Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Vermont: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is legally required for all drivers in the state of Vermont. Here are the details.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
According to 23 V.S.A. Section 941., uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is legally required for all drivers in the state of Vermont.
Like most U.S. states, Vermont requires all drivers to hold a minimum level of
liability insurance
before hitting the road. However, the Green Mountain State also requires drivers to hold uninsured motorist coverage—something not quite as common.
Here to walk you through the regulations surrounding uninsured motorist coverage in Vermont is
, the reliable super app and expert on all things
car insurance
. We’ll even tell you how to lower your
Vermont car insurance costs
without skirting on the legally required coverage. 

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Vermont?

Uninsured motorist coverage
is required by
Vermont car insurance laws
—and, frankly, it’s a good type of coverage to have. For injury, the required UM minimum limits in Vermont are $50,000 per person/ $100,000 total per accident. For property damage (damage to your own vehicle, for example) there is a maximum limit of $10,000 for UM coverage.
According to the most recent numbers available from the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
, approximately 8.8% of all Vermont drivers lack car insurance, despite state laws.
This may not sound like a big number, but it still means that there is a considerable risk of getting into an accident with someone who lacks car insurance. Plus, even more VT drivers only carry Vermont’s minimum coverage limits, which means you’re pretty likely to hit a driver whose insurance won’t cover the full cost of damages
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage intends to pick up where the other driver’s liability insurance (or lack thereof) leaves off, covering key medical expenses resulting from a crash
Fortunately, UM coverage isn’t too expensive, in part because Vermont has a relatively low percentage of uninsured drivers—so this law won’t drive up your rates too much. 
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How uninsured motorist insurance works in Vermont

Still unsure exactly how UM coverage works? Well, Vermont’s liability insurance requirements follow a 25/50/10 rule:
  • $25,000 liability coverage for
    bodily injury
    or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $10,000 liability coverage for
    property damage
    per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
But what if you get into an accident with another driver who lacks this insurance—or, maybe they have insurance, but they cause more than $25,000 of bodily damage to you, for example? 
Well, that’s where your UM/UIM coverage would kick in! This may sound like a lot of money, but when considering the high cost of medical bills—from ER expenses to surgical costs, to rehabilitation fees—$25,000 goes quickly. 

What’s available

There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage: bodily injury (UMBI) and property damage (UMPD). UMBI pays for your medical expenses after an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, while UMPD pays to repair or replace your car.
As we mentioned, the required UM minimum limits related to injury in Vermont are $50,000 per person/ $100,000 total per accident. For property damage (damage to your own vehicle, for example) there is a maximum limit of $10,000 for UM coverage.

What it covers

In addition to excessive medical expenses for you and your passengers, UM coverage will pay for:
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
  • Medical devices such as wheelchairs
  • Retrofitting your house to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Services such as yard work or cleaning that you’re no longer able to do
  • Pain and suffering (under certain circumstances) 
Once again, although UM coverage might feel like an extra legal requirement to satisfy, it’s an affordable option that can offer peace of mind in the long run. 

How to make a claim 

If you or your passenger(s) are injured in a car accident and you discover that the other driver(s) lacks sufficient car insurance (or lacks car insurance altogether), it’s time to file a UM claim. 
Your car insurance company should make the process relatively simple. Call them as soon as possible and explain what happened. A claims representative will likely ask for a variety of documents, such as medical records, traffic crash reports, and hospital/medical bills—keep in mind that the more documentation you have, the easier your case evaluation will be. 
If your medical costs end up exceeding the limit on your UM insurance, you’ll need to use your own health insurance,
personal injury protection
coverage, or pay out-of-pocket for the remaining balance. 

Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Vermont

Obviously, buying UM coverage in Vermont is a good idea because it’s legally required of you. But we think this law is a pretty good one. Here’s why: 

UM coverage is quite affordable 

Uninsured motorist coverage costs around $50 to $75 annually for bodily injury and property damage coverage in the state of Vermont. This low cost is mostly due to the fact that so few Vermont drivers are uninsured.
That’s a relatively small price to pay for the added peace of mind that UM coverage offers! 

Hit-and-run accidents are on the rise

UM/UIM coverage can also help you if you’re unlucky enough to be in
a hit-and-run accident
Without UM coverage, your insurance may not cover damages resulting from a hit and run, in part because the at-fault party cannot be located. That’s why this type of coverage is so important to have! 

Over 8% of Vermont drivers are uninsured

Even though 8% seems like a relatively small number, that still means that there are thousands of drivers out on Vermont’s highways operating a motor vehicle without insurance. Don’t risk it—invest in the legally required UM coverage. 

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Vermont

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to meet Vermont’s minimum car insurance requirements—or to add on additional optional types of coverage. At least, not if you shop with
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