Even though Vermont is the 2nd least populous state in the United States, Vermont’s Financial Responsibility Law requires motorists to maintain liability insurance for the vehicle they drive. Even though the Green Mountain State requires drivers to have proof of insurance, drivers don’t need to file their proof of insurance with the DMV.
Although you do not have to file your proof of insurance with the DMV, you do still need to carry proof of insurance, usually in the form of an ID card issued by your insurer, with you when you are driving. If you’re pulled over while driving on Vermont roads, you will have to show your insurance ID card to the officer.
Vermont Car Insurance Requirements & Minimum
Vermont requires liability auto insurance to protect its drivers from financial loss in the case of an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage. Vermonters must have an auto insurance policy that includes Bodily Injury Liability coverage, Property Damage Liability coverage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Whenever you get a car insurance quote in Vermont, these will be the lowest limts you can get, as per the law:
Bodily Injury (BI): Vermont drivers must purchase BI limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 for two or more people in an accident. Most drivers in the Green Mountain State opt for higher BI limits than the minimum requirement - usually limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. If you are liable for an accident, BI will pay for the medical expenses of those passengers injured in the other car. BI will also cover lost wages for the injured parties, as well as legal fees or judgements against you, up to your policy’s limits.
Property Damage (PD): VT drivers must purchase PD limits of $10,000 per accident to satisfy the law, although higher PD limits of $50,000 per accident are more common. After you are deemed at fault for an accident, PD will cover the costs to repair property damage - for other people. For example, if you crash into a fence, your PD coverage will pay for any repairs to that fence up to your coverage limit. The same would go for any other cars, houses, or businesses that were harmed during a crash and need repairs. Your own property damage would be paid out of collision or comprehensive (if you have them on your policy) or just out of pocket.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM): Although only 8.5% of drivers in Vermont are uninsured, Vermonters are still required to purchase UM/UIM coverage. It's for your own protection if you ever get into an accident with someone who's driving illegally without insurance. In that case, your UM coverage will pay for your injuries and the property damage resulting from any accident. Underinsured Motorists coverage will pay for your injuries and property damage if you are in an accident with a motorist whose policy cannot cover all of the expenses. Your UIM will pay the difference of the underinsured driver's policy limits up to your purchased limits to pay for the medical cost of your personal injuries and the repair costs of property damage. Vermonters must purchase UMI/UIMI coverage of BI protection for limits of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, and PD protection of $10,000. Those are the state minimums, but some drivers choose to purchase higher UMBI/UIMBI limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage in Vermont
In addition to getting higher limits of required forms of liability coverage, you can purchase optional coverage to further protect yourself from financial loss. In Vermont, you can buy the following options:
Physical Damage: two different coverages make up physical damage protection: Collision and Comprehensive. Together, collision and comprehensive protection pay for repairs to your car. While collision coverage will cover the cost to repair your car after a crash, comprehensive coverage will pay for damages to your car resulting from any other kind of incident. Regardless of your liability in a crash, your collision coverage will still pay for the cost of repairs to your car. It is common for Vermont motorists to purchase deductibles of $500 for both collision and comprehensive coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay): Most Vermont drivers purchase MedPay coverage of a $5,000 limit to pay for any medical and funeral expenses resulting from an auto accident. Regardless of your liability, MedPay covers the costs of hospital visits and stays, doctor visits, EMT and ambulance fees, funerals, and more.
Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility
To comply with Vermont’s Maintenance of Financial Responsibility Law, you have to get auto liability insurance, unless you require a certificate of insurance, also known as an SR-22 form. If you do not want your insurer to file a SR-22 form for you, or if your insurer refuses to file a SR-22 form, you can provide the following as proof of insurance in place of a SR-22 form:
- A cash or security deposit of $115,000 with the State Treasurer
- A surety bond that certifies that a surety company will cover all claims against you in the case of an accident, provided that you eventually reimburse the surety company.