Car Insurance in Montana

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Montana is one of the more affordable states to insure a vehicle in the country, with the average monthly bill totaling $94. Still, it never hurts to save, and with some time spent on shopping around, you can insure yourself for a fraction of the average cost.

I spent hours comparing quotes for basic state required coverage from the 10 biggest insurers in the Treasure State to find just how much the average Montanan could save on their auto insurance.

To my surprise, the cost of basic coverage premiums for the state required insurance is pretty far removed from the state average premium, indicating that most insured Montanans go beyond the requirements and pay for additional coverage. In comparing the big names on their basic coverage, I found quite a variation. Namely, State Farm and GEICO virtually tied for most affordable annual premiums, averaging at $565, with Farmers insurance costing the most at $864, a not-so-negligible difference of around $300 annually.

With anything as personalized as insurance quotes, it’s important to keep in mind that you and your neighbor will probably not have the same quote. Every citizen of Montana may find themselves offered a different quote based on a litany of variables, including your age, zip code, and credit score. Basically, the only surefire way to compare rates accurately is to personally check quotes from the competition yourself; a less exciting, but useful way to spend an evening.

In searching for quotes in Montana, I was able to garner all of the necessary quotes using some pretty handy online tools. On average they took around 5 minutes to complete and only caused mild headaches at the worst. I had to make phone calls to a few companies who didn’t make the cut, which is slightly more time consuming, but could still be worth it to save yourself some cash.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Montana

I choose 4 companies as my starting point. Each of them passed The Simple Dollar’s standards for financial reliability and service quality.

To begin with, each has exemplified financial stability through testing done by insurance-watchdog A.M. Best. As someone with experience dealing with an insurance company in the fallout of an accident, caring customer service and a strong financial backing are all that really matters in those situations.

Insurer My quote
GEICO $562
State Farm $569
QBE Farmers Union $722
Farmers $864

Much to my delight, I found that citizens of Montana can insure themselves well below the already low state average for premiums. GEICO and State Farm virtually matched each other in the $500 range, and are both great options for any resident who’s looking to save. QBE Farmers Union is another company you should get quotes from because while they were a bit higher than the first two, they specialize in serving those in rural areas, which is the majority of people in Montana. Farmers’ quote was much too expensive for me, but remember, everyone’s quote experience will be different.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

If you consider yourself a loyal customer of any service, you probably expect to be rewarded in some way. As if you were living in the quintessential dinner-scene from any movie, you might expect a piece of pie “on the house” for being a loyal consumer. Don’t let these fantasies fool you into thinking that a car insurer will act in the same manner.

Loyalty is not the name of the game with your auto insurance. Many companies have begun to use price optimization as a means to pit your loyalty against your wallet. Price optimization uses big data, curated and calculated through complex algorithms, to produce a price elasticity for each customer. This data tells your insurer if you are averse to changing prices or if it flies under your radar. Once they know, they begin raising to increase their profitability but not enough to raise your suspicions.

Your greatest weapon to defend against the profit-maximizing techniques of big insurers is “the quote tool”. The more willing you are to search for the best price available, the better off you will be in the long run. Because even if you don’t find a load of savings just by searching (though I bet you will), you’ll still be showing your current insurer who’s boss and that you are not willing to put up with price hikes for the sake of greater profits.

Montana’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

The state required basic level of coverage required in Montana is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $20,000 for property damage, or a 25/50/10 plan. Unlike many other states, uninsured drivers insurance and medical payments coverage are not required for the state.

If You Skip Coverage, It’ll Cost You

While it might be tempting to stick the bare minimum insurance, I would advise you to explore quotes on more comprehensive coverage. Although saving a few extra bucks a month is awesome, not having to pay out of pocket after an accident is even better. For example, the cost of paying $610 annually with State Farm rather than $569 is a drop in the bucket compared to paying anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 in the event of an accident. The old adage of “better safe than sorry” has never been more true.

If you skip coverage altogether, you’re putting yourself at risk for many strict penalties in the state of Montana. In Big Sky Country, it’s legally a misdemeanor to drive without the state required insurance. According to the Montana DMV, failure to meet the requirements can result in jail time, extreme fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and points on your driving record, all of which will send your future insurance premiums through the roof.

The Best Car Insurance is Not Just Cheap Car Insurance

Speaking from experience, I know both the trials of filing a claim and the importance of paying for adequate coverage. In 2015, I totaled my car and walked away with a couple of scratches, one heck of a story, and fortunately, a feeling of comfort in my coverage.

Unfortunately, it’s likely that you will have to file a claim in your lifetime as well. Statistics show that the common driver averages an accident every 17.9 years. What’s even more frightening is that the average cost of disabling, but nonfatal accident is a stupefying $90,000, not exactly a “pay out of pocket” number.

In most cases, upgrading from a 25/50/25 plan to a 50/100/50 plan isn’t as daunting of a leap as you might expect. For example, my quote for a 25/50/25 plan with State Farm was $569. To up my coverage to 50/100/50 the cost went up to $610, only $41 extra annually, a drop in the bucket compared to shelling out of pocket in the event of an accident. In my mind, it’s worth the peace of mind to have a level of coverage you can trust should the unexpected happen.

While it might be tempting to stick the bare minimum insurance, I would advise you to explore quotes on more comprehensive coverage. Although saving a few extra bucks a month is awesome, not having to pay out of pocket after an accident is even better. For example, the cost of paying $610 annually with State Farm rather than $569 is a drop in the bucket compared to paying anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 in the event of an accident. The old adage of “better safe than sorry” has never been more true.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

There are tons of factors that affect your insurance premiums, for better or worse. Here are nine ways you can take control and shave a few extra dollars off your bill.

How to lower you car insurance rates in montana

FAQs

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Montana $94
Great Falls $99
Missoula $95
Billings $92
Great Falls $99
Source Quadrant

What if I’m not a full-time resident?

For non-residents to purchase insurance in the state of Montana, you must either be a resident of the state or prove that your vehicle is principally parked there. The only other exemption to the rule is anyone with active military status.

The Bottom Line

In my research, I found that with some perseverance and smart shopping, Montanans can insure themselves for well under the state average. I highly encourage you to take the time to shop your area and find the best rates you can, and never skimp on coverage. In the end, a few extra bucks a month will likely be worth your while.

Car Insurance in Montana

  • GEICO
  • State Farm
  • QBE Farmers Union
  • Farmers

Get Quotes Now

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.