The wide expanse of Montana is home to thousands of Americans who own their own house. In fact, Big Sky Country is one of the places in the nation that still features affordable homes, allowing Montana’s residents to realize the dream of homeownership in the 21st Century.
Over 67 percent of occupied housing units were owner-occupied in 2018. But the state faces its fair share of natural disasters, and wildfires are a common occurrence. Many Montana homeowners turn to home insurance as a way of protecting one of their most valuable assets.
However, finding the right company for home insurance is no easy matter—it takes time and consideration to get the most suitable policy at the best value.
When shopping for home insurance, it’s important to pay attention to details such as coverages, discounts, financial strength and customer satisfaction. We compared the top home insurers in Montana to help with the process.
The top home insurance companies in Montana
- Farmers – Anyone looking for valuable features like declining deductible, claim forgiveness and a claims-free discount should turn to Farmers. This insurer also offers coverage for mobile homes and specialty dwellings.
- Liberty Mutual – This insurer’s offerings includes coverage for homes, cars, motorcycles, boats, pets, rentals and businesses. The wide range of discounts Liberty Mutual offers homeowners makes this insurance company a solid choice.
- Nationwide – When the worst occurs, Nationwide supports homeowners with insurance policies featuring excellent coverage options for incidents like water backup, identity theft as well as Better Roof Replacement®. This insurer also offers coverage for farms, pets and vehicles.
- Farm Bureau – The home insurance policies offered by Farm Bureau include valuable coverage options like residential equipment breakdown and guaranteed replacement cost. Farm Bureau also offers insurance for business, cars, farms, life, renters and more.
To find the best home insurers in Montana, we began by looking at ratings from professional organizations like J.D. Power, A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau. Once we determined which insurers came out on top, we checked into their availability in the state.
After finding the Montana home insurers with acceptable ratings, we dug into the details to find the coverage and discounts each insurer offers in the state and how valuable those offerings actually are to Montana homeowners.
|J.D. Power||A.M. Best||B.B.B.|
|Farmers||3 out of 5 stars||A||A+|
|Liberty Mutual||2 out of 5 stars||A||A|
|Nationwide||2 out of 5 stars||A+||A+|
Average homeowners insurance cost in Montana
The average annual premium for home insurance in Montana is $1,175. Compared to the national average of $1,288, homeowners in the Treasure State can expect to pay a little less than they would in many other states.
We also checked out individual quotes from the four insurers profiled in this review. For Farmers, we looked up a one-story home in Butte with an estimated replacement cost of $241,000. A Farmers insurance policy for this home would be $1116.52 for the standard policy, $1347.27 for the enhanced policy, and $1580.28 for the premier policy.
For Nationwide, we used the same home profile in the same area of Butte. Nationwide gave a single quote of 90.26 per month, which adds up to $1,083.12 annually.
Liberty Mutual and Farm Bureau require you speak with an agent directly to obtain a quote.
|State||State Ranking||Average Annual Premium|
Montana falls almost directly in the middle of the nation’s states in terms of average annual premium for home insurance. The reason why Montana fails to rank better in annual average may be due to the natural disasters that affect state residents and their homes. Wildfires are well-known as a common risk in Montana.
Home insurance coverage options in Montana
Home insurance coverage differs from company to company, but here are a few common coverages included in most basic home insurance policies.
- Dwelling – This coverage protects the main residents and any structures attached to it. Dwelling coverage typically covers built-in appliances like plumbing and heating, as well.
- Other structures – This coverage is for detached structures like garages and sheds. Some policies also offer coverage for improvements on the property like fences and patios.
- Personal Property – This coverage protects home items like furniture and personal belongings. The details of personal property coverage vary quite a bit by insurer, so make sure to check into the details during the quoting process.
- Additional Living Expenses – If an insured home is destroyed, then coverage for living expenses will help the policyholder pay for temporary housing and other costs like food and storage that result from the home’s loss of use.
Aside from the common coverage options that come with a standard home policy, most insurers also offer add-on coverages for an additional cost.
According to the Office of Montana State Auditor’s Consumer Guide for Homeowners Insurance, homeowners in Montana should ask about the following optional coverages when signing up for a policy:
- Debris removal
- Reasonable temporary repairs
- Damaged trees, shrubs and other plants
- Fire department service charges
- Theft or illegal use of credit or debit cards
- Collapse of building caused by covered perils
- Glass breakage
Common causes of home insurance losses in Montana
When an incident occurs and a claim needs to be filed, it is important to contact an agent at the insurance company as fast as possible. Many homeowners even opt for extra coverage for hazards. There are a few common incidents that may cause Montana homeowners to file a claim, including:
- Robbery and credit card theft
- Medical payments from accidents on the insured property
- Wind and hail damage
- Lightning and fire damage
Wildfires are an exceptional cause for concern with Montana homeowners. In 2017, over 1,300 million acres in Montana burned due to the 2,422 wildfires recorded that year, according to III’s 2019 Insurance Fact Book.
The problem is so pervasive in the region that now 29 percent of households in Montana are at risk from wildfires, which is the highest percentage of any state in the country.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best homeowners insurance in Montana?
The best homeowners insurance in Montana depends on what the homeowner is looking for in their insurance policy. Some people want the cheapest policy, while others desire the highest coverage available. To find the best insurer in the area, make sure to shop around for quotes from different companies for comparison.
How do I get homeowners insurance in Montana?
To get home insurance in Montana, the first thing to do is receive a quote on the home. A quote can be attained by filling out an online quote form, if available, or by calling a live agent for an insurance company in the area.
Is homeowners insurance required in Montana?
The state of Montana does not require homeowners to have insurance. But many lenders do require homeowners to get insurance when qualifying for a mortgage.
Is wildfire coverage included in Montana homeowners insurance?
Although policies differ by insurer, most home insurance policies should cover damage from wildfires. However, it’s important to check with the insurer for their specific coverage options in the state.