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Vermont Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Vermont Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Vermont is located in the Northwest portion (New England region) of the United States. In regards to size, it is among the smallest six states and it has the second lowest population of all 50 United States. Half of the state is bordered by Lake Champlain to the west, and geographically, the state is known for The Green Mountains, which run from south to north within the state. From a historical perspective, this state was originally inhabited by the Abenaki and Iroquois tribes in its earliest days.

Vermont is also only among four total states to have been a sovereign state in its past. It was the first state to be added to the original 13 colonies of the United States. It has been nicknamed “The Green Mountain State” due to the mountain range in the state. Another interesting note is that the word “Vermont” is derived from the French words “verd mont” which translate to “green mountain.” The economy in this state is highly diversified with leading industries including government, real estate, manufacturing, health care, retail, and finance. It is also the leading producer of maple syrup in the nation.

Vermont Motorcycle Insurance

Individuals that plan on driving a motorcycle in the state of Vermont must establish financial responsibility before driving. Financial responsibility is required to demonstrate that you have adequate finances to cover the costs associated with an accident. If you are “at fault” for an accident, having a liability insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements would be considered an acceptable method of responsibility.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in VT

There are various ways to demonstrate financial responsibility in this state. The most common method to show responsibility is purchasing liability coverage. This type of policy will provide finances to pay for bodily injuries and property damages in an accident. Below are the options that you’ll have for responsibility in this state.

  • Liability Insurance: Purchase basic liability coverage from a state-authorized carrier that meets minimum coverage requirements.
  • Surety Bond: An alternative option is to file a surety bond with the Vermont Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for the amount of $115,000.
  • Self-Insurance: In order to qualify for self-insurance, you must have a significant number of vehicles registered to your name. This is an option geared mostly towards business owners and those who own motorcycle fleets.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

It is extremely important to understand the classification of your two-wheeled vehicle. In each state, vehicles are defined differently by law. Do you know the differences between motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds in your state? If you are unfamiliar with the subtle differences between these vehicles, read various definitions below.

Motorcycle: A motor-driven vehicle with a seat or saddle for the operator, that travels with no more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The combustion engine must exceed 50 cc piston displacement. Vehicles that do not qualify for this definition include: mopeds, golf carts, and tractors. A motorcycle endorsement is necessary to operate one of these vehicles.

Motor-Driven Cycle: Any vehicle equipped with two or three wheels that has a combustion engine that does not exceed 50 cc piston displacement. Top speeds for these vehicles must not exceed 30 mph on a level surface. Power drive system must function automatically without clutching or shifting. Mopeds and Scooters fall under this definition. Although a motorcycle endorsement isn’t necessary for these vehicles, you do need to have a valid driver’s license.

Note: If you are confused regarding your vehicle’s classification, be sure to contact the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles at the following number: (802)-828-2000. They have representatives that are trained to answer all of your questions.

Vermont Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

When shopping for an insurance policy, it is important to know the state’s minimum requirements. If you are looking for a minimalist policy, then your coverage only needs to satisfy the amounts listed below. However, if you’d like to better protect your finances, you may want to increase your coverage limits.

Minimum Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $10,000 property damage per accident

Uninsured Motorist Coverage:

  • $50,000 per person

  • $100,000 per accident

  • $10,000 property damage

You should understand that the above amounts are the “minimums” and may not provide satisfactory coverage in the event of an accident. If you purchase a minimal policy and these coverage amounts are exceeded, you will be responsible for paying additional expenses from your personal savings. In addition to liability coverage, you must also have Uninsured Motorist coverage – this helps pay for damages if you are hit by someone that lacks insurance.

Vermont Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

All states have specific rules and regulations that must be followed. In order to legally operate your vehicle, you must follow helmet laws, know whether you need eye protection, and obtain a valid motorcycle license. Read below for a quick refresher regarding driver’s safety regulations.

  • Helmets: All drivers (and passengers) are required to wear helmets. These helmets must have a visible reflector, have a neck or chinstrap, and be in full compliance with the FMVSS 218 legal standard.
  • Eye Protection: All riders are required to use eye protection. The only exception to this rule is if the motorcycle has a windshield that properly screens the eyes.
  • Headlights: You are NOT required to use headlights during the daytime, but it is recommended.
  • License: In order to operate a motorcycle, you must obtain a Motorcycle Endorsement on your driver’s license. Proper licensing is obtained after you successfully pass both a knowledge-based test and a skills-based test. You may be able to skip the skills test if you already have completed a Vermont Rider Education Program (VREP) course.

Proof of Insurance / Responsibility in VT

Most major insurance companies file a record of proof with the Vermont DMV or Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Make sure that you check with your insurer to make sure that your coverage is successfully put in their records. Below are various types of proof that you can use if you are pulled over or involved in an accident.

  • Insurance ID Card: Upon purchasing an insurance policy, you will be issued an insurance identification card. Keep this card with you at all times while operating your motorcycle as proof.
  • Certification: If you obtained a surety bond or are self-insuring, you should receive certification. Keep this with you at all times to prove your responsibility.

Note: You will need proof of insurance before you can legally register your motorcycle.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in VT

If you are caught operating your motor vehicle without insurance in the state of Vermont, you are going to face an array of penalties. This state requires that you have proof of coverage before you even register your vehicle, but some people don’t register their vehicles and/or let their coverage lapse. Although you may temporarily get away with driving without insurance, the legal system will eventually catch you. Various penalties are listed below.

  • Citation: All individuals caught driving without coverage will be issued a citation; a fine will need to be paid.
  • Driving Record: Points will be added to your driving record, which could result in further penalization if you already have accumulated points.
  • Suspended License: People that are caught without sufficient insurance will have their driver’s license suspended.
  • SR-22 Form: You may need to file an SR-22 which allows the state to keep track of your insurance. If at any time your coverage lapses, the state will be notified.

Note: The simplest way to avoid any penalization is to make sure that you always maintain necessary amounts of insurance.

Vermont Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Although Vermont is a small state, there are still plenty of motorcycle insurance companies willing to help you find a great policy. In order to find the policy that best suits your needs, you should first conduct a comparison. When it comes to insurance, the way to get the best possible deal (i.e. most value for your money) is to comparison shop. Start your search for a provider by entering your Zip Code into the form below (or at the top of the page).

After you have entered your Zip Code, you will see a list of top providers based on the city in which you live. Take the time to collect quotes from each of these companies and determine how much a policy will cost. You should be able to narrow down your search to a provider that is offering the most reasonably-priced coverage. If you need any additional company information, read their review on this website!

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