Vermont Auto Insurance Information
Auto insurance. Vermont.
Liability coverage is designed to protect you for injuries and damages to other people and property caused by the negligent operation of your car. It protects you as the driver of the car, as well as someone who had your permission to drive your car.
When purchasing liability insurance in Vermont you must buy at least the mandatory limits set by law. These mandatory amounts of coverage are $25,000 per person for bodily injury or death and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury or death, and $10,000 per accident for property damage (25/50/10).
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM) provides coverage for bodily injury to you and your passengers if you are involved in an accident caused by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured. The minimum amount of UM/UIM coverage mandated by law is
$50,000 for bodily injury or death per injured person and $100,000 for bodily injury or death per accident (maximum payable for more than one person), and $10,000 for property damage per claim.
Some typical factors companies use to set rates.
Generally, insurance rates in Vermont are unregulated. This means that companies are competing for your premium dollars and prices can vary greatly from one company to another. Companies set prices using classification ratings, offset by any discounts they offer that you may be eligible for. A classification rating is derived from a group of factors, or risks associated with insuring you and your vehicle.
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Each company sets its own premiums by making value judgments about where you live, who drives your car, how your car is used, your driving record, and the make and model of the vehicle, as follows:
Where you live. Many companies divide Vermont geographically into rating territories, based on statistics showing that more congested areas pose greater driving risks.
Who the drivers are. The age, sex and driving experience of the drivers you cover on your policy are among the factors that affect your rate.
What the car is used for. Drivers who use their cars for pleasure travel are generally the lowest rated group. Rates are higher if you use your car to drive to and from work or in the course of your business. Some companies use annual mileage as a rating factor.
Driving record. Generally, if you have no accidents or violations for three years (or in some cases five years), you receive the lowest rate a company offers for your classification. Insurers refer to this rate as the "good driver" or "preferred driver discount." If you are convicted of a traffic violation or have a bad driving record, your rates may be surcharged. A high number of claims for which you are not at fault can also adversely affect your rate. (Statistically, you pose a higher risk.) In such a case, a company can drop your preferred driver rating and assign you to the standard driver category, at higher rates.
Car make and model. Most insurers maintain or have access to industry statistics on every make and model of car driven. Data such as the price of the car when new, how easily it's damaged, how costly it is to repair, how accident-prone a given car model is, and how popular it is with thieves are all risk factors folded together to arrive at each car's "experience rating."
You can reduce your rates by taking advantage of possible discounts. Be sure to inquire about these possible cost reductions when buying or renewing a policy.
The market is always changing, and a company whose price is the lowest today may not be the lowest in a year or two. Therefore, for the best prices, it's worth rechecking the market periodically. Bear in mind that excessively low prices, which are sometimes inducements to lure new business, may eventually go up.
Multiples. If you insure more than one household vehicle with the same company, you could pay less than what it would cost to insure them separately. Sometimes, new couples who have previously insured their respective vehicles with different companies don't get around to using the same insurer for a while, which causes them to lose out on the savings. If you own a home, buying your auto and homeowners insurance from the same company will usually save you money.
Driver training/Good student. A young driver who has a "B" average or better in school, or who completes an accredited driver education course can often get a discount.
Student away from home. You may be eligible for a discount if you have a young driver covered on your policy who is away at a school, lives more than 100 miles from home, and does not have regular access to your vehicle.
Other possible discounts: regular carpool arrangements, passive restraints such as airbags and automatic seat belt systems, ABS brakes and anti-theft devices.
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