pay the state for repairs to guardrails or other state property, to pay for damage to someone's home if it is hit and damaged, or even to pay to fix a little kid's bike if you accidentally hit him.
If you lose your policy or it lapses, your provider will notify the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles of the lapse and you will likely receive a notice in the mail advising you to get covered immediately. If you are pulled over and unable to show proof of coverage you could be cited be forced to pay a $500 fine in addition to having your driver's license suspended for up to 3 months.
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