Auto Insurance in Vermont

Overview

Forested Vermont, the country’s leading maple syrup producer, produces nearly all of the maple syrup in the U.S. On the technology side, the Green Mountain State is home to an Essex Junction’s IBM manufacturing plant, which provides twenty-five percent of the state’s manufacturing jobs. While Vermont’s largest and most important manufacturing occurs with electronic equipment, semi-conductors and components, it is also home to the largest granite mines in the nation.

Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, carries the distinction of being the smallest state capital in the country, with a population of just more than 8,000. The New England Culinary Institute is based here, which factors into Montpelier being known for its fabulous restaurants.

So whether you’re driving to enjoy Vermont’s rich wooded landscape (especially stunning in the fall), or heading to Montpelier to enjoy the city’s outstanding culinary delights, make sure you are driving safely. Most of all, make sure that you’re carrying the state’s mandated auto insurance minimum coverages.

Vermont’s mandatory auto insurance requirements

Auto insurance laws in the Green Mountain State require motorists driving on Vermont roadways to carry two types of auto insurance coverage to meet the state’s proof of financial responsibility laws. These are liability insurance coverage including property damage and Uninsured motorist (UM)/Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

It is illegal for anyone to drive in Vermont without meeting these minimum coverages which together serve to the provide proof of financial responsibility, as required by state law.

The mandatory Vermont state law minimums to legally operate a vehicle on public roads are:

Liability

  • $25,000 – bodily injury, one person
  • $50,000 – bodily injury, multiple victims, per accident
  • $10,000 – property damage

It’s important to note that Vermont is an at-fault state.  The above limits meet the state-required auto insurance liability minimums, but if you are deemed to be at fault in an accident, you will be financially responsible for the medical expenses of everyone involved.

Discuss your auto insurance policy with your Vermont auto insurance agent.  Arrive at the proper coverages to make sure that you meet Vermont’s proof of financial responsibility laws and also protect your financial health if you are deemed at fault in an accident.

Uninsured (UM)/Underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage

  • $50,000 – bodily injury, one person
  • $100,000 – bodily injury, multiple victims, per accident
  • $10,000 – property damage

Vermont motorists are required to carry UM/UIM insurance as part of the state’s proof of financial responsibility laws.

UM auto insurance protects you if you are in an automobile accident, not at fault, and the at-fault driver has no auto insurance. UM also protects you against a hit and run driver who flees the scene of the accident.

UIM coverage protects you from an underinsured driver, one not carrying the minimum legal liability insurance required by state law.

UM/UIM coverages generally do not cover vehicle damages.

Tips for reducing the cost of your Vermont auto insurance policy

Vermont’s rank as the lowest average annual auto insurance premium in the entire country is in part due to Vermont still not being perceived as a highly litigious state, so there are a great many auto insurance carriers competing for a small piece of pie. Additionally, Vermonters have a rural sensibility to freeze out steep prices.  As a rural lot, they tend to hunker down and stay off the roads during their long, hard winters which lowers the number of accidents and claims.

Even with the lowest average premium in the country, it still pays to be a savvy shopper. Compare auto insurance companies, as rates can vary widely. Discounts vary too. See if some or all of these potential premium reductions are available to you, and don’t hesitate to ask if they offer any additional incentives:

  • Good Driver Discount. This is for motorists without any traffic violations and a clean driving record
  • Multiple Vehicle Discounts. Inquire about discounts for insuring several vehicles.
  • Multiple Policy Discounts (auto, home, and life) with the same company.
  • Annual Premium Payment Discount. Some companies offer a discount for paying annually as opposed to quarterly or monthly.
  • Driver Safety Program Discount. Inquire with your Vermont auto insurance agent or company whether they offer a discount for any 55+ drivers in the home who complete an approved driver safety program.
  • Anti-theft and Safety Equipment Discount.

Average annual cost of auto insurance

In 2011, according to Insure.com, Vermonters paid an average annual auto insurance premium of $995, which is the lowest in the nation, coming in substantially less than the national annual average of $1561.

 

Resource

Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration
Web  www.bishca.state.vt.us
Tel  802-828-3301