Change to Vermont Auto Insurance Law Highlights Uninsured Motorist Issue

October 06, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Vermont officials are cracking down on uninsured motorists in a move that underscores the importance of making sure you are protected against losses resulting from accidents-including those caused by drivers who have no coverage, according to Online Auto Insurance (OAI).

A new Vermont law increases fines for driving without coverage from a maximum $100 to as much as $500. That should be reason enough for many drivers who have gone without coverage to consider buying a policy that will provide instant proof of auto insurance.

But driving uninsured poses risks beyond being cited and fined for breaking state law, including potentially sky-high repair and medical bills that uninsured motorists who are involved in crashes may wind up having to pay out of pocket.

Anyone who is considering going without coverage should think seriously about whether they would be able to cover such costs, according to OAI.

Almost every state requires that drivers carry auto coverage, but 1 in 7 drivers nationwide was uninsured in 2009, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC). Mississippi has the highest uninsured motorist ratio-28 percent-while Massachusetts had the lowest, with only 4.5 percent of drivers uninsured.

The risk of encountering one of those drivers may make it worthwhile to purchase coverage that includes uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) protection.

UM/UIM policies, which are optional in most states-but are mandatory in Vermont-are meant to protect consumers who are unfortunate enough get into an accident caused by a driver who has no coverage or low liability limits that are not enough to pay for all injuries or damages. They also cover damages caused by hit-and-run drivers in many cases.

Prices for UM/UIM protection vary from state to state, based on the percentage of uninsured motorists on the road in each state.

Only about 7 percent of Vermont drivers are uninsured, according to the IRC, which ranks the Green Mountain State fifth nationwide for lowest percentage of uninsured motorists.

Motorists are required by law to carry uninsured driver coverage in 20 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Insurance Research Council. Five states, including Vermont, also mandate UIM coverage.


To learn more about this and other safety and coverage issues, readers can go to where they will find informative resource pages and a helpful rate-comparison generator.