Montana is often referred to as the “Land of the Shining Mountains,” and with good reason: the state is home to more than seventy-seven stunning mountain ranges. Knowing the unique regulations that apply to mountain driving in Montana is essential. If two cars meet on a steep, narrow road, for instance, the one going downhill must give way to the one going upward. Montana’s car insurance laws are only one of many details to think about when you plan your trip there. With the right policy, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe and secure as you enjoy Montana’s majestic views. In this article, we will discuss the best Montana car insurance coverage costs and requirements.
What is Montana Car Insurance?
The term “Montana car insurance” is used to describe the various forms of vehicle coverage that may be purchased in this American state. Montana, like many other states, mandates that motorists have insurance. Everyone who gets behind the wheel must have liability insurance to pay for any injuries or property damage they cause to others. Minimum bodily injury liability coverage in Montana is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 in property damage liability.
Drivers in Montana are required to carry liability insurance but may also elect for more extensive coverage, including uninsured or underinsured motorist protection and medical costs. These coverages protect the policyholder financially and medically in the event of an accident, theft, or natural disaster.
Factors such as the age of the driver, their driving record, the type of vehicle insured, and the amount of coverage purchased all affect the cost of insurance in Montana. Residents of Montana would do well to shop around, compare estimates, and settle on a policy that works for them.
Montana Car Insurance Requirements
In Montana, liability insurance is mandatory for all registered cars. If you cause an accident and are determined to be at fault, your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s medical bills and any property damage. Both personal injury and property damage up to the policy limits are protected. The deductible you choose when you set up your insurance policy will determine how much of the expenses liability insurance will cover.
Unfortunately, liability insurance by itself will not cover physical harm or personal injury caused by your car. You and your belongings are best protected by purchasing collision and comprehensive insurance. If the other driver sustains damages that exceed the policy maximum, you won’t be compensated. However, there may be times when you have to pay for costs that exceed what your insurance will cover.
In addition, every car in Montana must have liability insurance with a minimum coverage amount. Bodily injury liability must be at least $25,000 per person, and property damage liability must be at least $20,000. The minimum penalty for a first offense of not having insurance is $500 and the maximum is 10 days in jail.
Insurance Lender Requirements
If you are in the fortunate position of owning a car outright without a lease or financing agreement, you are not required to purchase any insurance beyond the bare minimum required by law. Of course, the rest of us have obligations under our leases and loans that we must fulfill. Lenders have an incentive to keep the vehicle in good condition in case of damage.
Fire, theft, explosion, shattered glass, animal collision, and so forth are typically not covered by collision insurance, but are by comprehensive insurance. Common definitions of collision include contact with an immovable object or the vehicle’s rollover. The terms of your finance or lease agreement will typically specify the minimum amounts of comprehensive and collision coverage as well as the maximum permitted deductibles.
Who Gets the Best Car Insurance in Montana?
Those with excellent credit histories will be rewarded with the most affordable car insurance premiums. Insurance companies in Montana may also consider your age, gender, the sort of car you drive, and even your zip code when determining your rate.
Another strategy to save money is to compare pricing from different insurance providers, as no two policies have the same coverage. Costs can fluctuate widely depending on the kind of coverage you purchase (liability, comprehensive, or collision).
Also, you should think about the quote’s mentioned coverage amounts and types. Keep in mind that your goal is to get the most value for your money. Consider the deductible, or the portion of an accident’s costs that you’ll be responsible for paying out of pocket.
What Does Car Insurance Cover in Montana?
Montana car insurance typically covers various aspects related to vehicle accidents and incidents. In Montana, car insurance provides the following primary coverage:
#1. Liability Coverage
Liability insurance covers costs for repairs to other cars and the medical expenses of other drivers if you cause an accident. It also covers any legal fees incurred as a result of the incident.
Liability insurance requirements vary widely depending on vehicle type and individual driving histories. Limits on insurance coverage tend to be higher for more expensive automobiles.
Age is the main factor determining the final price tag. Montanans who shop around may find better deals.
In order to reward responsible behavior and reduce risk, several insurance companies give discounts to drivers who do things like pay their payments online and participate in telematics programs.
Defensive driving lessons and new cars with anti-lock brakes and alarms may lower insurance premiums. Discounts for having numerous insurance policies can reduce the cost of car insurance for Montana drivers by as much as 30%. This is ideal for those who want to insure several cars with the same company.
Your driving record, including the number and severity of moving infractions and citations, is a major factor in determining the cost of your auto insurance in Montana. Your insurance costs could rise dramatically if you receive any fines or violations for speeding.
The Effect of References on Interest RatesYour insurer’s pricing criteria, applicable state laws, and other variables will determine the precise effect of these citations.
Your Montana car insurance cost also takes the type of vehicle you drive into account. Car insurance costs are higher for sports cars and luxury sedans than for more modestly equipped vehicles.
Consider purchasing bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage on your Montana car insurance policy. In addition, collision and comprehensive insurance cover you even more in the event of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
#2. Collision Coverage
Collision coverage is a vital component of car insurance in Montana. This type of insurance protects you by covering the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s damaged in a collision, regardless of who is at fault. Whether your car collides with another vehicle, a stationary object, or flips over, collision coverage helps pay for the repairs, minus your deductible.
In Montana, where severe weather conditions and wildlife pose risks to drivers, collision coverage can be especially valuable. If a hailstorm, deer, or other vehicle damages your car, this insurance will pay for repair or replacement costs up to the policy limits.
It’s important to note that collision coverage typically requires you to pay a deductible before the insurance kicks in. You can adjust your deductible amount, which inversely affects your premium: a higher deductible usually means lower premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs if you file a claim. Montana drivers often choose collision coverage to safeguard their vehicles from unexpected damages and maintain peace of mind on the road.
#3. Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage is a crucial aspect of car insurance in Montana, providing protection against various non-collision-related incidents. This type of insurance covers damage to your car resulting from incidents other than accidents, such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, falling objects, and animal collisions. In a state like Montana, where wildlife encounters and extreme weather conditions are common, comprehensive coverage offers valuable financial security.
With comprehensive insurance, Montana drivers don’t have to worry about bearing the entire cost of repairs or replacements when unexpected events occur. For instance, if a deer damages your car or a hailstorm causes dents, comprehensive coverage steps in. Similar to collision coverage, comprehensive coverage also comes with a deductible, which you can choose based on your budget and needs. By including comprehensive coverage in their policies, Montana residents can confidently navigate the challenges posed by the state’s environmental factors, ensuring their vehicles are safeguarded against a wide range of risks.
#4. Medical Coverage
Medical Payments Coverage, often referred to as MedPay, is a beneficial component of car insurance in Montana. This coverage helps pay medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. MedPay can cover a range of costs, including hospital stays, surgery, X-rays, and other medical treatments, as well as funeral expenses in the unfortunate event of a fatal accident.
In Montana, where healthcare costs can be substantial, having medical payment coverage ensures that you and your loved ones receive necessary medical care without worrying about the financial burden. This coverage is particularly valuable if you don’t have health insurance or if your health insurance has high deductibles or copayments. MedPay provides a crucial safety net, allowing you to focus on recovery rather than medical bills. Including medical payment coverage in your car insurance policy can provide peace of mind, knowing that immediate medical expenses resulting from an accident are taken care of.
Montana Car Insurance Costs
Insurance companies in Montana employ a variety of rating elements to arrive at the final cost of policies. Age, location, driving history, and financial situation are just a few of the factors that affect how much car insurance costs. You’ll also notice that premiums are not uniform across insurance providers.
USAA offers the cheapest car insurance in Montana, with annual premiums as low as $181. However, this insurance is only available to current or former members of the armed forces. State Farm comes in near the middle of the pack with an annual premium of $338.
Do not use these numbers to compare insurance costs; they are simply estimates based on rates for a typical Montana driver.
MoneyGeek bases its used car insurance rates on the 25/50/20 minimum liability coverage requirements set forth by Montana law. A male Montanan resident, age 40, with a spotless driving record, excellent credit, and a 2010 Toyota Camry serves as the baseline for this study’s demographics.
Does Montana Have a Blue Cross Blue Shield?
Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield operates in Montana. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has been serving Montanans for almost seventy years as a privately owned and operated licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana’s long-term goal is to become the state’s dominant health insurance provider. Our organization has been providing health insurance to Montana residents for over 100 years, making us the largest and oldest provider in the state.
We’ve been giving our clients peace of mind that they can get medical attention whenever they need it for almost 60 years now. We’re here to help individuals get and stay healthy, and as a non-profit, we’re not in the health insurance business for profit.
Montana Car Insurance Laws
Montana car insurance laws mandate that all drivers carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage requirements include $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $20,000 for property damage. Montana is also a “fault” state, meaning the person responsible for the accident must pay for the resulting damages.
Additionally, Montana law requires uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, although drivers can opt-out in writing if they choose not to carry this coverage. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects drivers if they are involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage.
Proof of insurance is mandatory in Montana, and drivers must carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Failure to provide proof of insurance upon request can result in fines and other penalties.
Montana operates on a modified comparative fault system, which means that if you are partially at fault in an accident, your compensation may be reduced based on the degree of your fault. The state’s statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a car accident is three years. Understanding these laws is essential for all Montana drivers to ensure compliance and financial protection in case of accidents.
Is Montana a PIP State?
No, Montana is not a no-fault state with regard to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. In no-fault states, including those with PIP systems, each driver’s insurance company pays for their medical expenses and other related costs after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Montana operates on a traditional tort system, which means that the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for covering the medical expenses, property damage, and other costs incurred by the other party in an accident. Montana’s mandatory insurance requirements include liability insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage, as well as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
In the absence of a no-fault or PIP system, individuals involved in accidents in Montana typically file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for their damages.
Best Montana Car Insurance
Overview of the top car insurance companies in Montana:
Because of its low annual rate of $399, Progressive is able to beat out rivals and get the top spot in the best full coverage category.
In addition to having excellent ratings for coverage, it also offers a special feature that pays for the repair or replacement of aftermarket additions to your vehicle.
Progressive’s policy covers the costs of replacement or repair for aftermarket components. Wheels, audio, GPS, and bodywork may all be personalized. Since the original installer was not the manufacturer, these components are considered “after-market” and require additional insurance coverage.
Also, Progressive provides protection for animals hurt in car accidents.
Progressive’s Deductible Savings Bank policy will reduce your comprehensive or collision deductible by $50 after six months of accident- and violation-free driving. When a claim is filed, the clock starts over.
Progressive may cover the cost of towing or emergency services if your automobile experiences mechanical failure, such as a flat tire, dead battery, locked keys in the car, or running out of petrol.
In spite of providing the top customer service in the state, GEICO lacks in other areas, like claims management and comprehensive protection options. There are also special policies available, like mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) and classic car insurance. Insurance for historic automobiles typically covers liability, medical expenses, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and MBI provides additional protection at a lesser cost than a standard dealer extended warranty.
Also, accident forgiveness from GEICO ensures that your rate won’t go up after your first accident, even if it was your fault. If you are over the age of 21 and have not been involved in an accident for at least five years, you may be eligible for accident forgiveness. In the event of a breakdown or other mechanical emergency, roadside assistance will pay for services such as tire changes, battery jumps, and car towing.
#3. State Farm
In Montana, State Farm has the lowest rates for minimal car insurance coverage and the best rate of customer satisfaction.
When you bundle multiple policies with State Farm, such as car, home, renters, condo, and life, you can save money. Similarly, if you insure multiple cars at once, you can get cost savings.
If you have been with State Farm for three years without an incident, or if you are a new client with no accidents or traffic tickets in the past three years, you may be eligible for a discount.
In addition, State Farm offers discounts to customers who have taken defensive driving courses and who use alarm systems or other government-approved anti-theft devices. All of these are helpful in the first place, of course.
First and foremost, USAA is the largest insurance provider for service veterans and their families since it was created just for them. The costs are low, the coverage is extensive, and the service is second to none.
The company offers typical insurance benefits, such as towing and car rental reimbursement. Users can opt into USAA’s Accident Forgiveness program after five years of accident-free driving to avoid paying a surcharge on their coverage due to an at-fault accident. This insurance company also covers ridesharing.
Also, discounts of all kinds are available to service people through USAA. Including leaving your car parked on a military installation.
How to Find the Best Car Insurance in Montana for You
Here are some guidelines for obtaining cheap car coverage in Montana:
#1. Examine the Status of Montana’s Customer Service Providers
Using data from the NAIC consumer complaint index and J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction surveys, we ranked Montana providers based on their commitment to satisfying their clients.
Also, check with these reputable, objective institutions when examining an insurer’s track record. The Montana Department of Insurance also has a website you can check out.
#2. Compare Quotes
MoneyGeek offers sample insurance premiums for drivers in Montana, with the average being offered. But the actual fees you incur may vary. Get estimates from a minimum of three different providers to get a feel for how much auto insurance might cost.
#3. Get the Right Insurance In Montana
There are insurance policies and discounts that are only available to customers in specific states. Spending the time to ensure your preferences are met is time well spent.
#4. Verify the Credit Ratings
The rating of the insurance company’s financial stability serves as a gauge of its dependability. A high financial solvency rating indicates that a corporation is likely to pay out claims made by policyholders.
Many car insurance companies have sizable operations that have only a remote risk of being unable to pay claims if they are filed. However, this must be verified, especially if you are considering a small, regional insurance company. Though they may not always be the best option, they tend to receive lower marks for financial security.
Is Montana a No-Fault State?
No, Montana is not a no-fault state. In states without liability for car accidents, the at-fault party’s insurance covers all damages and costs. However, in Montana, the negligent motorist and their insurance company are responsible for paying for the other party’s damages, including medical bills and vehicle repairs.
Drivers who cause accidents in Montana can be held financially responsible for the expenses of those incidents, and victims can make claims for compensation with the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident.
Is Montana a Stand Your Ground State?
Yes, Montana is a “stand your ground” state. Legal protections for “stand your ground” give people the right to use a weapon in self-defense without having to retreat first, even in a public setting. A person in one of these states is not required to retreat before employing force, even fatal force, to protect himself or others from an attacker.
However, the particular rules and regulations regulating self-defense might differ from state to state; therefore, residents of Montana should be familiar with the laws of their state and consult legal resources if they have doubts about their self-defense rights and obligations.
worth it, as it provides legal compliance, financial security, and peace of mind on the road.
Whether Montana car insurance is worth it depends on individual circumstances and risk tolerance. However, it’s important to consider the following factors:
- Legal Requirement: Car insurance is mandatory in Montana. Driving without insurance can result in fines, license suspensions, and other legal consequences.
- Financial Protection: Car insurance provides financial protection in case of accidents, covering medical expenses, property damage, and legal fees. Without insurance, you would be personally liable for these costs.
- Peace of Mind: Insurance offers peace of mind while driving, knowing you are protected against unexpected events such as accidents, theft, or natural disasters.
- Uninsured Motorists: Montana has a relatively high percentage of uninsured drivers. Having insurance protects you if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- Customizable Coverage: You can tailor your insurance policy to your needs, adding coverages like collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist protection.
Considering these factors, having car insurance in Montana is generally worth it, as it provides legal compliance, financial security, and peace of mind on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Montana?
Drivers in Montana who are found without car insurance coverage face increasing fines for each offense. First-time offenders should expect to pay a fine of between $250 and $500. The fine increases to $350 if you’re caught breaking the law again within five years of your previous conviction.
Do you need vehicle insurance in Montana?
Yes, car insurance is mandatory in the state of Montana. Additionally, if law enforcement officers require proof of coverage, it must be provided.
- HOW DOES CAR INSURANCE WORK: The Complete Guide
- Can You Get Car Insurance Without a License? Explained!
- Property Damage Liability Insurance: Protect Yourself from Financial Loss
- Cheap Small Business Insurance: Best of 2023