From Burlington to Brattleboro, Killington to Winooski, Vermont has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from downtown Montpelier to historic Revolutionary War sites, Stowe ski slopes, the shores of Lake Champlain and into the Northeast Kingdom. They’re used by more than half a million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of nearly 11,400 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Green Mountain State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Vermont’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Vermont state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Vermont’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Vermont drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$50,000/$100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
$10,000 with $150 deductible uninsured motorist property damage
Vermont does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability insurance or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Vermont Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of Vermont car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Driving without car insurance in Vermont carries a $100 fine for a first offense. You will also have 2 points added to your license and be required to keep an SR-22 proof of insurance form on file with the Vermont DMV.
If you cause an accident, or are cited for fleeing the scene of an accident, driving recklessly or driving under the influence without insurance, you license will be temporarily suspended.
Vermont requires that your insurance company (not your agent) verify your coverage with the state. You must complete a form and submit it so that the state can contact your insurer. Failure to do so can result in suspension of your license and/or registration.
Vermont Car Insurance Premiums
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Vermont also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Vermont Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Vermont Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Vermont. The following laws have recently been enacted in Vermont and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Vermont bans the use of all cell phones (handheld and hands-free) by novice drivers.
Vermont bans all drivers from texting behind the wheel.
In 2013, Vermont instituted a ban on the use of handheld cell phones for all drivers when going through work zones.