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Montana Car Insurance Guide

Key takeaways...
  • Montana is a tort state with mandatory auto insurance liability requirements
  • Adding more coverage than the minimum requirements adds layers of financial protection
  • Performing research into the financial health of an insurance company is a prudent step
  • Review insurance quotes diligently and carefully

Whether purchasing a vehicle for the first time or relocating to a new state, car owners do need to become familiar with Montana auto insurance laws and requirements.

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Montana is not as lenient as other states regarding violations of auto insurance requirements. Regardless of what the law states, a wise person purchases the best possible insurance policy in order to effectively protect assets from liabilities.

Car accidents bring forth many expenses. The right insurance policy protects drivers and accident victims alike. This is one motivating reason why Montana mandates a minimum level of insurance.

Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Montana

Again, Montana puts the onus on carrying insurance on drivers. The minimum requirements for auto insurance are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury/death of one person
  • $50,000 bodily injury/death of two or more persons
  • $20,000 injury to or destruction of property of another party

The numbers are decent for minor accidents, but would not deliver anywhere near enough coverage for a major accident or incident.

Drivers should seriously look at their personal assets to determine whether enough auto insurance is in place. Being underinsured opens the door for being forced to pay for any judgments beyond what an insurance policy covers. That ultimate figure could end up being enormous.

– New Drivers in Montana

Adults need to be aware of this fact as well as other state laws when allowing a younger person access to a vehicle.

The statutes for first-time drivers in Montana present rules regarding permits and first-year restricted licenses. Often, persons receiving a first driver’s license are under the age of 18.

Adults who place young adults on a policy definitely should think about increasing the amount of coverage on the policy. Younger drivers lack the experience to drive as safely as an older person so putting a solid amount of insurance in place adds a financial safety net.

– Drivers who Move to Montana

Adults looking for a new license issued by Montana should become mindful of laws and rules, too.

New residents arriving in Montana should avoid making any assumptions about how the law works. Doing so cuts down on the chances of inadvertently violating the law. And a violation of the law, inadvertent or not, often comes with sanctions.

Non-commercial drivers are required to get their license within 60 days of moving. Commercial drivers must procure a license within 30 days.

The state DMV is not going to hand over a new driver’s license on word alone, either. Specific documents to prove residency and identification are required. None of these documents are difficult to procure.

Additional Coverages and Expanded Car Insurance Options


Purchasing only the minimum amount of car insurance comes with a risk. Even increasing liability coverage and purchasing no add-ons is risky.

Not carrying car insurance can be a misdemeanor in the state of Montana. In truth, however, 100% compliance with the law is a fantasy.

Uninsured residents and visitors do travel through the state. What happens when someone hits a vehicle and has no insurance? Filing suit is an option, but are there any assets to recover?

Had the injured party carried uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, a claim could be filed with the party’s insurance company.

The topic of being underinsured is something a driver really must think about. Someone carrying only $25,000 in coverage might one day be responsible for $75,000. Let this example serve as a warning to those carrying too little insurance.

A lawsuit may eventually lead to personal assets being claimed by an injured party via a civil judgment. In addition to carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist protections, comprehensive insurance is well worth considering.

Comprehensive insurance entails paying for vehicle damages that are not accident-related. Theft or natural disasters are two examples of comprehensive coverage. When looking over insurance quotes, consider it advisable to examine all the covered perils categorized under comprehensive coverage.

Collision insurance is the other side of liability insurance. Liability covers losses inflicted on someone else’s property or person. Collision insurance covers losses a driver inflicts on his/her own car due to personal negligence.

Making a sharp turn and hitting the mailbox on the way out the driveway could mean hundreds of dollars in repairs. Smashing into another car might mean thousands of dollars of repairs. Collision might help these scenarios.

Procuring additional liability coverage along with other insurance options probably won’t even be too costly. Through diligent comparison shopping, locating awesome prices on significant insurance is possible.

Most importantly, going beyond the state minimum amounts adds a significant layer of protection. One bad day and a single lapse in judgment may lead to serious civil jeopardy. Losing everyone one owns due to a lack of necessary insurance coverage looks awful in hindsight.

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Shopping for an Insurance Policy in Montana

Be prepared to put a little effort into purchasing a desirable auto insurance policy.

Not every customer chooses to put forth this vital effort. Purchasing insurance becomes almost an afterthought for them. Don’t make this mistake. Be sure to acquire a decent number of quotes and review every line of each quote carefully.

A basic policy dealing strictly with liability is going to be less expensive, but this is due to the policy presenting less coverage.

When requesting quotes, look over the various sliding scale of costs that exist as coverage delineations are added or removed. Doing so may reveal a more comprehensive policy is well worth purchasing.

An insurance score, however, is going to play a role in the price of a premium. What is this score? An insurance score is similar to a credit score in the sense both look at numerous past performance factors to assess risk.

The tabulation of an insurance score looks at credit history, criminal background, previous insurance claims, and other factors. Some will find their credit score is a net positive and others notice it works to their detriment.

Regardless, with the right comparison shopping, getting a good deal on an insurance policy is possible.

Additionally, certain marks on an insurance score do cease to create an impact over time. Poor marks on credit scores of histories of previous claims fall off after a certain number of years.

An auto insurance policy should not be purchased merely to satisfy legal requirements. The policy is put in place to protect oneself from financial calamities. Once this is accepted, a decision to carefully look over a policy is sure to be made.

Shopping for an Insurance Company in Montana


The policy is only as good as the insurance company backing the contract. Even the most well-run and longstanding insurance companies run the risk of financial troubles. For this reason, looking closely at the financial health of insurance providers is advisable.

Reviewing ratings is absolutely important this includes both financial and consumer ratings:

Financial Ratings

Company Consumer Ratings

Reports that an insurance company denies an excessive number of claims or does not make fair or reasonable settlements on claims should be red flags.

Closer research showing the investments the insurance company has made are performing poorly shouldn’t be ignored either. The amassing of debt or not paying promised dividends are among other warning signs.

All this seems like a lot of work. Some wonder if seeking assistance from insurance agent is necessary to find the best and safest policy. The answer is dependent on the needs and comfort level of the customer. Procuring online quotes might make working with an insurance agent unnecessary.

The Best Discounts You Can Get

One way to acquire cost savings on an insurance policy is to look for and take advantage of generous insurance discounts.

Good driver discounts reward those safe drivers who do not get traffic citations or otherwise violate the law.

Those who enroll in defensive driving classes may find even more discounts available to them. Good students are often rewarded because they show commitment and responsibility, two traits insurance companies tend to value.

Scores of other discounts are available. Anyone interested in buying an auto insurance policy will benefit from looking closely at all the particular discounts available with different insurers.

What Car Insurance Companies Look For


Certain basic factors are examined by insurance companies including:

  • Resident zip code
  • The make and model of the vehicle
  • Driver’s history related to citations and violations

These factors create a clear profile of the insured driver. What do the insurance companies want in a driver? Likely, they want a driver who is safe, careful, low-risk, and not likely to file a claim.

Your best bet in finding affordable car insurance coverage that meets your needs is to compare rates from multiple companies. That way, you’ll be able to compare prices and coverage options to find the perfect fit.

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