As we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, state insurance commissions and insurance providers are constantly changing regulations and practices surrounding monthly payments, claim payouts, and more. To stay up to date with the latest on auto insurance reimbursements in your area, be sure to check with your state’s insurance commission and your current auto insurance provider.

If your driving habits have changed due to COVID-19, find a new, cheaper, ready-to-buy auto insurance policy on Insurify by comparing dozens of quotes at once.

Does living in the Treasure State mean car insurance costs a fortune?

Montana is one of those states well-known for beauty—Glacier National Park, alpine roads, rolling foothills and bluffs. Less well known is the excellent infrastructure, top-rated colleges, low taxes, low cost of living, and little traffic. No wonder places like Bozeman regularly make “Best Places to Live for…” lists. Yet the fourth largest state in the country has just over one million residents.

When you’re lucky enough to have a 406 area code, saving on insurance premiums may not be the first thing on your mind, but it shouldn’t be the last. Read on to discover ways to save big in Big Sky country

And don’t forget to compare your options with Insurify! Get 6+ real quotes in just a few minutes. Easily adjust coverage options to see the full range of pricing available. Plus, you can save your profile for future savings! 

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Montana

Here are the cheapest insurance companies in Montana for the following user profile: a single, 30-year-old male with a clean driving record who drives a 2012 Honda Accord and pays a $1,000 deductible for the state’s minimum liability insurance. We averaged rates for the twenty most populous cities in Montana.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
State Farm$28/month
Progressive$53/month
Allstate$61/month
Travelers$67/month
American Family$129/month

Best Car Insurance Quotes in Montana

The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that indicate the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. The following are the top-rated companies that offer car insurance in Montana. For the complete list, see Insurify’s best car insurance companies.

CompaniesScoreQuotes
American Family88$129/month
Allstate86$61/month
State Farm83$28/month
Travelers81$67/month
Progressive78$53/month

Most Popular Car Insurance Companies in Montana

What makes a company popular? Market share. We used data collected by the Insurance Information Institute (III) to discover which companies write the most policies in the Montana insurance market. The companies that wrote the most policies are deemed most popular.

According to the III, these are the most popular car insurance companies in Montana by market share:

  1. State Farm
  2. Progressive
  3. Liberty Mutual
  4. Farmers
  5. USAA

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Montana by City

Knowing the average cost of car insurance is useful, but knowing the cheapest cost of car insurance lets you know what kind of savings are possible. That’s why we compiled the cheapest car insurance quotes for the five most populous cities in Montana.

Bear in mind: location has a big impact on your premium’s bottom line. Local statistics affect how your insurance company calculates risk, including 

  • Population density
  • Weather patterns
  • Crime rates
  • Claim rates
  • Road conditions

Knowing how costs differ from place to place can help you be more strategic if you’re thinking of relocating. 

CityInsurance CompanyQuotes
BillingsState Farm$46/month
MissoulaState Farm$43/month
Great FallsState Farm$50/month
BozemanState Farm$36/month
ButteState Farm$44/month

Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Montana by Profile

Here are the cheapest insurance companies in Montana based on averaged sample rates for four driver profiles that included varied gender, age, driving history, credit, marital status, prior insurance, higher education, employment, and military service

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Montana Drivers with a DUI

The cheapest car insurance rates we found for Montana drivers with a DUI are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
State Farm$28/month
USAA$34/month
Progressive $48/month

Few driving offenses will cost you more than a DUI. After years of relatively lax rules for driving under the influence of alcohol, Montana legislators tightened laws to some of the toughest in the country. Penalties for a first-offense DUI include:

  • Fines of $300 to $1,000
  • 24 hours to six months in jail
  • Suspended driver’s license of at least six months
  • Addiction treatment education
  • Possible ignition interlock device requirements
  • 10 points on license
  • SR-22 requirements 

Montana law allows a 10-year “look back” period, meaning insurance companies can use a DUI on your record to increase your premiums for up to 10 years! So how do you save money when you’re dealing with high-risk premiums? 

There are several strategies you can use, and it’s best to use everything you can to lower costs. These include:

  • Exhaust all available discount programs
  • Downsize to a vehicle that costs less to insure
  • Drop collision and comprehensive coverage

Bear in mind that collision or comprehensive coverage may be required if your vehicle is financed. Trading your car in for one you own outright may be your key to affordability. Get creative and don’t forget to comparison shop often. You never know when a company may change its risk-assessment calculations and offer you a lower rate. 

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Montana Drivers with Speeding Tickets

The cheapest car insurance rates we found for Montana drivers with speeding tickets are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
USAA$21/month
State Farm$28/month
GEICO$43/month

A speeding ticket may not seem like much, but over time the costs can add up. This is especially true for drivers with multiple tickets. The best way to ensure savings after a ticket is to slow down. Keeping a clean driving record is key to lowering costs. 

Some tips for getting cheap insurance as a driver with speeding tickets—some of which can also help drivers keep a clean driving record—include:

  • Telematics programs that monitor driving and incentivize good driving habits
  • Defensive driving course approved by your insurance company
  • Safety feature discounts
  • Payment discounts for pay-in-full, automatic payments, and electronic billing

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Montana Drivers with an At-Fault Accident

The cheapest car insurance rates we found for Montana drivers with an at-fault accident are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
USAA$22/month
State Farm$31/month
National Farmers$43/month

At-fault accidents are one of the most common ways drivers get a premium increase, so if you find yourself in this predicament know that you’re not alone. And while the increases will likely be significant, there are still many ways to save after an at-fault accident. If you can’t find enough discounts to make prices reasonably, dropping collision and comprehensive coverage or downsizing your vehicle can be great options. 

Comparison shopping will be your best friend as different companies not only assess risk differently but also having differing look-back periods regarding accidents. For example, one company may want to know if you’ve had an accident within the last five years, while another only looks back only three years. 

Cheap Car Insurance for Young Montana Drivers

The cheapest car insurance rates we found for young Montana drivers are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
USAA$16/month
State Farm$24/month
National Farmers$28/month

Among the list of driving profiles that have a hard time finding cheap rates, young drivers are the only ones who are penalized without an inciting incident—no driving infractions, no accidents, nothing. Young drivers are penalized simply because, statistically speaking, they’re likely to be the worst drivers out there. 

We know it’s not fair, and you may be a much better driver than your boomer neighbor, but take heart: we’ve all been there. Most of us before a tool like Insurify came along to make things easier, so count your lucky stars. 

And count your discounts! You’re likely eligible for quite a few in addition to other cost-saving strategies:

  • Good student discounts 
  • Payment-based discounts like pay-in-full, automatic payments, and paperless
  • Build and maintain good credit
  • Complete a defensive driving course approved by your insurer

Montana State Insurance Laws

State Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Montana

Understanding Montana car insurance requirements is the first step to getting low-cost car insurance. Every state has at least slightly different rules and regulations when it comes to car insurance, so it’s important to know the difference between required, recommended, and optional coverage limits.

According to the Montana Department of Justice, Montana auto insurance requirements include:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person 
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability in total per accident
  • $20,000 property damage liability

In addition to these minimum coverage levels, drivers must be offered underinsured/uninsured motorist protection in the minimums of $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury coverage. While not required to carry underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, Montana drivers must reject these riders in writing if they want to remove it from their policy.

Do I need Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection in Montana?

Short answer: yes—if you want to protect yourself from life-altering and possibly financially-ruining hardship. Nearly 10 percent of drivers in Montana are driving without insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). When you get hit by a driver without insurance or enough to cover your losses, you are left scrambling. Yes, the driver is technically liable for making you whole, but you’ll have to go through the court system to be awarded damages. 

And even though your insurance company may help you with this process, and even when the courts rule in your favor, you may never see that money. Why? The person who hit you may never have the means of paying for those damages and can easily go bankrupt trying to pay. 

Now, you can’t really protect this other driver from going bankrupt, but you can protect yourself. The way to do so is by adding uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to your insurance plan. Be sure to consider how much protection you need as people you often have passengers will likely need higher limits. 

What is the Montana Insurance Verification System (MTIVS) and How Does it Work?

The law makes it pretty simple in Montana: if a car is registered, minimum insurance must be purchased for the vehicle. Since 2013, the Motor Vehicle Division in Montana has been using registration records to verify they are carrying minimum car insurance requirements. If the MTIVS cannot verify that a vehicle has minimum insurance, it will send a letter to the owner of the vehicle asking for verification. 

After receiving a letter, the driver can go online to submit proof of insurance. Drivers who fail to do so for any reason will be cited for driving without insurance and face charges and fines. 

What’s the penalty for driving without insurance in Montana?

The fines and penalties for not having insurance in Montana are fairly severe as the state has made great strides in the last decade to get more people insured. First-time offenders face a misdemeanor charge in addition to a $250-$500 fine and/or up to 10 days in jail.

Repeat offenders face higher fines and possible longer imprisonment plus

  • $350 to $500 in fines
  • Up to 10 days in jail
  • Drivers license revoked for 90 to180 days
  • Up to 35 points added to the driver’s license
  • SR-22 maintenance for three years

So, for drivers who feel they can’t afford insurance, driving without it can cost a whole lot more. And the costs last as lapses in coverage increase premium costs for years. 

Can I use Electronic Proof of Insurance in Montana?

e-Cards or electronic proof of insurance cards are allowed in Montana. This means that drivers can use their cell phones or other electronic devices to prove they have minimum insurance in the state. However, drivers beware.

If for any reason you can’t provide proof of insurance (for example, if your phone breaks, runs out of battery or was stolen), you’ll still be on the hook for providing proof. Failure to provide proof, even when you meet legal requirements, means you’ll be at the mercy of the court system when it comes to fines and penalties. 

Is Montana a No-Fault State or a Tort State?

Montana is a tort state, which means that a driver found to be at fault in an accident is responsible for covering the damages caused by the accident, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

These damages can easily exceed minimum insurance requirements, so be sure to choose your coverage limits wisely. Increasing your coverage is generally a good idea. If you’re having trouble affording higher liability limits, it is generally a better idea to forgo other protections like comprehensive or collision coverage (but not uninsured/underinsured protection) in exchange for higher liability limits rather than carrying lower liability limits. 

What are the rules regarding drug-impaired driving in Montana?

As marijuana is legal for medical use in Montana, the state legislature has passed laws to govern its legal limits for drivers. Impaired driving for a DUI requires a THC level of 5 nanograms. For other drugs, there are zero-tolerance limits.

What weather conditions are common in Montana?

If you’re headed to Montana, get ready for some snow—especially if you live in the Rockies. Heavy salting is not a state-wide issue for ecological reasons, but that can mean more snow on the roads. Snow tires and chains (cords for smaller vehicles) may be necessary depending on where you like. It may sound like a pain, but it’s a small price to live in a majestic landscape. 

In the spring, that snow melts and leads to annual flooding, which can lead to detours. Summer storms are common but typically less intense than in the Midwestern or Southeastern portions of the country. Still, hail storms aren’t unheard of. 

In the eastern part of the state, heavy winds are not uncommon. All over, the state has unpredictable conditions, mild summers, and well-below-freezing winter nights. If you’ve been thinking of installing a remote starter: now is the time. 

Which companies offer SR-22 Insurance in Montana

An SR-22 is a document filed by your insurance company on your behalf to provide proof of insurance with the department of motor vehicles. Some drivers are required to have an SR-22 on file for a certain period of time, which means they need to get insurance through a company willing to provide an SR-22.

Companies that will file an SR-22 on your behalf include Dairyland, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, The General, National General, Hallmark, Progressive, Safeco, Victoria, and Bristol West.

What are the Child Passenger Laws in Montana?

Children under the age of six and under 60 pounds must use a child safety restraint, whether that be a 

  • Rear-facing car seat
  • Front-facing car seat
  • Booster seat

Montana law advises that the car seat must be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight. You can easily access these limits by looking at the car seat recommendations and following them. Using proper child safety restraints not only follows the law but also keeps your child safer in the event of a car accident

The cost of violating child passenger laws in Montana is a fine up to $100.

What is the Penalty for Driving without a Seatbelt in Montana?

Drivers and all passengers must wear seat belts in Montana. Driving without a seatbelt is a secondary offense, meaning a driver must be cited for something else first, like speeding or a missing tail light, before receiving a seatbelt ticket. The cost of the ticket is $20 for a first offense.

Montana Auto Insurance FAQs 

Is car insurance required in Montana?

Technically speaking, drivers in Montana just need to show “financial responsibility” in order to operate their vehicles lawfully. Financial responsibility just means drivers have the means to pay for any hypothetical damages they cause. However, most people don’t have enough cash on hand to prove financial responsibility, and for these drivers insurance is the only legal way to meet state requirements.  Even if drivers have the means, it’s still a good idea to carry insurance because in a tort state there are few limits on litigation. In other words, without insurance to back you up, you may be sued for everything you’ve got. 

How do I get cheap car insurance in Montana?

The cheapest auto insurance in Montana will vary from driver to driver. Even drivers with the same car and in the same neighborhood can have differing driving records, discount opportunities, and credit scores. All of these affect the cost of premiums.  The best thing to do is shop around. When you know the range of prices available to you, you will be better equipped to make your decision. To begin, make a list of coverages you need. Add to that list the conveniences you’d like to have like an in-person agent or easy-to-use app. Knowing your preferences will make it easier to choose your company when prices are similar between your options. While it may seem like a lot of work, with a tool like Insurify you can compare 6 or more real quotes in just minutes, and you can adjust coverage limits and other options to get an even more detailed picture of what’s out there. Don’t forget to set alerts for price drops!

Who has the best car insurance in Montana?

The best car insurance is going to depend on the needs and preferences of the driver(s) on the policy. The aforementioned list of preferences can make the same company ideal for one driver and a deal-breaker for another. For example, a driver who wants an in-person agent may pay a little more to have one.  To get the best car insurance in Montana make a list of your preferences and prioritize them. This will make it so much easier to find the right company for you and the best deal. 

Montana DMV Information

When you move to Montana, you’ll have 60 days to transfer your registration and your driver’s license. You do have to show up in person to the DMV with your required documents, but as of this time, there is no safety check or emissions requirements. Required documents include:

  • Proof of residency like a rental agreement, insurance policy, or school records
  • Proof of identity like an out-of-state license, passport, birth certificate
  • Proof of authorized presence like a passport or birth certificate

Once you’ve transferred your residency, you’ll be able to use online services for many of your DMV errands. You can:

  • Schedule appointments
  • Access forms and applications
  • Renew driver’s license
  • Review driving record and license status
  • Renew registration
  • Lookup vehicle records

Conclusion

Saving big in the Big Sky State is within your grasp.

Whether you have a fleet of vehicles or just one, whether you live in the mountains or the plains, whether you’re a high-risk driver or have a spotless record: saving on car insurance is possible. Using the strategies and information above will help you get your bearings. 

Comparison shopping for car insurance quotes with Insurify will guarantee you get the best rate for the coverage you need.

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Updated May 6, 2020

J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.