Montana Car Insurance Laws

Auto insurance requirements in Montana

The state of Montana requires that all drivers carry car insurance. Furthermore, proof of coverage must be shown to law enforcement officials when requested. Read on to find out more about Montana’s minimum car insurance requirements as well as optional coverages that can add more protection.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/20
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident

You may need to carry additional coverage — such as full coverage — if you are leasing or financing your vehicle. 

 

Liability coverage in Montana

Liability coverage is the only insurance coverage legally required in Montana. Liability pays for injuries and property damage that you cause to another driver or their passengers in an “at fault” accident. Liability can also go towards paying for the injured party’s pain and suffering and lost wages as well. Bear in mind that this coverage never pays for your injuries or damages to your vehicle. 

 

What are state-mandated car insurance limits?

Limits are the maximum amount that an insurer will pay in the event of a claim. States are responsible for setting their own minimum limits, which all drivers must carry. It's a good idea to increase your liability limits to ensure you are properly covered. 

Liability limits in Montana are often written as three individual numbers: 25/50/20. These numbers represent the following coverages: bodily injury per personbodily injury per accident, and property damage. These coverages are broken down further below.

  • $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum that your insurance company will pay for the injuries you cause to a single person in a car accident.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount that will be paid out for all injuries that you cause in an auto accident.
  • $20,000 in property damage per accident is the total dollar amount your insurer will pay for damaged property caused by an accident in which you are at-fault.

 

Do Montana’s required minimums provide enough coverage?

Montana’s liability limits are in the same ballpark as those of most other states. However, this doesn’t mean that they provide enough coverage. The bodily injury limits can be exhausted quite quickly if you cause even moderate injuries. Similarly, the $20,000 in property damage doesn’t even cover the full cost of a new vehicle in most cases. 

Remember that Montana doesn’t require coverage for your own vehicle. You would need to add physical damage coverage to properly protect your property. While everyone’s coverage needs are different, increasing your liability limits to the highest level you can reasonably afford is highly encouraged.

 

Montana’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance

Driving without insurance in Montana is illegal. If you are caught without proof of insurance in Montana, you are guilty of a misdemeanor and can expect the following penalties to apply:

First offense
Second offenseThird or subsequent offense
  • A fine between $250 and $500
  • Up to 10 days in jail
  • A minimum fine of $350
  • 10 days in jail
  • Drivers license revoked for 90 days
  • The addition of 5 points to your driving record* 
  • A fine of $500
  • Imprisonment for not more than six months

*Accumulation of 30 points will result in the revocation of your driver's license.

 

Optional car insurance coverage in Montana

Adding car insurance coverage in Montana is a good idea if you want to protect yourself from risk. Here are a number of the more popular coverage options available from most insurance companies.

  • Comprehensive: A form of physical damage coverage, comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from non-collision perils such as theft and weather-related damages. It should be noted, however, that damages from hitting an animal are covered under comprehensive coverage. 
  • Collision: Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle that happen as a result of colliding with another vehicle or fixed object. 
  • Medical payments: This coverage pays for injuries sustained by you and those in your vehicle at the time of an accident. It is available regardless of fault.
  • Rental car reimbursement: If your vehicle is unable to be driven due to a covered loss, this coverage goes toward paying for the cost of a rental until yours can be fixed.
  • Roadside assistance: This coverage helps you get back on the road, covering expenses such as flat tires, dead batteries, and towing.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury: If you are in a collision with a driver who isn't carrying sufficient insurance coverage, this coverage goes toward your medical expenses. 

 

Why adhering to Montana’s car insurance requirements is important

Maintaining car insurance coverage in Montana is a good idea — and it's the law. Mandatory insurance coverage is in place to protect you and others on the roads. Adding more coverage is a great way to decrease your exposure to risk and to protect yourself and your assets. If you are concerned about the added cost of such coverages, The Zebra can help by giving you the chance to compare insurance quotes from top insurance companies side by side. Input your ZIP code below to get started. 

 

Ready to start saving?

or
Location pin icon
glyph-shield-checkmarkNo junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.
Ross Martin LinkedIn

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross is responsible for researching and writing about all matters related to auto and home insurance. He has a background in writing and education, as well as a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been quoted by CNET, iDriveSafely.com, and Kin Insurance.