About Rhode Island Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The Rhode Island insurance industry is quite strong despite the relatively small size of the state itself. The state regulates its insurance industry through the Rhode Island Insurance Division. The Rhode Island Insurance Division is responsible for ensuring that consumers and businesses are protected from malicious practices and exploitation. This protection extends to insurance companies as well. The agency also upholds the regulations that have been established by the federal government and enforces these regulations should insurance companies choose not to comply. Insurers that do not adhere to federal and state regulations risk losing their license to sell insurance.
Auto insurance is mandatory in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Insurance Division has determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage in order to be considered insured.
This coverage must account for: $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death occurring to one person in an accident; $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or deaths occurring to more than one person in an accident; and $25,000 of property damage coverage per accident.
Rhode Island drivers are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Rhode Island homeowners are not required to purchase insurance protection for their properties. Homeowners are strongly advised to purchase protection by the Rhode Island Insurance Division, however. Because of the state’s proximity to the ocean, Rhode Island can often fall victim to hurricanes and storms moving through the Atlantic Ocean. Such storms can spark widespread floods that could cause significant damage to homes and other properties. Though homeowners insurance is not mandated by the state, the Rhode Island Insurance Division does regulate the property insurance industry to ensure fairness and balance.
Rhode Island is home to approximately 1 million people, of which 12% have no health insurance coverage of any kind. As in other states, Rhode Island consumers cite cost as a major problem in their ability to purchase and maintain health insurance coverage. In 2014, U.S. citizens will be required to carry health insurance coverage, per the Affordable Care Act. The law also tasks states with hosting health insurance exchange programs, which may provide consumers with access to affordable coverage plans.
Insurance News Update: In 2011, the Rhode Island Legislature failed to pass a law that would have established a health insurance exchange. In September 2011, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order that immediately formed the Rhode Island Health Benefit Exchange. The state has been working to flesh out the details concerning this exchange program ever since.
Rhode Island Insurance Resources:
Rhode Island Insurance Commissioner: Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, Superintendent of Insurance
Deputy Director and Superintendent of Insurance
Rhode Island Department of Insurance Website: http://www.dbr.state.ri.us/divisions/insurance/
Rhode Island Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.dbr.state.ri.us/divisions/insurance/producersadjusters.php#notices