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Vermont Car Insurance Guide

Vermont’s name comes from the French words for “green” and “mountain”. We can’t promise that QuoteWizard will save Vermont drivers a mountain of green, but it certainly won’t hurt.

This page will show you which types of coverage are legally required in Vermont, provide information about the cost of driving including average rates, and share some insights about insurance risk to help you protect yourself and your family.

Compare car insurance quotes for Vermont from multiple insurance companies and agents to find the best rates.

Vermont State Auto Insurance Laws

Car Insurance Minimum Coverage

If you drive a vehicle registered in Vermont, you must maintain a minimum level of insurance coverage of 25/50/10 plus uninsured/underinsured coverage. This means that you must have a policy with at least the following:

  • $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 of coverage for bodily injury liability per incident
  • $10,000 of coverage for property damage liability per incident
  • $50,000 of coverage for uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 of coverage for uninsured motorist bodily injury per incident
  • $10,000 of coverage for uninsured motorist property damage per incident

Remember, you can purchase more inclusive plans that cover more, but if you want the bare minimum required to keep you legal on the road, make sure your policy has the above coverage. And, if you’ve financed your car through a lender, they’ll probably require that you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage to protect their investment.

Required Proof of Car Insurance

Any time you drive in Vermont, you must be prepared to show your auto insurance identification card to law enforcement upon request. You will get this identification card from your auto insurance company when you buy a policy.

The card must include all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company
  • Policy number
  • Effective date of the policy
  • Expiration date of the policy
  • Description of the year, make, or model of the insured vehicles, or the name of the insured driver.

Penalties

Failure to show valid proof of insurance at an accident or traffic stop will result in a fine, two points on your Vermont driving record, and may result in your license being suspended for up to two years.

SR-22 Requirements

Vermont residents that have had their driver’s licenses suspended due to drunk driving convictions or other violations must provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR-22 form. “SR” stands for safety responsibility and it certifies that a driver has the minimum amount of insurance required by state law.

Vermont State law requires that an SR-22 be carried for 36 consecutive months. If a driver fails to renew their policy 15 days before expiration, a letter is sent to the state resulting in suspension of their license. Once renewed, the license will be reinstated, but this can be a time-consuming process.

State of Vermont Traffic Safety Laws

Distracted Driving Laws

Vermont has banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving in the state. Drivers ages 18 and up may use a cell phone while driving provided they have a hands-free headset. Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a cell phone while driving at all. All drivers are banned from sending or receiving text messages while driving in Vermont.

Implied Consent Law

Vermont’s Implied Consent law requires that any driver submit to testing to determine the alcohol or drug content of their blood or breath when arrested by law enforcement for suspicion of driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Refuse the test and you’ll face the following penalties as well as those for a DUI:

  • First Offense: 6 month driver's license suspension
  • Second Offense: 18 month driver's license suspension
  • Third Offense: lifetime driver's license suspension

DUI Law and Penalties

If you drive or operate a motor vehicle in Vermont with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you are guilty of Driving While Under the Influence (DUI).

The penalties for a first offense DUI conviction are:

  • Up to 2 years in jail
  • A fine of up to $750
  • A 90 day driver’s license suspension

The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are more severe:

  • Up to 2 years in jail
  • A Maximum $1,500 fine
  • An 18 month driver’s license suspension

After a third DUI conviction the penalties increase to:

  • A maximum of 5 years in jail
  • A maximum $2,500 fine
  • A lifetime driver’s license suspension

Child Restraint Law

Children less than 1 year old and children weighing less than 20 pounds regardless of age, must be restrained in an approved rear-facing infant car seat, not installed in front of an active air bag. Children between the ages of 1 and 7, and who weigh more than 20 pounds must be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 shall be restrained by a vehicle’s seat belt, or by a seat belt and booster seat.

Graduated Driver’s License Program

Vermont has implemented a 3-tier graduated driver’s license system beginning with a learner’s permit and ending with full driver privileges once all conditions are met.

New drivers must be at least 15 years old to obtain a learner's permit. New drivers are required to drive for 40 hours under supervision before they can obtain a driver’s license. Ten of those hours must take place at night.

Once those requirements are met, and the driver has reached at least the age of 16, and completed an approved driver's education class, they can take the driver’s test. If they pass the test, a junior driver's license is issued.

For their first three months of driving after receiving a junior license, drivers cannot have any passengers in their vehicle except for one of the following:

  • A licensed and unimpaired parent or guardian.
  • A licensed or certified and unimpaired driver education instructor.
  • A licensed and unimpaired individual who is at least 25 years of age.

During their second three months of driving, new drivers may not drive with any passengers except for family members. Drivers obtain their full driving privileges once they complete the above requirements and turn 16 ½.

Senior Drivers in Vermont

Vermont has no special provisions for senior drivers. All drivers are required to renew their driver’s license every 4 years.

Seat Belt Laws

Vermont requires that everyone in a vehicle age 18 or older wear seat belts. Children are required to use approved child seats as described above. The maximum penalty for failing to comply is $25 for the first offense.

Vehicles Registered in Another State

When you drive a vehicle in Vermont that is required to be registered in another state, you must have the type of insurance required by that state. You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement upon request.

The Cost of Driving in Vermont

Average Car Insurance Rates

The average cost of auto insurance in Vermont in 2012, the most recent year for which data was available, was $642.39, well below the a national average of $814.99. Vermont is the 39th most expensive state for auto insurance.

Fuel Taxes

The state of Vermont taxes gasoline at 32.95 cents per gallon and diesel fuel at 32 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the Federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline, and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. The total tax on gasoline is 51.35 cents per gallon; the total tax on diesel fuel is 56.4 cents per gallon.

Car Insurance Risk in Vermont

Traffic Fatalities

In 2012, there were 77 traffic fatalities in Vermont, a whopping 40% increase from the state’s 55 traffic fatalities in 2011.

Vehicle Thefts

Vermont had 528 vehicle thefts reported in 2012, a 17.6% decrease compared to 2011. In 2012, the vehicle theft rate was 69.5 per 100,000, a decrease of 17.5% from the 2011 rate of 84.3 per 100,000.

The vehicle theft rate in Vermont is much lower than the overall US vehicle theft rate, which was 229.7 per 100,000 in 2012, and virtually identical at 230 per 100,000 in 2011.

Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Vermont for 2013

Some cars are more prone to theft than others, be sure to check the list below to see if your car is a target on the streets.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau - Hot Wheels Report 2013
Rank Year Model
1 2001 Subaru Legacy
2 2002 Ford Pickup (Full Size) - Tie
2 2001 Honda Civic - Tie
3 1995 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
4 2000 Toyota Camry - Tie
4 2014 GMC Pickup (Full Size) - Tie
4 2013 Toyota Corolla
4 2001 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee - Tie
5 2001 Honda Accord - Tie
5 2004 Subaru Forester - Tie

Uninsured Motorists

The percentage of Vermont residents estimated to be driving without insurance is 8.5%. That ranks Vermont as #39 among US states and the District of Columbia, significantly better than the US average of 12.6%.

Vermont Crash Statistics

The Vermont Department of Public Safety maintains a website with vehicle crash data and annual vehicle safety reports here: Vermont Crash Data

Vermont Department of Financial Regulation – Insurance Division

Website:
Insurance Division Homepage
Deputy Insurance Commissioner:
Kaj Samsom
Phone:
(802)-828-3301
Email:
dfr.insuranceinfo@state.vt.us
File a Complaint:
Complaint Page

Sources:

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