It is. Insurance companies have found an inversely proportional relationship between credit scores and the number of claims filed. So, except for in a few states that prohibit it (and Vermont isn’t one of them), carriers reference consumers’ credit history in deciding whether to offer coverage and at what rates.
In Vermont, the majority of auto insurance companies have a good-driver discount in their roster of offerings. There are usually plenty of other possibilities, too, and we’ve listed some common ones below. Ask your agent if a good-driver discount is available, and what the eligibility requirements are; typically, you need to have no accidents or moving violations on your driving record for a certain number of years. Other possible discounts to ask about include:
- Claims-Free Discount
- Credit Score
- Anti-Lock Brakes, Air Bags, or Daytime Running Lights
- Good Student Grades
- Continued Policy Renewals
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Home Ownership
- Multiple Line
- Passive Restraint
Yes. Request an official electronic card from your carrier and display it on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile devices when you need to show proof of coverage. So much easier than digging through all that stuff in your glove compartment!
Driving with lapsed coverage is considered a traffic violation in Vermont and will result in a fine of up to $500. You’ll be required to show proof of coverage to be able to continue driving.
It’s illegal to drive in Vermont with the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
In Vermont, you don’t have to display outward signs of intoxication to be arrested for DUI if you register a BAC of at least 0.08%. Conversely, if you are showing any signs of impairment in a police officer’s opinion, you don’t have to have a BAC of at least 0.08% to be arrested and convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Vermont’s “implied consent” law makes it mandatory to take a blood, breath, or urine test to screen for alcohol or drugs when stopped for a suspected DUI. A first-time refusal results in an automatic driver’s license suspension for 6 months; this jumps to 18 months for a second refusal.
DUI penalties vary in Vermont depending on certain circumstances. For example, the number of prior convictions has great bearing on the consequences, and registering a BAC of 0.16% or higher leads to enhanced penalties. Even for a first offense without enhanced penalties, violators of DUI laws may face a temporarily suspended license, fines and fees, possible imprisonment, compulsory installation of an ignition interlocking device, and other penalization.
Auto insurance companies frequently offer reduced rates for people who complete a defensive driving program approved by the State. Ask your agent if this is available to you.
According to the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, car insurance rates vary between carriers in the state by as much as 50% for virtually the same coverage. It goes on to say that comparison shopping for the best rates is so important to get the most out of the competitive marketplace.
Aside from this, there are a variety of other ways to save. In general, strive to maintain a clean driving record, uninterrupted coverage, and a high credit score. Take a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium and, if possible, get a lower rate by skipping the monthly payments and shelling out for a full term of coverage upfront. Also, remember to ask about available discounts, like the many mentioned on this page.
This type of coverage is protection against uninsured drivers and hit-and-run accidents. It’s not mandatory in Vermont, but it’s a recommended optional coverage so you aren’t left high and dry in the event of a crash with one of these law-breaking motorists.