The Best Vermont Auto Insurance Companies
With its beautiful scenery and high quality of life, Vermont consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the U.S. On top of its traditional draws, Vermont also claims some of the lowest average auto insurance rates across the country, averaging premiums of about $764. Drivers in Vermont could see rates go down even more over the next few years as the state government implements new inspection policies and procedures.
How We Found the Best Auto Insurance Companies in Vermont
To find the best auto insurance in Vermont, we looked at the top companies by market share. This gave us a good idea of which companies were providing the best services based on their significant customer following. From there, we followed the same methodology we used in our review of the best national auto insurance companies. We vetted customer satisfaction ratings based on major studies produced by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, then looked at coverage options, discounts, financial backing, and more to find out which offer the best coverage for drivers in Vermont.
The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Vermont
State Farm tops our list because of its high marks for customer service quality and its impressive range of coverage options. J.D. Power’s 2018 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study ranks State Farm in the top 10 — the only provider we looked at to do so. State Farm also earned the highest Consumer Reports total reader score out of these top insurers with an 89 out of 100.
State Farm backs up its terrific claims satisfaction numbers with the most impressive range of coverage available. A particularly notable inclusion is custom parts or sound system protection, which it shares only with Allstate and Progressive. There are also accident forgiveness and new car replacement endorsements — matched only by Liberty Mutual.
State Farm also offers rideshare protection, a rare coverage option in the auto insurance world and perfect for rideshare drivers with services like Lyft or Uber. State Farm has by far the most inclusive coverage: It will protect you if your rideshare company coverage falls short.
Allstate is a very close second to State Farm in many ways. It ranked just two points lower in Consumer Reports’ reader survey covering the claims process. It actually beat out State Farm with a score of “excellent” for its timely payouts of claimed damages and matched its ranking of “very good” for simple claims process from incident to payment. Allstate is also the most closely matched in financial strength to State Farm, with high financial stability scores from financial evaluation firms like A.M. Best and Moody’s. This means that customers can be confident in Allstate’s ability to back up even the most substantial claims and sustain its coverage well into the future.
Allstate is also the king of discounts. If you’ve held continuous insurance coverage on your vehicle for the life of your ownership, you’ll automatically qualify for 5% off of your total premium. Progressive is the only other insurer who explicitly offers this easy-to-meet requirement for immediate savings. Allstate also has unique discounts, like 10% savings if you sign up seven days before your old policy expires.
Allstate’s Safe & Smart Student Discount makes it our top choice for students, too. If you have a full-time student 25 years old or younger, they can take Allstate’s teenSMART driver education course to double up on discounts. And if they’re enrolled in a school at least 100 miles from your residence, you could take home a gigantic 35% savings on your total premium.
Much like our top two picks, Progressive earned average-to-high marks from both J.D. Power (three out of five stars, an industry standard) and Consumer Reports (87 out of 100). It was the only other provider, along with Allstate, to be rated “excellent” for timely payments on claims from Consumer Reports.
Progressive is closely matched with State Farm for optional coverage and special endorsements. It offers a rare coverage for gap loan/lease payoff, which covers the difference on a totaled car when remaining payments cost more than the value of the car itself. That makes it an excellent insurer for anyone making a major purchase on a brand-new vehicle or those who consistently make minimum payments on a longterm lease.
Progressive is also our top pick for animal lovers. It’s the only major carrier that offers an additional pet protection coverage, which takes care of vet bills that result from an accident with your furry loved ones in tow.
Liberty Mutual carries an impressive range of auto insurance coverage options and discounts. It also boasts excellent financial forecast and stability scores. Unfortunately, with a two-star claims satisfaction score from J.D. Power stemming from payout amount concerns, Liberty slipped to the bottom of our list.
That said, in J.D. Power’s more localized overall satisfaction study, auto insurance customers in the New England region actually ranked Liberty Mutual above State Farm and Progressive. Claims satisfaction may still be an issue for drivers in Vermont, but these rankings speak to highly regarded customer service for the region.
Liberty Mutual also offers an exclusive vanishing deductible. Every year you go without incident, Liberty Mutual will give you $100 towards your deductible charge until it’s eliminated. Even if you have an accident, your deductible won’t go up from the savings you’ve already amassed and beginning the next policy year, you’ll continue toward a $0 deductible.
USAA is a large insurance company that provides many services for military personnel and their immediate family. J.D. Power has USAA ranked as “among the best” on J.D. Power’s 2018 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, awarding it 5/5 stars and an impressive 903/1,000. USAA also has an A.M. Financial Strength Rating of A++. They are known for providing industry-leading customer-friendly service and quickly settling claims.
USAA’s only downfall is that their services are not available to everyone, only for military personnel and their immediate family. USAA offers their services to current military members, including active duty, Guard, Reserve, and Officer candidates (ROTS, OTS/OCS, and Academy), military vets and retirees who have served honorably, spouses of current former service members, and children of USAA members.
Guide to Auto Insurance in Vermont
Because quotes are so personal — using everything from your address to your credit history — we can’t base our recommendations on the quotes we attained in our research. Every insurer has its own proprietary algorithms that calculate risk and assign values to various aspects of your personal situation. It’s impossible to tell you who will have the best deal for you, but it does make a very compelling argument for shopping around. Just take the quotes we received for a hypothetical driver: a 26-year-old man living in South Burlington and driving a common eight-year-old, four-door sedan.
All quotes are for 100/300/100, UM,UIM coverage.
With only four quotes (which took less than an hour), we found a savings spread of more than $500. Notably, Allstate, our top pick for discounts, was actually our most expensive policy quote. This is a perfect example of how much your specific situation affects your quote. You won’t know who has your best deal until you take the time to shop around and find the right auto insurance for you, taking into account your specific coverage needs and discount qualifications.
Make sure you meet Vermont’s minimum requirements
Vermont has a minimum requirement of auto insurance coverage for any vehicle that is driven on the road. Ignoring the minimum requirements, or driving without insurance, could net you fines up to $500, or even cost you your license. It could also leave you financially — maybe even criminally — responsible in the event of an accident. Vermont requires you to carry at least $25,000 of bodily injury liability covering each individual involved, $50,000 bodily injury liability as a cap per accident, and $10,000 of property damage coverage to cover damages. Vermont also requires drivers to carry Uninsured/Underinsured protection, with a $50,000 limit of bodily injury per person and a $100,000 limit on all injuries caused in a single accident.
Opt for more coverage
While Vermont does require more coverage than some states like Arizona or California, opting for the least amount of legal protection could still leave you in a bind after even a moderate accident. This is especially evident in the low requirements for property damage coverage at only $10,000.
Just imagine you find yourself in a relatively minor fender-bender with a modern mid-size SUV, which averages around $33,000 in value in today’s market. Even the base model of that vehicle probably comes equipped with a back-up cam, electric lift gate, heated glass, and any number of sensors, electronics, and high-tech materials. Costs to repair or replace can quickly outpace the measly $10,000 in coverage your bare-bottom plan will take care of. After that, you’ll be on the hook for the remainder of the damages.
It’s important to be fully covered in the event of even the most minor accidents, which is why we advise maintaining at least twice the minimum state requirements for Vermont. In a state where coverage is typically affordable, it’s relatively easy to find comprehensive coverage that will back you up in even some of the worst incidents.
Vermont Auto Insurance FAQ
If you have a DUI on your record, bad credit, or have caused a serious accident, yes, you can be denied service.