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Vermont Auto Insurance [Rates + Cheap Coverage Guide]

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Vermont State Statistics  
Miles of Roadway 14,238
Vehicles Registered 582,331
Population 626,299
Uninsured % / Underinsured % 6.8%
Total Driving Related Deaths Speeding: 31
DUI: 18
Full Coverage Average Premiums Liability: $343.12
Collision: $295.42
Comprehensive: $125.48
Cheapest Provider USAA CIC

Vermont, or “The Green Mountain State”, is the second smallest state by population and the sixth smallest state in the country by area. Other interesting statistics:  since 2016, it has been ranked as the safest state, and as of 2015, is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States.

Watching that video about maple syrup may make you want to run out, jump into your car, buy some maple syrup, and put it on your pancakes.

Before you jump in that car, take a moment to read up on car insurance, and to read this comprehensive guide. It will tell you everything you need to know about car insurance in Vermont. You will be through this guide before you can say “maple syrup”.

Okay, well, maybe not that fast. But maple syrup and pancakes can wait.

Compare rates and save money.  Start today by entering your zip code.

Table of Contents

Vermont Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

Take a stroll along the dirt roads, marvel at the greenery and the beauty around you, and let Moonlight in Vermont be your soundtrack as you travel the long and winding roads of car insurance coverage and rates.

– Vermont Car Culture

The joke in Vermont is you need to have a good snow car because of…well, the snow.

But the majority of Vermont’s car culture is heavily rooted in environmentalism. It is because of environmentalism that the roads are not salted as much in harsh winter weather. Vermont drivers are expected to adjust while the state works to make the roads safe without affecting the environment too much.

Vermont is also concerned about driving and how it impacts the environment. Because of this, the state offers incentives to encourage people to make the switch from a gas guzzler to biodiesel or an electric vehicle.

If you cannot afford that type of car right now, you are in luck, because Vermont has a booming mechanics industry that will help you convert your vehicle to one that is more environmentally friendly.

– Vermont Minimum Coverage

If you are thinking about driving without insurance in Vermont, you might want to think twice.

In Vermont, it is illegal for you to drive without the minimum amount of liability insurance, as according to Vermont State Statute Title 23, Chapter 11. 

An organization known as the Insurance Information Institute came up with a list of top 10 states where the highest and lowest percentage of the population were insured.

For those who live in Vermont, your state ranks number five on the list of the lowest amount of the population insured. It is in the middle of the road, with 6.8 percent of the population uninsured and driving without insurance. While this amount is low, you still need car insurance.

At the minimum, you will need liability insurance. This covers you if you are in an accident and there is bodily injuries or property damage.

Vermont is an at-fault state. This means that if you are at-fault in an accident, you are responsible for paying for any property or personal damage.

The mandatory amount of insurance a driver must carry in Vermont is as follows:

  • $25,000 for injuries to one person.
  • $50,000 for injuries to more than one person.
  • $10,000 for property damage.

This minimum liability coverage is known as 25/50/10.

If stopped by a police officer, you must show your proof of insurance. Vermont is a state that allows you to show electronic proof of insurance. For convenience, you can show the officer a digital card through your insurance app on your phone, if offered by your insurance company. Double-check with your insurance company to see if they offer this service.

Something to know:  Much like South Dakota, Vermont has what is called non-resident service of process law. This means that if you do not live in Vermont and are involved in an accident there, you can still be charged and have to pay for damages if you are the one at-fault in an accident.

– Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in Vermont

Vermont has a specific form of insurance called Financial Responsibility Insurance. You only have to carry this type of insurance if you break the law by driving without insurance and are issued a citation.

According to the Vermont DMV, “Financial Responsibility Insurance is a type of liability insurance coverage on an individual (not on a specific vehicle). The person who has Financial Responsibility Insurance is covered to operate any vehicle (whether the vehicle is owned by this person or not).” You are required to have this insurance on file for three years.

– Premiums as Percentage of Income in Vermont

Hopefully, after we pay our necessities and the things that we have to pay, we have a little bit of money left over to spend on the things we want.

The leftover money is called disposable personal income. But what is that exactly?

Disposable personal income is the amount of money you have left to spend after you have taken care of your necessary expenses and after paying your taxes.

Over the course of three years, from 2012 to 2014, Vermont in terms of annual disposable income stayed steady from 2012-2013, staying in the range of about $40,000. In 2014, annual disposable income went up to about $42,000. This is far above the countrywide average of $39,000 to $40,000 from the years 2012-2014.

But what is strange about disposable income rising is that Vermont’s median income has remained unchanged. According to the 2017 census, in all of the 257,000 households in Vermont, the median income was $57,513. This is a few thousand below the national average of $60,000. Income was lower in 2017 than it was the previous year, in 2016.

That is possible, however, due to state policies that encourage low-income people to live along, or the fact that Vermont has more widows and widowers than any other state in the nation.

 

CalculatorPro

American Consumer Credit Counseling advises that if you can, save 20 percent of every paycheck.

Use the calculator, Calculator Pro, above to find out how much disposable personal income you would have each month, and then times that amount by 20 percent to know how much you would need to save.

– Core Coverage

Core Car Insurance Coverage in Vermont  
Liablity $343.12
Collision $295.42
Comprehensive $125.48
Full Coverage $764.02

The above table illustrates data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the average insurance costs in Vermont as of the year 2015.

The national average insurance costs are as follows:

  • Liability:  $516.39
  • Collision:  $299.73
  • Comprehensive:  $138.87
  • Full Coverage:  $954.99

Vermont runs a few hundred dollars behind the national average when it comes to liability and full coverage. It is close to the national average when it comes to collision and comprehensive coverage.

Remember that Vermont has minimum requirements for insurance coverage.

If at all possible, experts suggest purchasing more than the minimum liability amount of 25/50/10.

– Additional Liability

The data in the table below is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It shows the average costs of additional liability loss ratios in Vermont.

Additional Liability Coverage in Vermont Loss Ratio
Medical Payments (Med Pay) 81.31
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 56.73
Uninsured/Underinsured Percentage and Rank 6.8% (47)

loss ratio means the percentage of claims an insurance company is paying out. If the loss ratio is over 100 percent, the company is losing money. If the loss ratio is too low, the company is not paying claims.

The national average for Med Pay is 74.05 and for 67.33 for Uninsured/Underinsured. Vermont is above the national average for Med Pay, but below the national average for Uninsured/Underinsured.

– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

If you want to add additional coverage to your insurance policy, good news.

There are powerful and cheap extras you can add to your insurance policy.

Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in Vermont:

– Vermont Automobile Insurance Plan

While there is no government-mandated low-cost auto insurance plan in Vermont, you will want to check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any kind of discounts.

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– Demographic Rates – Male vs. Female vs. Age

There is a myth going around that men pay more for women than car insurance.

Let’s take a look at the data below and see if that myth holds water in Vermont.

Company Married 35-year old female Married 35-year old male Married 60-year old female Married 60-year old male Single 17-year old female Single 17-year old male Single 25-year old female Single 25-year old male
Allstate F&C $2,156.27 $2,156.27 $2,057.16 $2,057.16 $5,154.27 $6,803.81 $2,449.28 $2,688.80
Geico General $1,684.84 $1,566.30 $1,657.04 $1,509.79 $3,848.67 $4,488.09 $1,420.67 $1,390.28
General Ins Co of America $1,899.55 $2,055.13 $1,676.31 $1,880.55 $8,037.59 $8,935.93 $2,175.96 $2,307.62
Nationwide Mutual $1,446.33 $1,472.29 $1,300.39 $1,372.80 $3,515.58 $4,474.30 $1,657.72 $1,786.24
Progressive Northern $3,373.74 $3,347.85 $3,018.68 $3,031.96 $10,429.81 $11,415.82 $3,448.68 $3,670.58
State Farm Mutual Auto $2,718.93 $2,718.93 $2,428.22 $2,428.22 $8,041.71 $10,326.54 $3,030.29 $3,369.84
USAA CIC $1,145.98 $1,150.47 $1,070.48 $1,064.01 $3,710.69 $3,881.09 $1,568.30 $1,637.38

From the way the data looks, there is no clear pattern. Sometimes, men are paying a little more than women; sometimes, women are paying a little more than men. And sometimes, women and men are paying the same.

– All Zip Codes – Cheapest Rates by Zip Code

So many zip codes, and so many rates.

Zipcode Average
05079 $3,314.44
05665 $3,313.69
05058 $3,310.47
05070 $3,310.47
05083 $3,310.47
05061 $3,308.97
05045 $3,306.76
05072 $3,306.76
05861 $3,303.91
05041 $3,302.51
05075 $3,302.10
05859 $3,301.97
05848 $3,300.29
05667 $3,300.03
05649 $3,299.21
05842 $3,297.91
05875 $3,297.91
05060 $3,297.50
05821 $3,292.97
05654 $3,292.69
05663 $3,290.17
05666 $3,288.91
05873 $3,288.90
05820 $3,288.13
05833 $3,288.13
05850 $3,288.13
05860 $3,286.92
05872 $3,286.92
05158 $3,285.81
05046 $3,285.37
05853 $3,283.91
05867 $3,283.91
05868 $3,283.91
05847 $3,282.03
05043 $3,282.03
05745 $3,281.97
05648 $3,281.86
05660 $3,281.11
05675 $3,280.39
05647 $3,280.12
05650 $3,280.12
05681 $3,279.94
05857 $3,279.79
05836 $3,279.13
05464 $3,279.04
05822 $3,278.78
05676 $3,278.05
05086 $3,277.95
05829 $3,277.14
05830 $3,277.14
05658 $3,276.04
05839 $3,275.59
05845 $3,275.59
05843 $3,275.17
05855 $3,275.13
05827 $3,274.90
05680 $3,274.80
05866 $3,274.13
05874 $3,273.28
05838 $3,272.92
05863 $3,272.92
05674 $3,272.87
05059 $3,272.33
05851 $3,272.18
05903 $3,269.38
05069 $3,269.20
05862 $3,269.20
05823 $3,269.09
05664 $3,268.67
05672 $3,268.08
05081 $3,266.94
05871 $3,266.92
05346 $3,266.28
05661 $3,265.76
05662 $3,265.74
05679 $3,265.39
05837 $3,265.31
05901 $3,265.31
05907 $3,265.31
05042 $3,265.13
05669 $3,264.56
05492 $3,262.68
05653 $3,262.68
05656 $3,261.54
05858 $3,261.42
05832 $3,261.38
05345 $3,260.93
05033 $3,260.30
05677 $3,260.01
05355 $3,259.50
05101 $3,259.30
05341 $3,258.96
05655 $3,258.89
05301 $3,258.78
05036 $3,258.52
05670 $3,258.11
05682 $3,257.80
05361 $3,257.42
05363 $3,257.42
05905 $3,257.35
05442 $3,257.11
05657 $3,257.09
05353 $3,257.06
05826 $3,255.77
05673 $3,255.31
05354 $3,254.21
05640 $3,253.47
05358 $3,253.32
05359 $3,253.32
05819 $3,252.73
05652 $3,252.67
05360 $3,252.41
05841 $3,251.40
05051 $3,251.30
05343 $3,250.19
05146 $3,249.76
05038 $3,249.75
05828 $3,249.71
05902 $3,249.67
05904 $3,249.67
05076 $3,249.46
05906 $3,248.00
05738 $3,244.50
05751 $3,244.50
05846 $3,244.42
05049 $3,244.08
05054 $3,243.46
05356 $3,243.32
05651 $3,243.13
05085 $3,242.96
05772 $3,242.88
05444 $3,242.85
05091 $3,242.39
05040 $3,241.50
05034 $3,241.44
05084 $3,241.44
05602 $3,240.76
05032 $3,239.94
05730 $3,239.71
05052 $3,238.64
05053 $3,238.64
05071 $3,238.64
05073 $3,238.64
05746 $3,238.64
05824 $3,238.10
05141 $3,237.68
05154 $3,237.68
05342 $3,237.68
05351 $3,237.68
05362 $3,237.68
05039 $3,236.98
05148 $3,236.77
05641 $3,236.57
05767 $3,234.99
05068 $3,234.93
05155 $3,234.55
05065 $3,233.30
05067 $3,233.30
05048 $3,232.76
05252 $3,231.24
05260 $3,231.24
05737 $3,231.03
05763 $3,231.03
05201 $3,230.61
05350 $3,230.47
05476 $3,230.46
05152 $3,230.33
05077 $3,230.11
05352 $3,229.43
05678 $3,228.76
05257 $3,228.39
05261 $3,227.90
05750 $3,226.99
05253 $3,225.67
05255 $3,225.67
05340 $3,225.67
05776 $3,225.67
05759 $3,224.46
05250 $3,224.09
05262 $3,223.73
05050 $3,222.81
05450 $3,222.30
05742 $3,221.06
05744 $3,221.06
05055 $3,220.87
05762 $3,220.16
05741 $3,220.01
05001 $3,219.23
05471 $3,218.67
05489 $3,218.39
05739 $3,217.13
05758 $3,215.93
05447 $3,215.22
05035 $3,214.53
05773 $3,214.43
05457 $3,214.16
05441 $3,211.71
05251 $3,210.14
05159 $3,210.12
05056 $3,209.97
05757 $3,209.77
05733 $3,209.74
05468 $3,208.40
05732 $3,207.67
05761 $3,206.25
05483 $3,206.22
05488 $3,204.38
05459 $3,203.58
05477 $3,203.09
05735 $3,203.02
05454 $3,201.50
05494 $3,200.11
05461 $3,199.68
05747 $3,199.20
05062 $3,198.86
05153 $3,198.86
05455 $3,197.71
05439 $3,196.85
05764 $3,196.14
05142 $3,196.07
05775 $3,195.70
05448 $3,195.51
05743 $3,193.90
05445 $3,193.77
05478 $3,193.27
05443 $3,191.92
05777 $3,191.69
05150 $3,191.55
05491 $3,191.52
05774 $3,191.04
05456 $3,190.53
05030 $3,190.45
05495 $3,190.14
05037 $3,188.75
05151 $3,188.75
05357 $3,187.51
05487 $3,187.25
05089 $3,186.54
05156 $3,186.54
05736 $3,186.45
05161 $3,185.01
05149 $3,184.68
05143 $3,181.88
05481 $3,177.17
05485 $3,176.26
05482 $3,172.92
05408 $3,171.28
05460 $3,170.34
05405 $3,169.63
05490 $3,168.55
05466 $3,152.92
05486 $3,151.83
05465 $3,150.62
05474 $3,148.56
05462 $3,144.61
05463 $3,142.08
05748 $3,141.61
05778 $3,141.61
05440 $3,140.08
05473 $3,138.82
05734 $3,136.29
05769 $3,136.29
05770 $3,136.29
05401 $3,134.75
05766 $3,134.71
05452 $3,133.35
05403 $3,131.99
05753 $3,131.51
05458 $3,129.69
05472 $3,124.23
05765 $3,122.86
05701 $3,121.52
05404 $3,120.61
05760 $3,117.06
05446 $3,098.66

You can search for your zip code in this table to find out how much you’re paying, on average, annually.

– All Cities – Cheapest Rates by City

City Average
EAST RANDOLPH $3,302.51
PASSUMPSIC $3,303.91
FAIRLEE $3,306.76
STRAFFORD $3,306.76
RANDOLPH CENTER $3,308.98
POST MILLS $3,310.47
SOUTH STRAFFORD $3,310.47
WEST FAIRLEE $3,310.47
NORTH HYDE PARK $3,313.69
VERSHIRE $3,314.44

On the list of most expensive cities, what separates the prices is either a matter of mere dollars and cents. The most expensive city, Vershire, is a town of only 629 people.

City Average
ORWELL $3,117.06
WINOOSKI $,3120.61
RUTLAND $3,121.53
PROCTOR $3,122.86
NEW HAVEN $3,124.23
GRAND ISLE $3,129.69
MIDDLEBURY $3,131.51
SOUTH BURLINGTON $3,131.99
ESSEX JUNCTION $3,133.35
RIPTON $3,134.71

Interestingly, the capital city of Vermont, Burlington, is on the list of least expensive cities in Vermont. Orwell, the first of the least expensive cities, is a rural town of 1,250 people.

Best Vermont Car Insurance Companies

There are a lot of car insurance companies out there. You may be wondering which one is the “best”.

When the word “best” comes to your mind, maybe you look at a company’s financial rating. Maybe you look at customer ratings. Maybe you look at how cheap, or expensive, certain companies are.

Keeping in mind your definition of “best”, we can help you with making that decision. Read on to find the best providers in Vermont.

– The Largest Companies’ Financial Ratings

The A.M. Best Financial Rating is put out every year, and it measures how a company is doing financially.

Company Rating
Progressive A+
Geico A++
Liberty Mutual A
State Farm A++
Allstate A+
USAA Group A++
Auto-Owners Group A++
Travelers Group A++
Co-operative Insurance Cos A
Vermont Mutual Group A+

Half of the companies on this list:  Geico, State Farm, USAA Group, Auto-Owners Group, and Traveler’s Group, have a financial rating of A++.

– Companies with Best Ratings

J.D. Power and Associates gave a study to car insurance customers in multiple U.S. Regions. This study asked car insurance customers to rank car insurance companies.

In the New England Region, where  Vermont is located, Amica Mutual has a rank of 879 on a 1,000 point scale, which means customers consider it “among the best”. State Farm is a close second, with a rank of 834 on a 1,000 point scale. This means customers consider State Farm “better than most”.

JD Power Car Insurance New England Study

– Companies with Most Complaints in Vermont

When it comes to customer complaints, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a list of the top companies and the number of complaints they receive each year.

This list is as of 2017.

Company Number of Complaints
Progressive 120
Geico 333
Liberty Mutual 222
State Farm 1482
Allstate Insurance 163
USAA Group 296
Auto-Owners Group 31
Travelers Group 2
Co-operative Insurance Cos 0
Vermont Mutual Group 2

State Farm has the most complaints, while Co-operative Insurance Cos had no complaints.

– Cheapest Companies in Vermont

Company Average
Allstate $3,190.38
Geico $2,195.71
General Ins Co of America $3,621.08
Nationwide $2,128.21
Progressive Northern $5,217.14
State Farm $4,382.83
USAA $1,903.55

If your definition of “best” relates to the cheapest price, USAA has the cheapest price for insurance in Vermont, while Progressive Northern is the most expensive.

– Commute Rates by Companies

Company 10 Mile Commute 25 Mile Commute
Allstate $3,128.84 $3,251.92
Geico $2,164.81 $2,226.61
Liberty Mutual $3,621.08 $3,621.08
Nationwide $2,128.21 $2,128.21
Progressive $5,217.14 $5,217.14
State Farm $4,243.86 $4,521.81
USAA $1,880.95 $1,926.15

USAA offers the cheapest rates for both 10-mile commutes and 25-mile commutes. Nationwide and Progressive offer the same rates, no matter the commute.

– Coverage Level Rates by Companies

Company Low Coverage Medium Coverage High Coverage
Allstate $3,123.87 $3,185.94 $3,261.33
Geico $2,119.78 $2,196.70 $2,270.66
Liberty Mutual $3,418.81 $3,609.97 $3,834.47
Nationwide $2,177.89 $2,134.90 $2,071.84
Progressive $4,963.11 $5,149.50 $5,538.81
State Farm $4,151.38 $4,404.37 $4,592.76
USAA $1,842.12 $1,901.10 $1,967.43

For a low amount of coverage, USAA has the cheapest annual rates; they have cheap rates no matter what kind of coverage you need.

– Credit History Rates by Companies

Company Good Credit History Fair Credit History Poor Credit History
Allstate $2,669.79 $2,988.69 $3,912.65
Geico $1,164.54 $1,870.13 $3,552.46
Liberty Mutual $2,340.24 $3,096.92 $5,426.09
Nationwide $1,890.83 $2,038.34 $2,455.46
Progressive $4,628.34 $5,024.74 $5,998.34
State Farm $2,150.46 $3,286.98 $7,711.07
USAA $1,318.18 $1,642.30 $2,750.18

State Farm is the least forgiving company in terms of rates if you have poor credit. Nationwide is the most forgiving.

USAA offers the best fair credit rates, and Geico is the cheapest for you if you have good credit.

– Driving Record Rates by Companies

Geico is the company you want to take a look at if you have a clean driving record:  they offer the cheapest annual rates.

Company Clean Record With 1 Accident With 1 DUI With 1 Speeding Violation
Allstate $2,647.26 $3,493.62 $3,601.03 $3,019.61
Geico $1,412.77 $2,353.00 $3,276.21 $1,740.86
Liberty Mutual $3,184.72 $3,811.97 $4,044.73 $3,442.90
Nationwide $1,704.30 $2,187.15 $2,749.35 $1,872.03
Progressive $4,397.96 $6,363.51 $4,939.75 $5,167.34
State Farm $3,987.31 $4,778.37 $4,382.83 $4,382.83
USAA $1,450.28 $1,830.96 $2,720.40 $1,612.57

USAA is the most forgiving in terms of rates when it comes to a less-than-perfect driving record.

Progressive is the most expensive company, no matter what is on your driving record.

– Largest Car Insurance Companies in Vermont

Company   Direct Premiums Written Market Share
State Farm $837,853 25.21%
Alfa Insurance Group $480,743 14.46%
Allstate Insurance Group $345,603 10.40%
Geico $334,835 10.07%
Progressive Group $237,440 7.14%
USAA Group $232,334 6.99%
Nationwide Corp Group $92,628 2.79%
Amtrust NGH Group $82,940 2.50%
Liberty Mutual Group $82,140 2.47%
Farmers Insurance Group $79,981 2.41%

– Number of Insurers by State

Domestic and foreign comes down to whether you want to put your stock in something local or something available nationwide.

Domestic means that the insurer is a local company only available in the state of Vermont while foreign means a company that is available in multiple states.

There are 12 domestic insurers and 671 foreign insurers in Vermont.

Vermont Laws

So many laws, so little time.

Trying to find your way around the laws of Vermont can be confusing.

Let us help you by talking about the Vermont laws for car insurance, vehicle licensing, and more.

– Car Insurance Laws

Before you dive in and get started you can read up on the laws, and then you can read further to get the laws of Vermont in more detail.

We will talk about how state laws are determined and about such things as windshield coverage, insurance fraud, and more.

– How State Laws for Insurance are Determined

Laws have to pass through the state’s House of Representatives and the Senate before they become law.

The Vermont State Department of Financial Regulation is responsible for any and all insurance laws in the state.

– Windshield & Glass Repair Laws

When it comes to Vermont law, there is nothing in the law regarding windshield and glass repair. Also, according to Car Windshields, “insurers may use aftermarket or used parts, just so long as they are ‘like kind and quality’. You have the right to decide who does the repairs.”

– High-Risk Insurance

If you are deemed “high risk” by any auto insurance company and you cannot get auto insurance the normal way, the Vermont Automobile Insurance Plan (VT AIP) may be the solution for you.

To be eligible to enter this “high risk” pool, you have to meet three requirements:

  • Certify that you tried to find auto insurance through normal means within the last 60 days and been unsuccessful.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and a car registered in Vermont.
  • Complete the application for the Vermont AIP completely and truthfully.

This coverage will last you for three years.

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– Low-Cost Insurance

Remember, Vermont does not have a government-mandated low-cost auto insurance program, so it is up to you to ask your insurance provider if they provide any kind of discounts.

– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Vermont

Insurance fraud ends up costing you money. Those who choose to commit insurance fraud cause the insurance company losses and these losses are passed down to the consumers.

What is insurance fraud? According to the Department of Financial Regulations:

Insurance fraud occurs when an insurance company, agent, adjuster or consumer commits a deliberate deception in order to obtain an illegitimate gain. It can occur during the process of buying, using, selling or underwriting insurance.

The website also advises you to Stop. Call. Confirm.

  • STOP before signing any paperwork or writing a check.
  • CALL your state insurance department.
  • CONFIRM the company or agent offering insurance is legitimate and licensed in the state.

They also advise you to report any complaints.

The penalties for committing insurance fraud in Vermont involve fines and prison time, depending on the amount of the benefit wrongfully obtained:

f the benefit wrongfully obtained or the loss suffered by the victim has a value of:

  • Less than $900.00: Up to six months in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.
  • More than $900.00: Up to five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

– The Statute of Limitations in Vermont

It is important to know what a statute of limitations is, so you know how much time you have to file charges.

The statute of limitations is an amount of time you or the other party have to file charges and make your case. It protects you and the other party by giving each of you a set amount of time to file charges. Once that time limit passes, no one can file charges.

In Vermont, the statute of limitations is three years for both a personal injury case and a property damage case.

– Vermont Specific Laws

The one odd law related to cars in Vermont:  it is illegal for cars to backfire in Rutland.

So if you live in Rutland, you better not be letting your car backfire!

– Vermont’s Vehicle Licensing Laws

If you own a car in Vermont, you will have to have insurance and you will have to have a license.

Read on to see what is needed for your car and your license.

– Vermont REAL ID

Starting October 1, 2020, federal agencies will endorse what is known as the REAL ID Act.

This requires you to have a REAL ID to board flights or enter federal buildings.

The Vermont REAL ID has a star in the upper right-hand corner, like most other REAL IDs.

Real ID for Vermont from DMV site

To know about the requirements for the Vermont Real ID, follow this checklist. 

– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Do not even consider driving without insurance in Vermont. You will be paying possible fees of up to $5,000 for every time you are caught driving without insurance.

For the first offense, you can be in prison for up to two years. For each subsequent offense, the prison time is the same, except your license plates might be seized.

Always drive with insurance.

– Teen Driver Laws

You are at the age where you are itching to get behind the wheel and drive.

But not so fast.

Like most states, Vermont has a graduated license law. There are three levels to the graduate license law:

  • Learner’s Permit:  Apply at age 15. You must provide appropriate documents, and pass a written/vision test.
  • Junior Driver’s License:  Have a learner’s permit for one year. Apply at age 16. Provide appropriate documents, and have 40 hours of practice driving.
  • Full License: Have held a junior license for six months.

With each level comes restrictions:

  • Learner’s Permit Restrictions:  Drive only with parent/guardian, a driver’s ed instructor, or someone 25 or older. Have 30 hours of driver’s ed instruction with six hours each of behind-the-wheel and observation. Practice driving for 40 hours, 10 of which must be at night.
  • Junior Driver’s License Restrictions:  Can drive alone, but for the first three months of holding the license, cannot drive with passengers. The following three months, can drive with family members.
  • Full License:  No restrictions.

Avoid distractions, and drive safely.

Interesting fact:  You can drive in Vermont with a learner’s permit from another state.

– Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the rules for older drivers and license renewal in Vermont are straightforward.

  • Older Population License Renewal:  you can renew every two or four years.
  • Proof of vision required:  No proof of vision is required.
  • Mail or online renewal permitted:  Mail renewal unless a new photo is required (usually every eight years).

– New Residents

So, you have moved to Vermont.

What do you have to do when it comes to your license?

The Vermont DMV wants you to do the following:

  • Bring your valid or expired license from your home state to the Vermont DMV.
  • Bring Proof of Identity, date of birth, lawful status in the United States, Social Security number, and proof of residency.
  • Surrender your out-of-state license once your Vermont one has been issued.

You have 60 days after obtaining a Vermont residency to get this done.

– License Renewal Procedures

You can renew your license every two or four years; if you need a new picture on your license, this happens every eight years.

You can renew by mail unless you need a new picture on your license.

– Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

Negligent operation of a vehicle is defined by the state of Vermont as “failure to exercise ordinary care while you operate a motor vehicle.”

Traffic Violation Law Firms had this to say about reckless driving:

This charge can apply when your violation of any traffic laws presents imminent hazard to other drivers, passengers or pedestrians. A more serious form of reckless driving, known as grossly negligent operation, involves a higher level of disregard for other drivers, without actual intent to harm other drivers.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Vermont. From the Traffic Violation Law Firm website.

If you accumulate 10 or more points in a two-year time period, your license will be suspended.

– Rules of the Road

As you are traveling the roads of Vermont, make sure are following the rules of the road as well.

Find out more about the rules of the road in Vermont.

– Fault vs. No-Fault

Remember, Vermont is an at-fault state. That means whoever is at fault in the accident is the one who has to pay the personal or property damages.

– Seat Belts and Car Seat Laws

Wearing a seat belt and making sure any young children that need to be are in car seats is necessary to keep everyone safe.

Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers between the ages of eight and seventeen and more than twenty pounds in the front seat. Violation of this is a secondary offense, meaning that the officer cannot stop you strictly for not wearing a seat belt.

Any child ages one through seven years and more than 20 pounds must be in a booster seat. Any child younger than one-year-old or less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing child restraint, and they must be in the rear seat unless the front passenger airbag is deactivated.

If stopped and children are not restrained, the maximum base fine is $25.

When it comes to riding in the back of a truck, there is no state law in Vermont regarding this.

– Keep Right and Move Over Laws

In Vermont, the laws are as follows according to AAA:

State law requires drivers approaching a stationary law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, fire fighting vehicle, a vehicle used in rescue operations, or a towing and repair vehicle displaying signal lamps, and traveling in the same direction, to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicles.

There is no keep right law. You only need to keep right if you are driving slower than the traffic around you.

– Speed Limits

In Vermont, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour on rural interstates, 55 miles per hour on urban interstates, and 50 miles per hour on limited access roads and other roads.

– Ridesharing

Vermont’s statewide ridesharing service has the official name of Go! Vermont and is run by the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

You can travel by bus, set up/join a carpool or vanpool, travel by bike, or at times even by ferry. There is also an option to take a train, and they offer rides for veterans as well at reduced costs, or even for free.

– Automation on the Road

As of now, there are no automated vehicles deployed in Vermont. However, the Vermont Agency of Transportation is making preparations and you might see automated vehicles deployed soon!

– Safety Laws

Laws exist to help keep us safe, and the safety laws in Vermont are no exception.

Read on to find out the laws about DUI, marijuana, and distracted driving.

– DUI Laws

Driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance is a crime in Vermont. You are considered under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is .08 percent or more (.04 percent or more if operating a commercial vehicle and .02 percent if driving a bus).

If you feel different, you drive different. 

Vermont's if you feel different, you drive different slogan

Logo for the Vermont State Highway Safety Office in terms of Impaired Driving. From the Vermont State Highway Safety Office website.

If you have a BAC of .08 or more, you are consider to have a per se DUI, you can be convicted regardless if you are impaired or not.

There are penalties for driving under the influence.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence. From the Driving Laws website at NOLO.

You also have repercussions when it comes to your license.

License penalties. From the Driving Laws website at NOLO.

If you are stopped by a Vermont police officer on suspicion of a DUI, you give implied consent for the officer to test you. If you refuse, you will have your license suspended.

Please, do not drink and drive.

– Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

There is no specific marijuana-impaired driving law in Vermont. It is legal to use for medical purposes and has been decriminalized if you are in possession of it.

– Distracted Driving Laws

In 2017, a study revealed that Vermont ranked the worst in the United States when it came to distracted driving.

The law in Vermont states that handheld phones and texting while driving is both banned.

As quoted by the Vermont DMV:

If you are driving 70 mph, you’re traveling 100 feet per second? While writing just a three-second text message, you can go the length of a football field without looking at the road… and that is scary.

If you text and drive, you will pay between $100 to $200 for a first offense and between $250 to $500 for each subsequent offense.

If you use a hand-held phone while driving, the same above penalties apply.

Driving in Vermont

Driving, depending on your state of mind, can be a real pain.

What is it like to drive in Vermont?

The following sections discuss vehicle theft, road fatalities, traffic, and commute time.

– Vehicle Theft in Vermont

Vehicle Model Year Number of Thefts
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 2001 15
Ford Pickup (Full Size) 2010 8
Honda Accord 2002 8
Hyundai Elantra 2015 7
Honda Civic 2005 6
Subaru Legacy 1999 6
Ford Pickup (Small Size) 2002 5
GMC Pickup (Full Size) 2007 5
Nissan Sentra 2012 5
Subaru Impreza 2002 5

The information listed above is as of 2015 from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. 

The number of vehicle thefts is low in Vermont, with the 2001 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size), being number one with only 15 stolen.

Four vehicles came in last as having the least amount stolen (five each):  the 2001 Ford Pickup (Small Size), the 2007 GMC Pickup (Full Size), the 2012 Nissan Sentra, and the 2002 Subaru Impreza.

City Number of Vehicle Thefts
Barre Town 0
Bellows Falls 0
Bennington 18
Berlin 4
Brandon 0
Brattleboro 15
Bristol 0
Chester 0
Colchester 0
Essex 4
Fair Haven 1
Hardwick 0
Hartford 4
Lyndonville 0
Manchester 0
Middlebury 0
Milton 0
Montpelier 0
Morristown 0
Newport 0
Randolph 0
Richmond 1
Royalton 2
Rutland Town 0
Shelburne 5
South Burlington 0
Springfield 3
St. Albans 0
St. Johnsbury 0
Stowe 0
Wilmington 3
Winooski 0

The information listed above is as of 2016 from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

Bennington and Brattleboro are the only double-digit cities, with 18 and 15 vehicles stolen. Many cities in Vermont have had no vehicles stolen.

– Road Fatalities in Vermont

When it comes to driving, accidents happen. Unfortunately, some of these accidents are fatal.

The following sections talk about different kinds of fatal accidents you might expect in Vermont.

– Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Vermont is known for its snowstorms. But do snowstorms cause the majority of the accidents in Vermont?

Weather Condition Daylight Dark, but Lighted Dark Dawn or Dusk Other / Unknown
Normal 32 4 13 3 0
Rain 3 0 2 0 0
Snow/Sleet 1 0 1 1 0
Other 0 0 1 1 0
Unknown 0 0 1 0 0

In Vermont, most crashes tend to happen during the day under normal conditions. The second time crashes most occur is in the dark but under normal conditions.

– Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Albany 10 25 22 24 19
Allegany 5 2 4 5 2
Bronx 52 35 40 49 40
Broome 13 11 15 18 9
Cattaraugus 11 4 7 5 11
Cayuga 7 4 8 11 8
Chautauqua 11 10 10 13 9
Chemung 7 3 11 5 5
Chenango 9 4 6 5 6
Clinton 8 6 3 9 4
Columbia 9 6 8 8 11
Cortland 9 6 6 4 5
Delaware 9 6 8 2 7
Dutchess 30 22 26 20 19
Erie 57 47 44 50 43
Essex 1 8 2 3 3
Franklin 1 6 6 3 3
Fulton 5 7 6 0 6
Genesee 8 5 7 5 14
Greene 12 3 10 7 6
Hamilton 2 0 0 1 0
Herkimer 6 7 4 8 10
Jefferson 12 8 12 9 4
Kings 87 78 69 53 56
Lewis 6 4 4 3 5
Livingston 1 9 3 7 6
Madison 8 7 9 3 6
Monroe 37 43 33 45 45
Montgomery 7 3 5 5 5
Nassau 83 81 95 80 78
New York 45 39 28 48 38
Niagara 27 18 18 17 15
Oneida 21 15 12 22 18
Onondaga 30 25 33 27 34
Ontario 11 16 16 9 8
Orange 35 36 28 32 35
Orleans 7 4 0 4 11
Oswego 22 20 19 17 16
Otsego 5 4 7 4 6
Putnam 4 7 9 5 7
Queens 99 86 78 61 59
Rensselaer 11 10 9 8 9
Richmond 12 12 26 19 14
Rockland 17 17 15 11 18
Saratoga 18 11 18 19 18
Schenectady 4 6 10 7 9
Schoharie 2 4 2 2 2
Schuyler 3 1 2 3 3
Seneca 5 5 7 4 5
St. Lawrence 19 9 11 10 10
Steuben 12 12 7 10 3
Suffolk 145 123 168 139 121
Sullivan 14 13 13 9 6
Tioga 1 5 3 7 3
Tompkins 8 8 13 10 8
Ulster 24 12 16 14 23
Warren 6 9 2 2 6
Washington 8 8 10 8 3
Wayne 10 10 13 12 9
Westchester 52 27 51 37 32
Wyoming 2 5 7 3 5
Yates 3 4 2 1 0

This shows the fatalities over the course of five years, with data from the NHTSA.

Suffolk County, over the last five years, seems to have had the most fatalities.

– Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Rural 60 68 54 42 63 58 37 48 52 56
Urban 13 6 17 13 14 11 7 9 10 13

This shows the fatalities over the course of 10 years.

Accidents seem to occur more in rural areas of Vermont than in urban areas, most likely because Vermont is a highly rural state.

– Fatalities by Person Type

Person 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Passenger Car 32 18 20 28 30
Light Truck - Pickup 5 3 2 2 7
Light Truck - Utility 11 4 10 15 8
Light Truck - Van 3 2 1 0 0
Large Truck 1 1 1 0 1
Bus 0 1 0 0 0
Light Truck - Other 0 0 1 0 0
Total Motorcyclists 7 7 11 11 13
Pedestrian 5 5 5 4 8
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist 0 0 4 1 0

This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.

Passenger cars have the highest rate of fatalities in this five-year time span, while buses had the lowest rate of fatalities in the five-year time span.

– Fatalities by Crash Type

Crash Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Single Vehicle 44 28 34 45 38
Involving a Large Truck 8 11 8 7 10
Involving Speeding 18 15 21 29 31
Involving a Rollover 15 12 7 19 14
Involving a Roadway Departure 62 33 44 49 49
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related) 10 5 6 6 14

This shows the fatalities by crash type over the course of five years.

A large number of crashes have to do with single-vehicle crashes and crashes involving roadway departures.

– Five-Year Trend for the Top 10 Counties

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Windsor County 10 3 5 5 10
Addison County 4 1 3 6 8
Chittenden County 5 9 9 6 8
Washington County 4 4 2 5 8
Orleans County 7 3 2 3 7
Rutland County 9 7 10 10 7
Windham County 10 1 3 8 6
Franklin County 6 2 10 6 4
Caledonia County 1 1 4 2 3
Bennington County 2 4 3 5 2

This shows the five-year trend for the top 10 counties of 2017 when it comes to fatalities.

Rutland County had the most fatalities, with Windsor County a close second.

– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Addison 0 1 0 1 6
Bennington 0 2 0 1 1
Caledonia 0 1 2 0 0
Chittenden 2 4 3 1 5
Essex 1 1 1 1 1
Franklin 2 0 6 2 2
Grand Isle 0 0 0 0 1
Lamoille 1 0 0 3 0
Orange 2 1 1 0 0
Orleans 3 2 0 3 4
Rutland 0 2 6 5 2
Washington 2 0 1 4 3
Windham 4 1 1 5 1
Windsor 1 0 0 3 5

This shows the five-year trend of fatalities for speeding by county.

No county in Vermont has had any double-digit deaths due to speeding.

– Fatalities Involving Alcohol-Impaired Driving by County

County 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Addison 0 0 2 0 1
Bennington 0 2 1 3 1
Caledonia 0 0 2 2 0
Chittenden 2 1 1 2 3
Essex 1 0 0 0 1
Franklin 2 1 4 4 1
Grand Isle 0 0 0 1 0
Lamoille 1 0 0 3 1
Orange 4 0 1 0 0
Orleans 2 2 0 0 3
Rutland 3 2 2 5 2
Washington 1 0 1 1 0
Windham 2 0 0 4 1
Windsor 1 0 0 2 3

Rutland County had the most deaths due to alcohol-impaired driving over this five-year timespan.

– Teen Drinking and Driving

If you are younger than 21 years old, you are considered under the influence with a BAC of .02 or more.

You will lose your license for six months if you are caught the first time. For the second offense, your license is suspended until you are 21.

All offenders under 21 have to take and complete an alcohol and driving program.

Do not drink and drive. It is not worth it.

– EMS Response Time: Rural vs. Urban

  Time of Crash to EMS
Notification
EMS Notification to
EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash to Hospital
Arrival
Fatal Crashes
Rural 3 minutes 12 minutes 37 minutes 51 minutes 52
Urban 2 minutes 6 minutes 22 minutes 29 minutes 11

Shorter response and travel times may have contributed to urban areas having fewer fatal crashes than rural areas in Vermont.

– Transportation

In Vermont, you most likely you live in a two-car household, drive alone to work, and spend a little less than the national average commuting.

The information for Car Ownership, Commute Time, and Commuter Transportation is from Data USA.

– Car Ownership

Most people in Vermont live in a two-car household. Three-car households in Vermont are the second-most common.

– Commute Time

With an average commute time of 21.6 minutes, Vermont is slightly below the national average of 25.2 minutes. Additionally, 1.9 percent of Vermont’s workforce has to commute for 90 minutes or more.

– Commuter Transportation

Most people who live in Vermont choose to go to work alone.

Carpooling into work is a close second, due to the Go! Vermont statewide ridesharing system.

– Traffic Congestion in Vermont

On the three major traffic congestion lists: INRIX, TomTom, and Numbeo, no cities in Vermont rank for the worst in traffic congestion.

But what is it like driving in Vermont?

Relatively empty roads and beautiful scenery. Take it all in with this 40-minute video.

And with that, the Vermont guide has come to a close. We hope this comprehensive car insurance for Vermont has helped you.

Do not hesitate with your search for car insurance. Start comparison shopping car insurance rates today.

References:
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  2. https://www.nacdnet.org/2017/02/06/tis-season-road-salt-applications-catch-attention-vermont-district/
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  6. https://www.iii.org
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