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Here's what you need to know when driving in Montana

Across the Treasure State, there are 151,209 miles of road just waiting to be driven. The average car insurance rate in Montana is $1,534 per year — a mere $5 more than the U.S. average. Car insurance rates are impacted by more than just your location. Auto insurance rates comprise many factors, including a driver's age and driving history. The Zebra's experts analyzed average Montana car insurance rates for these rating factors in an effort to help you find an affordable policy.

Read on to learn how much auto insurance costs in Montana based on these variables, or submit your ZIP code above to receive personalized quotes from top insurers.

The best car insurance companies in Montana

Based on data from J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Satisfaction Study and The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, we have compiled a list of the best car insurance companies in Montana.

1st place medal
USAA

Along with topping The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey, USAA received a score of 884 (out of 1,000) in J.D. Powers' 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Northwest region.

2nd place medal
State Farm

As a highly-rated regional carrier, State Farm scored an 844 on J.D. Power's 2021 auto study and placed third in The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey with 4.4 stars out of 5. 

3rd place medal
PEMCO

Farmers Insurance placed third in this region with a score of 835 in J.D. Power's 2021 Auto Insurance Study.

Key takeaways
  • Montana drivers only pay about $5 more for car insurance than the national average
  • The cheapest major car insurance company is USAA at $1,025 per year

The cheapest car insurance companies in Montana

These companies offer the cheapest rates in the following scenarios.

usaa
Cheapest full coverage insurance: USAA

The cheapest rates are from USAA at $1,025 annually, or $85 per month.

usaa
Cheapest for teens: USAA

For teens in Montana, USAA is the cheapest on average, followed closely by General Casualty.

Progressive
Cheapest for DUI: Progressive

If you have a DUI on your record, check out Progressive for the cheapest average rates.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,025
Progressive $1,280
State Farm $1,335
General Casualty $1,430
GEICO $1,908
Farmers $2,099
Allstate $2,690
Updated: 11/29/22.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


Montana auto insurance laws

Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state, including Montana. If you choose the legal minimum coverage level in Montana, expect to pay an average of $399 annually. This expenditure is less expensive than the nationwide average by 26%. However, it's worth noting that minimum liability insurance leaves you and your vehicle exposed to risk.

For the legal minimum coverage level in Montana, expect to pay about $399 per year.

State minimum coverage

In order to drive legally in the state of Montana, you must carry at least the minimum liability limits listed below:

  • Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $20,000 per accident

Optional coverage in Montana (varies by carrier):

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Medical Payments
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Additional Liability
car with blue windshield

If you opt for better coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision, which will protect against the costs of car accidents, theft, vandalism, or weather incidents. But better coverage comes with a cost: in Montana, a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,254, 214% more than liability-only car insurance. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay around $1,604.

In Montana, a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,254, 214% more than liability-only car insurance.

The Zebra's guide to Montana car insurance laws


Learn more about car insurance requirements in the state of Montana with our helpful guide.


Compare car insurance rates from the best companies in Montana.

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Montana car insurance premiums by rating factor

Your rates are determined by a number of individual factors, including your coverage level, driving history, location, and more. Explore average premium costs by rating factor below to get a better sense of how much you should be paying for auto insurance in Montana.

Cheap auto insurance in Montana for minimum coverage

Getting the bare minimum coverage is certain to make your car insurance costs lower, with average yearly costs coming in at just $399. However, remember that forgoing higher levels of coverage also means going without the protection it provides. Most insurance professionals recommend adding higher coverage levels to keep yourself fully protected. Have a look at the tables below to get an idea of the costs for minimum coverage. 

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $197
General Casualty $218
Progressive $229
State Farm $285
GEICO $334
Farmers $534
Allstate $546
Updated: 11/29/22.

Cheap auto insurance in Montana with bad credit

Your credit history is an important factor in determining your car insurance rates. Many carriers see those with a poor credit score as being higher risk, meaning you could pay more for your policy. On average, Montana drivers with exceptional credit pay 47% less per year than those with poor credit. Have a look at some common rates by credit tier below.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $2,005
Progressive $2,131
General Casualty $2,169
GEICO $2,640
State Farm $2,773
Farmers $3,224
Allstate $4,085
Updated: 11/29/22.

Cheap auto insurance in Montana with an at-fault accident

Your driving history plays a big part in how much you pay. Insurance companies look for previous accidents for which you have been at fault to gauge the level of risk you pose as a customer. An at-fault accident in recent years could see your car insurance rates increase by as much as 35%.

Safe driver discounts

In addition to having a cheaper premium, some companies offer a safe driving discount. While the amount varies based on your company, it can range between 5 and 10%.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,349
State Farm $1,633
General Casualty $1,977
Progressive $2,010
GEICO $2,533
Farmers $2,942
Allstate $3,330
Updated: 11/29/22.

Cheap auto insurance for young drivers in Montana

Young drivers — aged between 16 and 25 — pay very high car insurance rates, with those aged 16 to 19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teen drivers pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In Montana, teen drivers pay especially high rates: $4,476 per year — a nearly 192% increase over what the typical Montana driver pays.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $3,048
General Casualty $3,134
State Farm $3,867
Progressive $3,954
GEICO $4,637
Farmers $6,735
Allstate $7,944
Updated: 11/29/22.

Montana auto insurance rate by violation

In Montana, a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket. If you receive a ticket or citation, your auto insurance premiums will probably rise. By how much depends on the violation, your insurer's pricing standards, and differing local insurance regulations and risks. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.

Below you can see the average auto insurance rates in Montana after a few common citations.

Accident/Violation Avg. Annual Premium % Rate Increase $ Rate Increase
None $1,798 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $1,798 0% $0
Two Med/PIP claims $1,847 3% $49
One comp claim $1,847 3% $49
Not-at-fault accident $1,852 3% $55
Two comp claims $1,889 5% $91
Failure to wear a seat belt $2,005 12% $208
Driving without lights $2,010 12% $212
Child safety restraint $2,010 12% $212
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $2,019 12% $221
Failure to show documents $2,078 16% $280
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $2,115 18% $317
Texting while driving $2,136 19% $339
Cell phone violation $2,136 19% $339
Driving with expired registration $2,141 19% $344
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $2,147 19% $350
Improper passing $2,156 20% $359
Following too closely $2,156 20% $359
Failure to stop at a red light $2,156 20% $359
Failure to yield $2,156 20% $359
Illegal turn $2,157 20% $360
Driving too slowly $2,158 20% $360
Wrong way/wrong lane $2,199 22% $401
Passing school bus $2,255 25% $458
At-fault accident - less than $1000 $2,295 28% $498
Speeding in school zone $2,300 28% $502
In 65 MPH zone $2,323 29% $526
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $2,323 29% $526
Operating a vehicle without permission $2,333 30% $536
At-fault accident - $1000-$2000 $2,439 36% $641
Open container $2,448 36% $650
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $2,462 37% $665
Driving with a suspended license $2,697 50% $899
Reckless driving $2,697 50% $899
Refusal to submit to a chemical test $2,754 53% $957
DUI $2,874 60% $1,077
Racing $2,978 66% $1,181
Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run $3,007 67% $1,209
Updated: 11/29/22.

Montana DUI laws

In Montana, a DUI offense can increase your annual car insurance premium by an average of 60%. Finding affordable auto insurance in the wake of a DUI violation isn’t simple. In fact, a DUI often brings about a bigger premium increase than any single road violation — more than an at-fault accident, racing, or reckless driving.

 
Low-cost car insurance after a DUI in Montana

If you're convicted of a DUI or DWI violation in Montana, it’s key to mull over each of your insurance choices carefully. Auto insurance premiums following a DUI can vary substantially by insurer. For example, the least expensive car insurance company with a DUI in Montana, Progressive advertises annual rates 49% less than the statewide average insurance rate with a DUI. The second-cheapest insurer for auto insurance after a DUI in Montana is State Farm, while the priciest firm is GEICO, with prices 18% above average.

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Progressive $1,478
State Farm $1,816
USAA $2,081
General Casualty $2,637
Farmers $2,827
Allstate $3,285
GEICO $3,392
Updated: 11/29/22.

There is no car insurer in particular that offers cheap DUI car insurance. The recommended way to save in the wake of a DUI citation is to shop around.

Montana SR-22 insurance

An SR-22 is a routine legal requirement triggered by a violation such as a DUI conviction, a ticket for driving without insurance, an at-fault collision, driving with a suspended license, or accumulating too many points on your license. It is not a type of insurance policy, but a form issued by your insurance company with the state of Montana to ensure that you remain insured.

Finding cheap auto insurance with an SR-22 in Montana might require some research, but it could pay off in the end.

 

How to acquire an SR-22 in Montana

For currently insured drivers

If you already have auto insurance, getting an SR-22 certificate is straightforward. Contact your car insurance company ask the company to file an SR-22 request for you. If your insurer isn’t willing to file a request, you'll need to look for a new insurer.

 

For uninsured drivers

When filing for a new policy, you might be saddled with an up-front fee to have your prospective insurer file an SR-22 request for you and to cover your high-risk driving profile. Needing an SR-22 might disqualify you from purchasing insurance from some companies, while others would be happy to sell you a policy.

 

For drivers without a vehicle

Not owning a vehicle makes it more difficult to obtain an SR-22, as you will need to furnish proof of insurance to receive the certificate. In this scenario, purchase a non-owners car insurance policy before filing an SR-22 request. Non-owners auto insurance is typically less expensive than traditional coverage since it doesn't protect against material damage to your vehicle.

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Rates by city

Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, the location of the vehicle being an important one. Among Montana's largest cities, the cheapest car insurance is found in Missoula, Montana, and the most expensive in Billings, Montana.

Have a look at the table below to see average car insurance costs in some of Montana's biggest cities.

City Avg. Annual Premium
Missoula $1,524
Helena $1,543
Great Falls $1,665
Bozeman $1,666
Billings $1,737
Updated: 11/29/22.

Car insurance price trends in Montana

In Montana, average annual auto insurance costs decreased by $15 in the past year. A typical Montana driver pays an average of $1,534 per year.

The recent pricing trend in Montana leans toward slightly pricier car insurance costs and remains higher than the national average. The steepest decrease occurred from 2017 to 2018, while the highest surge took place from 2016 to 2017. At the same time, car insurance rates across the United States have stayed relatively steady in the past few years, moving from $1,521 in 2018 to $1,529 in 2021.

MONTANA CAR INSURANCE RATE TRENDS
Year Avg. Annual Premium — Montana Yearly Change — Montana Avg. Annual Premium — US Yearly Change — US
2021 $1,534 -$15 $1,529 $46
2020 $1,549 $14 $1,483 $61
2019 $1,535 $90 $1,544 $23
2018 $1,445 -$351 $1,521 $84
2017 $1,796 $234 $1,437 $69
2016 $1,562 -$323 $1,368 $88
2015 $1,885 $216 $1,280 $51
2014 $1,669 $155 $1,229 $34
2013 $1,514 -$63 $1,195 -$80
2012 $1,577 $323 $1,276 $82

If your rates are rising faster than the average in your state, compare quotes and find a better deal. The Zebra's car insurance comparison engine furnishes quotes based on your specific profile — enter your ZIP below to get started.


Montana car insurance FAQs

Below you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Montana auto insurance.

How much is car insurance in Montana? Chevron down icon

Car insurance in Montana is similar to the national average, at $767 for a six-month policy (or $127 per month).

Who actually has the cheapest car insurance in Montana? Chevron down icon

Progressive and USAA offer the cheapest rates in Montana. Drivers with typical driving histories can find six-month premiums for $640 from Progressive or $512 from USAA.

What vehicle insurance is mandatory in Montana? Chevron down icon

Liability insurance is mandatory in Montana. This includes bodily injury and property damage.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

I cut down a big tree and it fell on my truck. Will insurance cover that?

Your insurance should cover the damages minus your deductible. In this case, you would file a comprehensive claim for the damage.
Nov 26, 2019 Missoula, MT

Can I drive a truck I'm buying across state lines, without plates, to get it home?

I would call up your local DMV or appropriate state department and ask them what to do. Most states allow you to pay a small fee and show an out of state status and they will issue you a temporary paper plate for the vehicle to be relocated.
Aug 29, 2019 Pennington, NJ

How do I prove I am staying in the same address I reported to my car insurance company?

It depends on the insurance company, but most will accept proof in the form of a utility bill or something similar to prove where you live. I recommend calling your insurance company to find out what documentation they will require to prove your residency and reinstate your policy.
Jul 4, 2019 Los Banos, CA

It is illegal to pay for someone else's car insurance

While it is not illegal to pay for someone else's policy, you might run into issues if she's on your policy as well. Car insurance is regulated at the state level and priced at the zip code level.
Jun 24, 2018 Pinellas, FL

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.