Setting out on the open roads of Big Sky Country offers a wealth of cultural and natural adventures. In Virginia City, you can step back in time to learn how early settlers lived or explore the magnificent flora and fauna of Glacier National Park. But before you hit the road, you need to purchase car insurance.
In 2019, Montana had more than 1.8 million registered vehicles, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, 182 people died in traffic accidents in Montana in 2018, including 154 fatalities in rural areas. Alcohol impairment accounted for 43% of Montana’s 2018 fatalities, compared to the nationwide average of 29%. Buying car insurance helps protect your valuable assets and you must have minimal amounts of coverage to comply with state law.
Best car insurance companies in Montana
We chose the best options based on our knowledge of the insurance industry, rates, coverage options and discounts. We also looked at sources that provide in-depth research into the insurance industry. Marketing research company J.D. Power produces a yearly study of car insurance companies based on their performance in customer service.
|Provider||Average annual full coverage premium||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
Allstate is one of the largest auto insurance companies in the U.S.. It offers local agents to meet the needs of consumers in each state and area code. Although it sells home, life, and auto insurance, it specializes in auto as the fourth largest auto insurance provider with 9.3% of the market share. Allstate offers all of the basic coverage options and insurers have a long list of add-ons they can choose from, in addition to discounts.
Geico insures almost 28 million vehicles and is the second largest auto insurance provider in the U.S.. It is also accessible to almost everyone in the U.S. as it operates in all fifty states. Additionally, Geico offers all of the standard coverage options, add-ons and a long list of discounts. Insurers can also save with Geico’s multiple bundling options.
Progressive is another well known insurance company in the U.S. that provides auto insurance. Progressive has slightly more affordable rates than other insurance companies with its average annual premium for minimum coverage at $493 and for full coverage at $1,419. Progressive also offers the standard auto insurance options in addition to add-ons and discounts.
State Farm continues to operate local agencies, which offers you a dedicated person to contact when you need to file a claim or purchase additional insurance. With the handy State Farm mobile app, you can access your policy information, contact your agent and request roadside assistance.
USAA is one-stop-shopping for financial products, which we consider a winning hand for military people. USAA’s portfolio includes home and renters insurance, along with checking and savings accounts, home mortgages, investment accounts and retirement plans.
Average car insurance cost in Montana
The average cost of car insurance in Montana is $301 per year for minimum coverage and $1,722 per year for full coverage. This is slightly cheaper than the national average of $1,738 per year for full coverage. Montana drivers may or may not pay less than the national average though as your car insurance quote will depend on various personal and geographic factors. For example, if you live in an area with a higher crime rate, you may end up paying slightly more than the average.
|Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Montana||Average annual premium for full coverage in Montana|
How to get the best car insurance
With all of the car insurance companies out there and the different options offered to each driver, it’s important to find which car insurance company will be the best for you. Finding the best car insurance will be different for each person. The factors that go into finding the right insurance policy is your personal characteristics like your driving record, age, marital status, credit score, etc, as well as your geographic location. However these are two things to think about when shopping around for auto insurance in Montana:
- Evaluate your needs: You’ll need to evaluate your needs based on your past, current circumstances, and future goals. Each car insurance provider has a different way of determining the risk and calculating a rate for each driver. So it’s important to determine some factors before looking for car insurance. For example, if you have a lower than average credit score, you’ll want to look for car insurance companies that are more lenient about credit history. Additionally, if you have a history of accidents, you’ll want to find an insurance company that provides Accident Forgiveness.
- Consider state factors: Most car insurance companies have local agents in each area code to assist drivers. Geographic location plays a big role in car insurance quotes and in determining what add-ons and coverage options you may want to get. Montana is known for its glaciers and the Rocky Mountains. If you live in the Western half of the state, you’ll definitely want to consider getting roadside assistance and wheel protection. If you live in an area code with a high theft rate, you’ll want to consider getting anti-theft.
State minimum insurance requirements in Montana
All states require car owners to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. Liability insurance only pays for the bodily injury or property damage of other drivers and their passengers when you are at fault for an accident. In Montana, you must purchase at least:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage to pay for medical or death expenses of one person in a single accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage to pay the medical or death expenses of more than one person in a single accident.
- $20,000 in property damage insurance to pay for property damaged in a single accident.
If you finance your car, your lender will likely require you to purchase comprehensive and collision insurance.
Car insurance discounts in Montana
Each car insurance company offers different discounts. This is another reason why it’s important to evaluate your needs, so that you can see which insurance provider will have the most discounts that apply to you. The chart below shows a list of common discounts and which car insurance providers offer them,
|Automatic payment/paperless billing||X||X||X|
|Defensive driving course||X||X||X||X|
|Low annual mileage||X|
|Occupational or organizations||X||X|
|Safe driver/accident free||X||X||X||X||X|
Other discounts that aren’t listed in the chart include homeowners discounts offered by Progressive and USAA for homeowners. If you were a responsible payer, Allstate offers a discount if you did not receive a cancellation notice for non-payment in the past year.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance in Montana?
Insurance companies set rates based on several factors, including your age, driving record and credit history. To find the cheapest car insurance in Montana, shop around for the best combination of value and coverage and always ask agents about discount programs.
What information is needed to get car insurance in Montana?
When you shop for Montana car insurance, an agent will need to know the type of car you want to insure, your age, your annual mileage and information about your driving record. Agents may also ask for your Social Security number to run a credit check.
Does Montana require car owners to purchase insurance?
Yes. To comply with state law, you must purchase at least minimum amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. If you finance your vehicle, your lender may also require you to carry comprehensive and collision insurance.
How can I lower my car insurance rate?
Most insurance companies offer discounts for taking driving courses, purchasing multiple policies, driving cars equipped with safety features and much more. When shopping for car insurance, ask agents about discount programs for which you might qualify.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.