The Ultimate Montana Car Insurance Guide (Costs + Coverage)

Montana State SummaryDetails
Road Miles (2015)Total in State: 75,007
Vehicle Miles Driven: 12,345 Million
VehiclesRegistered: 1,447,797
Total Stolen: 2,418
State Population1,062,305
Most Popular VehicleFord F150
Percentage of Motorists Uninsured9.90%
State Rank: 33rd
Driving DeathsSpeeding (2008-2017) Total: 728
Drunk Driving (2008-2017) Total: 796
Average Premiums (Annual)Liability: $386.29
Collision: $265.32
Comprehensive: $210.48
Cheapest ProviderSAFECO Ins Co of IL

Home to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains, the Treasure State is the fourth largest state in the U.S. and it is quite possible that more grizzly bears live in Montana than humans.

With a population of just over 1 million people (and a whole lot of bears), Montana is the 43rd most populous state in the U.S. Montana’s breathtaking diverse terrain, wilderness, snow-capped mountains, and hiking trails make it one of the most-visited states in America

Whether you’re in Montana just to practice your hiking skills, or you’re a Montana native who loves to drive on rocky terrain, one thing is for certain: you’re going to need car insurance.

Not everyone has the patience or the time to search for car insurance, and that’s perfectly okay because we’re here to say we’ve already done all of the work for you.

In this handy-dandy Montana auto insurance guide, you’ll find information like auto insurance laws, where to find the cheapest insurance policy, safety laws, how to save money on your auto insurance policy, and much more.

If you live in Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, or Butte, you may get hold of up to ten rate quotes from top providers in your area via AutoInsuranceEZ.com. Price ranges fluctuate by agency and you should compare rates thoroughly before you obtain a policy. We’ll show you how to pick the coverage to meet your needs.

Want to get started saving money on your auto insurance right now? Use our free money-saving tool by entering your zip in the box above.

Table of Contents

Montana Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

You might be wondering about what kind of coverage you need and the answer to that question is sort of a complicated one. But let’s start with the basics: Montana requires every driver to have auto insurance. But how much auto insurance is required?

You might be looking for the cheapest policy you can get and that’s okay, but we’re here to tell you that having more insurance will benefit you and your wallet in the long run.

Before we get into minimum liability insurance requirements, let’s go over Montana’s car culture. This will help you better understand Montana’s laws and regulations.

We’ve partnered with the Insurance Information Institute, Nolo.com, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Census.gov to bring you the following information.

– Montana’s Car Culture

According to the Hartford, the most common vehicles on Montana’s roads are big pickups like Chevy Silverado 1500s and beyond with the Z71 package, which fully equips the vehicle to go off-road.

After all, Montana residents are known for having jobs that entail farming, ranching and really anything that has to do with the outdoors.

But it’s not all trucks on Montana roads. “In larger cities like Billings and Bozeman, you will see more cars and import brands”, says Mike Satterfield, an automotive writer who runs the site The Gentleman Racer and has taken road trips through Montana, including one in a Fiat 500.

“While many drive their trucks every day, a surprising amount of sports cars are kept for the summer driving season,” he says.

– Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Montana

The first thing you should know about Montana (in regards to car insurance) is that it is one of 38 states considered to be a traditional at-fault car accident state.

In at-fault car accident states like Montana, if you cause an accident, you are responsible for covering any incurred costs from that accident.

These costs could include damages to your vehicle as well as anyone else’s and medical bills.

The at-fault driver is also responsible for filing a claim with his or her insurance company and hopefully, the insurance company will tell the driver that the insurance policy is large enough to absorb all of the costs.

If the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance, he or she will have to cover these costs with personal assets.

In short, the scenario above explains why it is a good idea to carry more insurance than what is required. But what type of insurance is actually required by the state of Montana?

Montana Code Annotated section 61-6-103 requires that any motor vehicle operated on public roads be insured by a liability insurance policy that meets the following minimum coverage limits:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $20,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle

Liability coverage pays the medical bills, property damage bills, and other costs of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or have their vehicle damaged in a car accident you cause, up to coverage limits.

– Forms of Financial Responsibility in Montana

A form of financial responsibility is just a fancy term for proof of insurance. Every driver is required to carry their proof of insurance (insurance card) on their person or in their car at all times.

If a law enforcement officer pulls you over, you must be ready to show proof of insurance, registration and your license.

Here some acceptable forms of proof of insurance:

  • Valid liability insurance ID cards
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)
  • Electronic insurance card (or picture proof of your insurance card)

If you’re pulled over and cannot show proof of insurance, you may be facing some serious penalties.

Even if you actually have an insurance policy, there is no way to prove this unless you can show an insurance policy. In this case, a police officer might give you a warning, or he or she may deem you as a driver without insurance.

Driving without insurance in Montana is considered a misdemeanor. A first-time offender could be punished with a fine between $250 and $500, or up to 10 days in jail.

It’s kind of silly to go to jail for a crime that could’ve easily been prevented. Take a photo of your insurance card if you’re bad with loose papers and never leave the house with the photo (or your cell phone).

– Premiums as a Percentage of Income

Montana’s average per capita disposable income in 2014 was $36,041.

A person’s per capita income is the amount of money they take home after paying taxes. In 2014, Montana drivers paid $868.55 on average for a full coverage car insurance policy. This means drivers pay an average of 2.41 percent per year on car insurance alone.

From 2012-2014, Montana auto insurance increased by about $50 and the average per capita income increased by about $400.

When we look at surrounding states’ averages, Idaho had a per capita income of $33,600 in 2014 and paid an average of $673.13 a year for a full coverage car insurance policy.

Wyoming had a much higher average per capita income of $49,918 and paid an average of $844.33 for a full coverage insurance policy.

Countrywide, Americans have an average per income capita of $40,859 and pay $981.77 a year for auto insurance.

CalculatorPro

– Core Car Insurance Coverage in Montana

Coverage TypeAnnual Costs (2015)
Liability$386.29
Collision$265.32
Comprehensive$211.91

The data from the table above is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Since this data is from 2015, you can expect rates to be a little higher today.

Keep in mind that these rates are based on Montana’s minimum coverage laws.

– Additional Liability Coverage in Montana

Loss Ratio201520142013
Medical Payments (MedPay)69.57%69.18%63.84%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)61.48%60.47%64.09%

While the additional types of liability coverage listed above aren’t required by the state of Montana, it still might be a good idea to carry them.

Because Montana is an at-fault state, a driver who causes an accident is required by law to pay for any damages associated with that accident; hopefully, the driver carries a big enough insurance policy so they don’t have to pay out of pocket to help cover damages.

But what happens if a driver is uninsured?

9.90 percent of Montana drivers are uninsured. Montana is ranked 33rd in the U.S. for uninsured drivers.

If an uninsured driver hits you and you don’t carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, you might be stuck paying for the damages done to your vehicle out of your own pocket.

More than likely, the uninsured driver will go bankrupt trying to pay for damages done to his own vehicle, and you’ll never be paid.

This is where uninsured motorist coverage steps in to help.

But what about loss ratio?

When you’re looking for a new Montana auto insurance company, it’s important to look at that company’s loss ratio percentage.

If the loss ratio percentage is too high, (over 100 percent) the company could be at risk of going bankrupt because they are paying too many claims.

When you get into a car accident, you need to file a claim with your insurance company stating what damage was done to your vehicle and what medical bills need to be paid.

On the other hand, if a loss ratio percentage is too low, (under 50 percent) the insurance company could be scamming its clients because it’s not paying enough of filed claims.

As you can see in the table above, Montana auto insurance companies have great average loss ratio percentages — they all fall between 50-100 percent.

– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders in Montana

With so many extra insurance coverage options, it can be difficult to understand which ones could work well with your lifestyle.

Your Montana auto insurance policy should be as unique as you are. Click on the links below to learn more about each individual policy.

More coverage is always better coverage. Choose one add-on or choose them all. The choice is completely up to you.

– Male vs. Female Annual Car Insurance Rates in Montana

Did you know factors like gender, marital status and age can affect your auto insurance rate?

In Montana, it is illegal to base an insurance rate on gender or marital status.

CompanyMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old maleSingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old male
Allstate F&C$2,740.02$2,740.02$2,507.60$2,507.60$10,484.90$10,484.90$2,955.90$2,955.90
Mid-Century Ins Co$2,755.44$2,755.44$2,462.45$2,462.45$7,395.41$7,395.41$3,016.88$3,016.88
GEICO General$2,840.18$2,653.99$2,771.26$2,527.59$6,926.07$6,445.87$2,434.84$2,218.97
SAFECO Ins Co of IL$1,021.71$1,021.71$999.67$999.67$2,064.28$2,064.28$1,218.77$1,218.77
Depositors Insurance$2,785.97$2,785.97$2,533.60$2,533.60$5,640.58$5,640.58$2,952.88$2,952.88
Progressive NorthWestern$3,231.09$3,231.09$2,901.06$2,901.06$7,548.71$7,548.71$3,642.19$3,642.19
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,640.33$1,640.33$1,439.41$1,439.41$4,814.65$4,814.65$1,776.55$1,776.55
USAA$1,280.16$1,280.16$1,139.97$1,139.97$4,103.59$4,103.59$1,603.83$1,603.83

Are you worried about your age affecting your rate? Car insurance companies know teenage drivers have little experience on the road, which is exactly why they hike up their rates for young drivers.

If you keep a clean record, your rates are likely to decrease significantly once you turn 25.

Keep in mind that our data is based on actual purchased coverage by the state population and includes rates for high-risk drivers and for drivers who choose to purchase more than the state minimum as well as other types of coverage not required such as uninsured/underinsured motorist, PIP, and MedPay.

– Cheapest Rates by City in Montana

Are you curious about what insurance might cost based on cities in Montana? Look for your city in the table below.

CityAverage Grand Total
EAST HELENA$2,866.45
HELENA$2,886.71
FORT HARRISON$2,887.70
MISSOULA$2,958.03
AVON$2,979.79
RADERSBURG$2,988.11
MILLTOWN$2,988.25
CORVALLIS$2,990.63
ELLISTON$2,993.81
LOLO$2,995.39
GRANTSDALE$2,996.26
PINESDALE$2,996.26
VICTOR$2,996.84
RINGLING$2,997.31
HARRISON$2,998.46
BOULDER$3,000.45
WISE RIVER$3,001.95
CARDWELL$3,002.38
HAMILTON$3,004.49
TOWNSEND$3,007.52
GLEN$3,009.31
POLARIS$3,009.31
GARRISON$3,011.23
WISDOM$3,011.68
SULA$3,013.67
THREE FORKS$3,017.24
HALL$3,018.48
CLINTON$3,019.22
DARBY$3,023.61
DEER LODGE$3,025.76
PHILIPSBURG$3,026.79
HELMVILLE$3,027.26
CONNER$3,027.92
TOSTON$3,029.11
DRUMMOND$3,029.57
DILLON$3,030.63
GOLD CREEK$3,031.96
ENNIS$3,037.95
NORRIS$3,038.56
CLANCY$3,038.94
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS$3,040.78
BASIN$3,041.19
VIRGINIA CITY$3,041.30
MC ALLISTER$3,041.86
JACKSON$3,043.02
WHITEHALL$3,043.29
TWIN BRIDGES$3,046.03
WILLOW CREEK$3,046.10
FLORENCE$3,047.96
SHERIDAN$3,050.90
MARYSVILLE$3,051.21
BOZEMAN$3,052.63
DIVIDE$3,053.49
CAMERON$3,055.56
FRENCHTOWN$3,055.89
PONY$3,056.23
BELGRADE$3,057.10
JEFFERSON CITY$3,058.40
ALDER$3,059.37
LIMA$3,059.80
STEVENSVILLE$3,060.84
DELL$3,062.28
WINSTON$3,062.67
CANYON CREEK$3,064.00
HUSON$3,068.77
MANHATTAN$3,077.05
WOLF CREEK$3,086.20
LIVINGSTON$3,089.78
ANACONDA$3,091.89
WEST YELLOWSTONE$3,092.38
EMIGRANT$3,092.39
SILVER STAR$3,096.49
OVANDO$3,096.75
MARTINSDALE$3,096.85
COOKE CITY$3,104.72
BIG SKY$3,108.61
LINCOLN$3,108.68
BONNER$3,111.40
RAMSAY$3,112.23
WILSALL$3,112.29
MELROSE$3,112.93
GALLATIN GATEWAY$3,121.79
SILVER GATE$3,122.05
FORT SHAW$3,124.90
LAUREL$3,127.14
CLYDE PARK$3,128.77
SIMMS$3,129.09
SPRINGDALE$3,133.14
AUGUSTA$3,140.66
VAUGHN$3,141.11
SAND COULEE$3,141.25
GARDINER$3,147.92
ULM$3,148.50
NEIHART$3,153.30
MALMSTROM A F B$3,155.30
SEELEY LAKE$3,156.10
PRAY$3,161.32
FLOWEREE$3,163.46
CASCADE$3,164.99
GREAT FALLS$3,173.60
SUN RIVER$3,177.95
ALBERTON$3,181.40
BUTTE$3,185.45
MONARCH$3,185.83
MEDICINE LAKE$3,185.92
LEWISTOWN$3,191.21
BLACK EAGLE$3,192.53
ROY$3,201.01
PLENTYWOOD$3,201.06
DE BORGIA$3,202.42
HAUGAN$3,202.42
GRASS RANGE$3,204.36
DAGMAR$3,204.38
HATHAWAY$3,205.98
SUPERIOR$3,206.64
FROID$3,208.76
COLSTRIP$3,209.30
GLENDIVE$3,209.70
SIDNEY$3,210.99
CONDON$3,211.81
MUSSELSHELL$3,211.85
HOMESTEAD$3,212.08
SCOBEY$3,213.04
BAINVILLE$3,213.21
FORSYTH$3,213.52
BILLINGS$3,215.36
MOORE$3,216.18
SAINT REGIS$3,217.11
WIBAUX$3,217.20
STOCKETT$3,217.35
WESTBY$3,218.65
BAKER$3,219.31
FLAXVILLE$3,219.91
SALTESE$3,221.49
POPLAR$3,224.91
BLOOMFIELD$3,226.51
RAYMOND$3,226.98
WHITETAIL$3,228.05
HILGER$3,228.63
VIDA$3,229.80
PLEVNA$3,230.42
WOLF POINT$3,230.57
ISMAY$3,230.76
OUTLOOK$3,231.83
LINDSAY$3,232.92
REDSTONE$3,233.60
FRAZER$3,233.71
CULBERTSON$3,233.90
FAIRFIELD$3,234.64
BUFFALO$3,235.45
RESERVE$3,235.69
ANTELOPE$3,237.69
WINIFRED$3,237.77
FOREST GROVE$3,239.30
BRADY$3,239.43
BROCKTON$3,239.69
MILES CITY$3,239.85
BROCKWAY$3,241.41
ROUNDUP$3,241.63
DUTTON$3,241.90
RONAN$3,244.78
KINSEY$3,245.19
BOYES$3,245.95
MELSTONE$3,246.91
HAVRE$3,247.27
JUDITH GAP$3,247.34
RICHLAND$3,247.44
GLENTANA$3,247.55
ANGELA$3,247.76
SANDERS$3,248.89
WILLARD$3,249.43
SAVAGE$3,249.91
EKALAKA$3,250.85
CHOTEAU$3,251.00
HUNTLEY$3,251.00
BELT$3,251.80
CHINOOK$3,251.82
NASHUA$3,251.97
SUMATRA$3,252.49
POWER$3,252.94
FAIRVIEW$3,254.48
SACO$3,255.03
POLSON$3,255.75
GLASGOW$3,257.57
CRANE$3,258.06
SAINT MARIE$3,258.89
HYSHAM$3,260.74
GERALDINE$3,261.38
SHEPHERD$3,262.08
FORT PECK$3,262.14
SAINT IGNATIUS$3,262.24
LAMBERT$3,262.80
ARLEE$3,263.80
CUSTER$3,264.17
DENTON$3,264.98
INGOMAR$3,265.80
FORT BENTON$3,265.94
ROSEBUD$3,266.20
COFFEE CREEK$3,267.24
CARTER$3,267.53
LARSLAN$3,267.58
HAMMOND$3,268.10
PEERLESS$3,268.30
OPHEIM$3,268.86
VANDALIA$3,269.32
HINSDALE$3,270.91
TEIGEN$3,271.07
CIRCLE$3,271.34
DIXON$3,272.40
ALZADA$3,272.57
CHARLO$3,273.13
CAPITOL$3,273.36
FALLON$3,273.41
TERRY$3,273.91
HINGHAM$3,277.83
BIG ARM$3,278.43
RAVALLI$3,279.47
LAVINA$3,281.68
RICHEY$3,282.47
WHITEWATER$3,283.26
MALTA$3,286.47
RUDYARD$3,286.64
WORDEN$3,287.69
HIGHWOOD$3,288.20
CONRAD$3,288.25
BIGHORN$3,290.70
HOBSON$3,290.91
JOLIET$3,291.91
STANFORD$3,293.44
KREMLIN$3,293.80
MOSBY$3,296.36
GILDFORD$3,299.01
MOCCASIN$3,299.51
COHAGEN$3,303.97
ZORTMAN$3,304.18
LAME DEER$3,304.24
LLOYD$3,304.56
LORING$3,305.30
BROADVIEW$3,305.39
ZURICH$3,307.56
SHELBY$3,308.82
WHITEFISH$3,309.17
GARRYOWEN$3,309.23
HARLEM$3,309.36
LOTHAIR$3,310.26
WINNETT$3,310.52
ETHRIDGE$3,310.64
RAYNESFORD$3,310.68
PARADISE$3,310.72
TURNER$3,311.40
GEYSER$3,311.62
VOLBORG$3,312.70
OLIVE$3,313.86
MILDRED$3,313.92
HOT SPRINGS$3,316.19
BIG SANDY$3,316.98
BOX ELDER$3,317.89
JOPLIN$3,318.09
CHESTER$3,318.83
BIDDLE$3,319.09
HOGELAND$3,320.76
LEDGER$3,322.02
BYNUM$3,322.24
WHITLASH$3,322.39
ELMO$3,323.40
HUNGRY HORSE$3,323.94
POWDERVILLE$3,324.17
ACTON$3,324.24
OLNEY$3,324.68
GALATA$3,325.35
POLEBRIDGE$3,326.39
INVERNESS$3,326.42
BUSBY$3,327.73
JORDAN$3,328.66
REED POINT$3,329.76
BALLANTINE$3,329.98
POMPEYS PILLAR$3,330.28
HARDIN$3,330.36
DUPUYER$3,330.50
COLUMBIA FALLS$3,331.09
LONEPINE$3,331.28
CORAM$3,332.19
KALISPELL$3,334.32
ASHLAND$3,335.42
MARTIN CITY$3,335.52
WEST GLACIER$3,335.52
HARLOWTON$3,335.54
BIGFORK$3,336.07
BRUSETT$3,336.70
KEVIN$3,336.91
CROW AGENCY$3,338.39
PROCTOR$3,339.12
HAYS$3,339.72
DAYTON$3,340.70
OTTER$3,341.41
NYE$3,342.03
MC LEOD$3,342.41
TWO DOT$3,342.88
SUNBURST$3,345.49
MELVILLE$3,347.37
ESSEX$3,347.78
DECKER$3,348.11
PLAINS$3,348.30
BOYD$3,348.69
EDGAR$3,348.69
FISHTAIL$3,349.80
SHAWMUT$3,350.96
RAPELJE$3,351.27
FORTINE$3,351.38
STRYKER$3,351.38
TREGO$3,351.38
PARK CITY$3,351.41
FROMBERG$3,351.51
LAKE MC DONALD$3,351.97
OILMONT$3,352.80
DODSON$3,354.13
BIRNEY$3,354.42
COLUMBUS$3,357.26
PENDROY$3,358.69
SAND SPRINGS$3,359.05
MOLT$3,359.10
VALIER$3,361.12
SWEET GRASS$3,362.14
ROSCOE$3,362.59
BROADUS$3,364.13
LOMA$3,364.22
THOMPSON FALLS$3,364.34
LIBBY$3,364.96
RYEGATE$3,365.74
TROUT CREEK$3,365.74
BRIDGER$3,371.67
CUT BANK$3,372.00
EAST GLACIER PARK$3,372.07
BIG TIMBER$3,372.28
EUREKA$3,372.37
LAKESIDE$3,374.36
ABSAROKEE$3,374.37
GREYCLIFF$3,376.51
PRYOR$3,377.49
ROLLINS$3,377.84
MARION$3,378.26
TROY$3,386.28
HERON$3,386.85
REXFORD$3,387.13
BABB$3,387.92
SOMERS$3,389.23
KILA$3,391.20
BELFRY$3,398.10
ROBERTS$3,398.91
BEARCREEK$3,399.96
HEART BUTTE$3,408.40
RED LODGE$3,414.03
BROWNING$3,420.37
SAINT XAVIER$3,433.31
LODGE GRASS$3,433.47
FORT SMITH$3,436.52
NOXON$3,440.51
WYOLA$3,457.80

– Rates in Montana’s Ten Largest Cities

What are Montana’s most populated cities?

CityZipcodeAverage
BILLINGS59532$3,293.80
BILLINGS59542$3,311.40
BILLINGS59545$3,322.39
BILLINGS59645$3,040.78
MISSOULA59926$3,335.52
MISSOULA59927$3,324.68
MISSOULA59928$3,326.39
MISSOULA59929$3,339.12
MISSOULA59930$3,387.14
MISSOULA59931$3,377.84
GREAT FALLS59711$3,091.89
GREAT FALLS59721$3,002.37
GREAT FALLS59728$2,993.81
BOZEMAN59832$3,029.57
BOZEMAN59833$3,047.96
HELENA59932$3,389.23
HELENA59934$3,351.38
HELENA59935$3,386.28
HELENA59936$3,335.52
KALISPELL59105$3,201.49
ANACONDA59801$2,963.80
BELGRADE59827$3,027.92
LIVINGSTON59802$2,952.56
WHITEFISH59275$3,218.65

Best Montana Car Insurance Companies

With literally hundreds of car insurance companies out there, it can be a tough choice to pick just one, especially when you don’t know what to look for in a company.

In this next section, we’ve answered all of the difficult questions and pulled valuable info on some of the very best car insurance companies for you.

Keep reading to learn more about AM Best ratings, customer service satisfaction rankings, company complaints, and more.

– Ratings of the Largest Car Insurance Companies in Montana

CompanyAM Best RatingDirect Premiums WrittenLoss RatioMarket Share
State Farm GroupA++$166,71458.29%22.99%
Liberty Mutual GroupA$93,42856.54%12.88%
Progressive GroupA+$92,61960.42%12.77%
Farmers Insurance GroupNR$64,63346.34%8.91%
USAA GroupA++$50,95470.92%7.03%
GEICOA++$39,50973.41%5.45%
Mountain West Farm GroupA-$38,87958.37%5.36%
Allstate Insurance GroupA+$29,14947.79%4.02%
Travelers Groupa+$23,58955.63%3.25%
QBE Insurance GroupA$22,48062.39%3.10%

We can determine a company’s financial strength by studying their AM Best Rating. As we previously discussed, generally, a company should not have a loss ratio percentage over 100 percent or under 50 percent.

As you can see from the table above, Allstate and Farmer’s both have loss ratio percentages under 50 percent.

In both of these cases, the percentage is still in the 40 percent range, and both companies have a great AM Best rating, so it really isn’t a huge deal that the loss ratio percentage is on the lower side.

– Montana’s Car Insurance Companies with the Best Ratings

When you’re standing on the side of the road while trying to get a hold of your car insurance company after you’ve just been in a car accident, the last thing you want to hear over the phone is a nasty voice.

Customer service is very important, especially when it comes to your auto insurance provider. J.D. Power agrees, and that’s exactly why they rank auto insurance companies every year based on customer satisfaction.

JD NorthWest Region Customer Service

The 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 20th year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors (in order of importance): interaction; policy offerings; price; billing process and policy information; and claims.

With the exception of USAA, (a company that only serves military members and their families) PEMCO Insurance was ranked number one for customer service in the Northwest region on the U.S.

The study is based on responses from 42,759 auto insurance customers and was fielded from February through April 2019.

– Companies with the Most Complaints in Montana

All companies receive complaints. How a company handles a mistake is what really matters.

Below are some numbers on company complaints in Montana.

CompanyNational Median
Complaint Ratio
Company Complaint
Ratio 2017
Total Complaints
2017
State Farm Group10.441482
Liberty Mutual Group15.95222
Progressive Group10.75120
Farmers Insurance Group100
USAA GroupN/A02
GEICON/A0.0076
Mountain West Farm Group11.4710
Allstate Insurance Group10.5163
Travelers Group10.092
QBE Insurance Group132.864

Don’t be discouraged by these numbers — even the best rate companies are on this list.

– Cheapest Companies in Montana

Take a look at some of the cheapest Montana auto insurance companies.

CompanyAverageCompared to State AveragePercentage Compared to State Average
Allstate F&C$4,672.10$1,451.2631.06%
Mid-Century Ins Co$3,907.55$686.7017.57%
GEICO General$3,602.35$381.5010.59%
SAFECO Ins Co of IL$1,326.11-$1,894.73-142.88%
Depositors Insurance$3,478.26$257.417.40%
Progressive NorthWestern$4,330.76$1,109.9225.63%
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,417.73-$803.11-33.22%
USAA$2,031.89-$1,188.96-58.51%

– Commute Rates by Companies

Did you know that your rate can be affected by how many miles you drive per year?

Group10 miles commute, 6000 annual mileage25 miles commute, 12000 annual mileage
Allstate$4,561.46$4,782.74
Farmers$3,907.55$3,907.55
GEICO$3,538.49$3,666.20
Liberty Mutual$1,326.11$1,326.11
Nationwide$3,478.26$3,478.26
Progressive$4,330.76$4,330.76
State Farm$2,346.26$2,489.21
USAA$2,007.49$2,056.29

According to this table above, whether you drive 6,000 miles per year or 12,000 miles per year, Liberty Mutual has the cheapest insurance in Montana.

– Coverage Level Rates by Companies

Insurance is expensive, but sometimes having more insurance can save you money in the long run.

If you have a good insurance company, you might be able to save more money if you carry more coverage than what is required by the state of Montana.

To get a better picture of what we mean, take a look at the table below.

GroupLow CoverageMedium CoverageHigh Coverage
Allstate$4,449.47$4,661.15$4,905.69
Farmers$3,630.98$3,903.65$4,188.01
GEICO$3,460.99$3,577.02$3,769.03
Liberty Mutual$1,231.99$1,329.79$1,416.55
Nationwide$2,678.46$3,706.80$4,049.52
Progressive$4,090.20$4,318.46$4,583.63
State Farm$2,289.67$2,407.88$2,555.66
USAA$1,943.70$2,021.60$2,130.37

Liberty Mutual only charges about $200 more per year for high coverage car insurance.

– Credit History Rates by Companies

Your credit score can also affect your car insurance rate.

GroupPoor Credit HistoryFair Credit HistoryGood Credit History
Allstate$5,648.45$4,519.28$3,848.58
Farmers$4,607.55$3,661.37$3,453.72
GEICO$5,675.22$3,025.06$2,106.77
Liberty Mutual$1,326.11$1,326.11$1,326.11
Nationwide$4,396.26$3,172.44$2,866.07
Progressive$5,240.66$4,005.65$3,745.98
State Farm$3,476.81$2,116.08$1,660.31
USAA$2,740.31$1,854.79$1,500.57

According to Experian, Montana has an average credit score of 689.

The average American has a credit score of 675, so Montana residents often have a higher-than-average credit score.

As you can see, a bad credit score can increase your rate by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Want to keep your rates lower? Keep your credit score high and your credit card usage low.

– Driving Record Rates by Companies

The biggest factor that affects a car insurance rate is your driving record. Check out the table below to see what we mean.

GroupClean recordWith 1 speeding violationWith 1 accidentWith 1 DUI
Allstate$3,925.26$4,485.46$4,642.32$5,635.38
Farmers$3,433.60$3,433.60$4,436.87$4,326.13
GEICO$2,316.09$2,767.01$3,664.68$5,661.62
Liberty Mutual$903.51$1,259.73$1,570.59$1,570.59
Nationwide$2,525.70$3,051.00$3,638.09$4,698.24
Progressive$3,739.67$4,147.16$4,819.80$4,616.41
State Farm$2,255.63$2,417.73$2,579.85$2,417.73
USAA$1,531.17$1,868.12$1,901.51$2,826.76

If you get into one accident, your yearly rate is likely to increase by more than one thousand dollars. If you’re caught drinking and driving and charged with a DUI, your rate could increase by thousands of dollars.

– Number of Insurers in Montana

DomesticForeignTotal Number of Licensed Insurers
14822836

There are many more foreign licensed insurers than there are domestic insurers, but what exactly is the difference?

Domestic insurance laws are formed under the laws of Montana while foreign insurance laws are formed under the laws of the U.S.

Montana State Laws

It’s important to know your state laws, but we don’t expect you to know every single one of them. However, being aware of Montana state driving laws can help keep you safe while on the road and help you avoid accidents and traffic fines.

In this section, we’ll cover topics like teen driver laws, statute of limitations laws, vehicle licensing, Real ID laws, and much more.

We’ve partnered with the NAIC, the IIHS, Carwindshields.info, the DMV, and Responsibility.org to bring you the following information.

– Montana Car Insurance Laws

By now you should know that Montana requires every driver to have car insurance. But have you ever wondered how state car insurance rate laws are formed?

According to the NAIC, car insurance rates must be filed prior to use with supporting data.

For more info on Montana state insurance laws, visit the Montana Motor Vehicle Division.

– Windshield Coverage

Unfortunately for drivers in Montana, there aren’t any mandatory windshield coverage laws. This means that unlike some states, Montana insurance companies are not obligated to pay for a broken or cracked windshield if it needs to be replaced.

Most likely, you’ll have to pay a hefty deductible first, before having your windshield repaired or replaced.

Not a fan of paying a deductible every single time you get a crack in your windshield?

Some insurance companies may offer a deductible-free windshield coverage with a comprehensive plan.

– High-Risk Insurance

Have you ever heard of high-risk insurance?

Montana SR22 car insurance is one way the state of Montana is able to keep track of drivers that have not continuously proven financial responsibility by having car insurance. It is also required for “high-risk” drivers.

But what might qualify you as a high-risk driver?

  • Conviction of DUI
  • Driving while uninsured
  • Having too many points on your license
  • Causing a car accident
  • Driving a high-risk car
  • Being over a certain age

The cost of SR22 insurance is determined by your state’s minimum liability requirements. The SR22 insurance minimum in Montana is $25,000 for injury to one person, $50,000 for injury to two or more people, and $10,000 for property damage.

Keep in mind that an SR22 verifies your fulfillment of Montana’s minimum liability requirements for the next three years.

– Low-Cost Insurance Program

Currently, Montana does not have a program to help out families pay for car insurance if they have a low income. California, New Jersey, and Hawaii are the only states in the U.S. that actually do have a government-assisted insurance program.

Don’t be discouraged by this — are you still looking for more ways to save on your insurance policy?

Ask your insurance provider if you qualify for any of the following discounts:

  • Homeowner’s discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Student discount
  • Military discount
  • Good driver discount

– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Montana

How can you get busted for insurance fraud?

According to the IIHS, insurance fraud can be “hard” or “soft.” Hard fraud occurs when someone deliberately fabricates claims or fakes an accident.

Soft insurance fraud, also known as opportunistic fraud, occurs when people pad legitimate claims, for example, or, in the case of business owners, list fewer employees or misrepresent the work they do to pay lower premiums for worker’s compensation.

The IIHS also says that the Insurance Research Council reported that “Auto insurance fraud and claim buildup added between $4.9 billion and $6.8 billion to closed auto injury claim payments in 2007.”

If you or someone you know would like to report a fraudulent insurance claim, please contact the Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.

840 Helena Ave. Helena, Montana 59601
Phone: (800) 332-6148 or (406) 444-2040

– Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations law exists to protect both the insurance company as well as the claimant.

If you get into a car accident, you can’t wait 20 years to file a claim. If this were possible, insurance companies would go out of business. On the other hand, the statute of limitations law does give a driver ample time to file a claim.

According to Montana state law, a driver has three years to file a personal injury claim and two years to file a property damage claim.

– Montana State-Specific Laws

Did you know it’s illegal to drive in Montana with a sheep in the cab of your truck unless you have a chaperone?

As far as we know, this is one of the only weird driving laws in Montana. If you’d like to read up on more Montana car insurance laws, click here.

– Vehicle Licensing Laws

In the state of Montana, every driver must be a licensed driver. We will get into licensing laws further down, but first, we want to cover Real ID laws.

What is a Real ID?

After October 2020, drivers will not be able to board a domestic flight or enter a federally secured building without a Real ID.

– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

We get it – car insurance isn’t an exciting thing to pay for, but every driver must carry their own personal car insurance policy.

If a law enforcement officer pulls you over, you must be ready and willing to show proof of insurance, you license and registration.

What are some of the penalties for driving without insurance?

First OffenseSecond Offense
Fine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 daysFine: $350 and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days — within 5 years; license and registration revoked until proof of insurance and payment of reinstatement fees within 90 days

If you’re caught driving without insurance just one time, your license could be suspended. Even if you have insurance, you can still be penalized for driving without proof of insurance.

Let’s review acceptable forms of proof of insurance.

  • Valid liability insurance ID cards
  • Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
  • Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)
  • Picture of proof of insurance on your smartphone
  • Electronic proof of insurance

If you’re not great at carrying around papers and insurance forms, take a photo of your insurance card as soon as you receive it and that way (if you carry your phone on you all of the time) you should have it on you at all times.

– Teen Driver Laws

In the state of Montana, teens can start driver’s education as early as 14 years and nine months old.

Take a look at the table below for more info about how to get a license in the state of Montana.

License Requirements in MontanaDetails
Mandatory Holding Period6 months
Minimum Supervised Driving Time50 hours, 10 of which must be at night
Minimum Age15 years old

In Montana, license applicants younger than 16 must have completed driver education.

Check out the table below for restricted licensing laws in Montana.

License Restrictions in MontanaDetails
Nighttime restrictions11 p.m.-5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions (family members excepted unless noted otherwise)first 6 months—no more than 1 passenger younger than 18; second 6 months—no more than 3 passengers younger than 18
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted
Nighttime restrictions12 months or at age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 16)
Passenger restrictions12 months or at age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 16)

– License Renewal Procedures

If you are under the age of 75, you must your license every eight years. If you are 75 or over, you must renew your license every four years.

IMPORTANT: If you are turning 75, you must renew your license even if you have previously renewed it within the last eight years. 

Keep in mind that proof of adequate vision is required at every renewal and mail or online renewal is permitted by any driver regardless of age.

– New Residents

Are you thinking about moving to Montana?

New residents are required to transfer their out of state license to Montana one within 60 days of living in the state.

Do you remember Montana’s minimum liability insurance requirements?

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $20,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle

If you are getting ready to move, or have already moved to Montana, make sure you give your current insurance company a call so that they can switch your out of state insurance to meet Montana’s insurance requirements.

Some insurance companies do not provide insurance in every state.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

– Negligent Operator Treatment System

According to Driving Laws by Nolo, Montana has a law that prohibits negligent or “careless driving.” The law requires all motorists to drive “in a careful and prudent manner that does not unduly or unreasonably endanger the life, limb, property, or other rights of a person.”

The difference between reckless and careless driving might be subtle in some cases. But generally, the distinction has to do with the driver’s level of culpability.

Unlike with reckless driving—which requires proof that the driver intentionally or knowingly did something risky behind the wheel—a motorist can be convicted of careless driving without realizing the dangerousness of the driving.

Careless driving is a misdemeanor, but the consequences are less serious than those for reckless driving. The possible penalties for a careless driving conviction are:

  • First offense: For a first careless driving violation, there’s a $10 to $100 fine.
  • Second offense: For a second careless driving conviction within a year, the driver is looking at fines of $25 to $200.
  • Third offense: For a third or subsequent offense within a year, the driver is facing $50 to $500 in fines.
  • Offenses involving death or injuries: A careless driving offender who causes death or “serious bodily injury” to another person faces up to six months in jail and/or a maximum $5,000 in fines.

A careless driving conviction adds four points to the motorist’s driving record.

– Montana Rules of the Road

In this next section, we’re going to cover the rules of the road. If you want to avoid accidents, fines, jail time, points on your license, or license suspension, this section might be one you will want to pay attention to.

First, let’s start by reviewing Montana’s at-fault law.

– Fault vs No-Fault

As we previously discussed, Montana is an at-fault car accident state. This means that anyone who causes an accident is responsible for covering the costs of damages and/medical bills incurred from that accident.

It’s a great thing to have more insurance than what is required because often, you can run out of insurance money before you even make a dent in paying some of these bills.

Keep in mind that at-fault drivers are also responsible for filing a claim for other drivers if they were involved in the accident as well.

– Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

Click it or ticket! Are you aware of Montana’s car seat and seat belt laws?

Avoid a fine (and injuries) by following these Montana safety belt laws below.

Seat Belt Laws in MontanaDetails
Effective SinceOctober 1, 1987
Primary Enforcementno
Age/Seats Applicable6+ years in all seats
1st Offense Max Fine$20

If you break one of these laws, you’re looking at a $20 fine plus fees.

Help keep your little ones safe by making sure they are in the right type of car seat while traveling in a moving vehicle.

Type of Car Seat RequiredAge/Details
Must be in child safety seat5 years and younger and less than 60 pounds
Maximum base fine 1st offense, additional fees may apply$100
Preference for rear seatlaw states no preference for rear seat
Adult Belt Permissiblenot permissible

Have you ever wondered if riding in the cargo area of a pick-up truck is illegal?

In Montana, there are no state laws about riding in the back of a pick-up truck, however you should always use caution while riding in an area of a vehicle that does not have a seat belt.

– Keep Right or Move Over Laws

In Montana, drivers must keep right if they choose to drive slower than the average speed of traffic. Passing on the right is allowed under certain circumstances.

According to Montana Code, the operator of a vehicle may overtake and pass on the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

  1. When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn; or
  2. on a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lanes of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
  3. The operator of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right only under conditions permitting safe movement. The movement may not be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.

AAA says Montana law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, including towing and recovery vehicles, traveling in the same direction, to vacate the lane closest if safe and possible to do so, or slow to a safe speed.

If on a highway with a speed limit 50mph or greater, the driver must slow by at least 20mph below the posted speed limit.

– Speed Limit Laws

The number one traffic violation in Montana is speeding. Knowing Montana’s speed limit laws can keep your wallet full and your driving record clean.

See the table below for the maximum speed limits in Montana.

Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstates80 mph
trucks: 70 mph
Urban Interstates65 mph
Other Limited Access Roadsday: 70; night: 65
Other Roadsday: 70; night: 65

Remember that these are the maximum limits allowed on the roads in Montana.

– Ridesharing

If you work for a company like Uber or Lyft, you must have ridesharing insurance. Insurance companies know that the more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident.

Are you looking for ridesharing insurance?

Check out these companies below for more information.

  • Farmer’s Insurance
  • State Farm

– Automation on the Road

Have you ever heard of vehicle automation?

The IIHS says that in driving, automation involves using radar, camera, and other sensors to perform parts or all of the driving task on a sustained basis instead of the driver.

One example is adaptive cruise control, which continually adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain a set minimum following distance.

Features such as automatic braking, which acts as a back-up if the human driver fails to brake, or blind-spot detection, which provides additional information to the driver, aren’t considered automation under this definition.

At this time, Montana has not deployed or tested complete vehicle automation.

– Safety Laws

In this next section, we will go over three very important safety laws: DUI laws, impaired-driving laws, and distracted driving laws.

If you are unsure of theses safety laws, it might benefit you to scan over them so you can avoid penalties, fines and accidents.

– DUI Laws

From 2008-2017, there were 796 alcohol-impaired traffic deaths in the state of Montana. But if you’re going to spend a night out on the town, what are some important drinking and driving laws to follow?

Name for OffenseDriving under the influence (DUI)
BAC Limit0.08
High BAC Limit0.16
Criminal Status1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ felonies
Look Back Period10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+

What are some the penalties involved with these DUI offenses?

Number of OffenseALS or RevocationImprisonmentFineOther
First Offense6 month suspension24 hours-6 months$600-$1000 +$200 reinstatement fee10 license points for life; must participate in ACT phases (assessment, course, treatment); may be ordered to use IID
Second Offense1 year suspension7 days-1 year$1200-$200010 license points for life; may be required to enroll in 24-17 sobriety program
Third Offense1 year suspension30 days-1 year$2500-$500010 license points=30 total - DL revoked for Habitual Traffic Offender

In 2017, there 56 alcohol-related fatalties in Montana. Please don’t drink and drive – it’s an action that can be easily avoided.

– Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

According to Responsibility.org, if you are caught driving with more than THC per se (5 nanograms) of marijuana on your person, you will be charged with impaired driving.

If you are convicted of drugged-driving, you could be facing fines and/or jail time.

For states without a marijuana-specific per se drugged driving law, an impairment-based statute exists that requires law enforcement to prove impairment of the driver. Successful prosecution depends on documented behavioral evidence and recent drug use.

– Distracted Driving Laws

Technology has come a long way in the last few years, but just like any other tool, texting has become both a convenience and a curse.

Studies have shown that the effects of texting and driving can be worse than drinking and driving. Look at the table below to find out more about distracted driving laws.

Hand-held banYoung drivers all cellphone banTexting banEnforcement
NoNoNoNot applicable

While there aren’t any laws about using your cell phone while driving in Montana, it still might be a good idea to use discretion if you choose to use your phone in a moving vehicle.

Driving in Montana

Now that we’ve covered Montana’s driving and safety laws, it’s time to get into Montana’s can’t miss facts.

What are some of the risks to owning and operating a vehicle in Montana? What about vehicle theft? What causes traffic fatality rates in Montana?

From crash statistics to traffic congestion, we will cover all this and more up next. The following info is brought to you by the NHTSA, Responsibility.org, Data USA, Census.gov, the FBI and Inrix.

– Vehicle Theft in Montana

Is your vehicle on Montana’s most-stolen list?

Make/ModelYear of VehicleThefts
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)1999165
Ford Pickup (Full Size)1995145
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)200678
GMC Pickup (Full Size)200855
Honda Accord199452
Chevrolet Impala200131
Ford Explorer199627
Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size)199524
Toyota Camry201523
Ford Pickup (Small Size)200022

The year with the vehicle is just the most popular model year stolen. The number listed as stolen for that make and model includes all model years of it. The Chevy pick-up truck is clearly the most stolen vehicle in Montana.

Did you know that some cities have more vehicle theft than others? The data from the list below is pulled directly from the FBI.

Find your city below.

StateMotor
vehicle
theft
Baker0
Belgrade10
Billings842
Boulder0
Bozeman75
Bridger0
Chinook1
Colstrip1
Columbia Falls8
Columbus2
Conrad3
Cut Bank9
Deer Lodge5
Dillon3
East Helena7
Ennis0
Eureka1
Fort Benton0
Fromberg1
Glasgow5
Glendive6
Great Falls200
Hamilton5
Havre24
Helena97
Hot Springs2
Kalispell48
Laurel21
Lewistown8
Libby1
Livingston12
Manhattan2
Miles City5
Missoula174
Plains1
Polson23
Red Lodge4
Ronan City10
Sidney8
Stevensville0
St. Ignatius0
Thompson Falls1
Troy2
West Yellowstone1
Whitefish9
Wolf Point4

– Road Fatalities in Montana

Accidents happen and sometimes they result in deaths. Many of these traffic fatalities have resulted from specific scenarios. In this section, we want to talk about why they happen and what causes them.

In 2017, there were 186 traffic fatalities in the state of Montana. Before we get into the causes of these fatal accidents, let’s first talk about the most dangerous road in Montana.

– Most Fatal Highway in Montana

According to Geotab.com, US-2 is the northernmost east-west US Route. Its Montana stretch has an average of 13 fatal crashes per year.

Over 30,000 people are killed every year in car accidents.

To determine the most dangerous highway in each US state, Geotab calculated a Fatal Crash Rate that is based on the annual number of road fatalities and fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, adjusted for the average daily traffic counts provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

– Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Do weather and light conditions cause frequent fatal car accidents in Montana?

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal8635630148
Rain212207
Snow/Sleet512008
Other240006
Unknown000000
TOTAL9596050169

According to this table above, many of these accidents occurred either in broad daylight or in the dark under normal weather conditions.

– Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

Below is a list showing fatal crashes by counties in Montana. Can you find your county on this list?

CountyFatalities
2013
2014201520162017Fatalities
Per 100K
Population
2013
2014201520162017
Beaverhead County3025332.25021.5352.9431.8
Big Horn County10911131376.2467.5382.8597.2397.31
Blaine County1342015.1645.1160.4430.040
Broadwater County2320635.2153.03350101.08
Carbon County2291219.3719.1986.639.5318.7
Carter County01200086.88174.3700
Cascade County1215912614.6118.291114.737.35
Chouteau County2291434.2333.96156.0617.2669.38
Custer County2031016.86024.868.460
Daniels County01000055.71000
Dawson County4032442.67031.3921.6444.69
Deer Lodge County2143221.6110.9743.9233.0821.96
Fallon County0000000000
Fergus County2132117.478.8426.5817.78.86
Flathead County211312181522.6213.7612.5318.4315
Gallatin County99101099.539.289.979.618.35
Garfield County1111179.7478.4377.8876.4577.34
Glacier County157677108.9351.1544.0551.2151.32
Golden Valley County0000000000
Granite County3113297.7531.7931.6191.1359.56
Hill County127066.0512.1342.62036.45
Jefferson County31041326.2487.1234.628.525.23
Judith Basin County025100100.81258.9351.310
Lake County11668937.8620.5920.426.9329.73
Lewis And Clark County761541110.759.1522.685.9916.23
Liberty County00001000041.2
Lincoln County8354241.2215.6626.320.810.29
Madison County4461452.1951.4375.7412.5548.93
Mccone County1100058.3458.34000
Meagher County1102152.5553.940108.5854.02
Mineral County51332118.4623.8971.772.7347
Missoula County151515201713.4413.3413.1817.2614.48
Musselshell County01220021.643.3243.140
Park County144336.3725.1625.0618.6418.35
Petroleum County11010196.08202.430200.80
Phillips County1221224.0848.0248.324.348.56
Pondera County5000080.590000
Powder River County1110157.0556.2756.59057.08
Powell County3324643.1743.6329.4458.4188.3
Prairie County20012172.410085.76180.34
Ravalli County8532119.6812.287.294.782.35
Richland County8313271.7326.018.4126.318.12
Roosevelt County156639.0244.3352.6153.4827.03
Rosebud County5447353.842.9442.8375.5532.44
Sanders County3652326.5553.0744.317.4425.62
Sheridan County1310127.5982.1727.38028.83
Silver Bow County8763523.2320.2417.48.714.45
Stillwater County4026243.18021.2364.0521.23
Sweet Grass County3111182.0827.527.6327.5627.09
Teton County1341016.5649.8566.1216.630
Toole County2012039.08019.740.310
Treasure County020340290.280437.96589.1
Valley County2340426.2739.4152.58053.81
Wheatland County1010047.1047.9800
Wibaux County0000000000
Yellowstone County211817171213.6711.6110.8710.787.55
Yellowstone National Park (Dissolved
As County Equivalent)
0000000000

– Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs Urban

Are traffic fatalities in Montana more likely to happen in rural areas or urban areas? Normally, more fatalities happen in rural areas because it takes longer for an emergency response team to arrive at the crash site.

Area2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rural211203177179191224178200170167
Urban1818122914514241919
Total229221189209205229192224190186

On average, you are eight times more likely to get into a fatal accident in a rural area than you are in an urban environment. Stay tuned as we discuss EMS response times a little further down.

– Fatalities by Person Type

Did person or vehicle type have anything to do with the fatal crash rate in Montana?

 Person Type20132014201520162017
OccupantsPassenger Car6954695352
Light Truck - Pickup5347534441
Light Truck - Utility3535394143
Light Truck - Van49476
Large Truck21252
Other/Unknown Occupants6111182
Total Occupants169157184159148
Light Truck - Other00511
Bus00101
MotorcyclistsTotal Motorcyclists3523241723
NonoccupantsPedestrian2410141114
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist12131
Total Nonoccupants2512161415
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants00100
TotalTotal229192224190186

– Fatalities by Crash Type

Does a certain type of crash cause more fatal accidents than other types of crashes?

Crash Type20132014201520162017
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)229192224190186
(1) Single Vehicle159137153139116
(2) Involving a Large Truck2012202322
(3) Involving Speeding7652916159
(4) Involving a Rollover9710411610490
(5) Involving a Roadway Departure162145164142139
(6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)2319371523

According to this table above, crashes involving a roadway departure were most likely to result in a fatality.

– Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties in Montana

Below is the five-year trend for the top ten largest counties in Montana.

County20132014201520162017
Missoula County1515152017
Flathead County2113121815
Big Horn County109111313
Yellowstone County2118171712
Lewis And Clark County7615411
Gallatin County9910109
Lake County116689
Glacier County157677
Broadwater County23206
Cascade County12159126

– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Speeding is a huge cause of road fatalities in Montana. In 2017, there were 59 speeding-related road fatalities in Montana.

CountyFatalities
2013
2014201520162017Fatalities
Per 100K
Population
2013
2014201520162017
Beaverhead County2002021.50021.180
Big Horn County113827.627.522.659.8314.97
Blaine County004000060.4400
Broadwater County1000217.600033.69
Carbon County004110038.59.539.35
Carter County0000000000
Cascade County483424.879.763.674.912.45
Chouteau County1010117.11017.34017.35
Custer County101008.4308.2900
Daniels County0000000000
Dawson County1030010.67031.3900
Deer Lodge County01201010.9721.96010.98
Fallon County0000000000
Fergus County002000017.7200
Flathead County856558.625.296.275.125
Gallatin County234452.123.093.993.844.64
Garfield County1000079.740000
Glacier County9353365.3621.9236.7121.9521.99
Golden Valley County0000000000
Granite County0000000000
Hill County0150306.0730.45018.22
Jefferson County111018.758.718.6608.41
Judith Basin County0041000207.1551.310
Lake County3103210.333.43010.16.61
Lewis And Clark County0133401.524.544.495.9
Liberty County00001000041.2
Lincoln County4020020.61010.5200
Madison County3240139.1425.7250.49012.23
Mccone County0000000000
Meagher County0001100054.2954.02
Mineral County3121071.0723.8947.824.240
Missoula County555334.484.454.392.592.55
Musselshell County001100021.6621.570
Park County0102206.29012.4212.23
Petroleum County0000000000
Phillips County02212048.0248.324.348.56
Pondera County3000048.360000
Powder River County001000056.5900
Powell County2111128.7814.5414.7214.614.72
Prairie County0001000085.760
Ravalli County231104.927.372.432.390
Richland County2111217.938.678.418.7718.12
Roosevelt County00140008.7735.650
Rosebud County0003100032.3810.81
Sanders County103018.85026.5808.54
Sheridan County01001027.390028.83
Silver Bow County4330111.628.688.702.89
Stillwater County1011210.8010.6110.6821.23
Sweet Grass County1010027.36027.6300
Teton County001100016.5316.630
Toole County1010019.54019.700
Treasure County000030000441.83
Valley County1010013.13013.1400
Wheatland County001000047.9800
Wibaux County0000000000
Yellowstone County877555.214.514.483.173.15
Yellowstone National Park (Dissolved As
County Equivalent)
0000000000

– Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+) by County

In 2017, there were 56 alcohol-impaired road fatalities in Montana. Below is a list showing traffic fatalities that resulted from drunk driving by the counties they ocurred in and the year they ocurred.

CountyFatalities
2013
2014201520162017Fatalities
Per 100K
Population
2013
2014201520162017
Beaverhead County2001021.50010.590
Big Horn County5456538.1230.0137.6644.8737.43
Blaine County03310045.1145.3315.020
Broadwater County01002017.680033.69
Carbon County002100019.259.530
Carter County0000000000
Cascade County693527.3110.983.676.142.45
Chouteau County1221217.1133.9634.6817.2634.69
Custer County101008.4308.2900
Daniels County01000055.71000
Dawson County1030310.67031.39033.52
Deer Lodge County002000021.9600
Fallon County0000000000
Fergus County0110108.848.8608.86
Flathead County10258210.772.125.228.192
Gallatin County353663.185.152.995.775.57
Garfield County1000079.740000
Glacier County12357487.1521.9236.7151.2129.33
Golden Valley County0000000000
Granite County0001000030.380
Hill County112016.056.0712.1806.07
Jefferson County110008.758.71000
Judith Basin County0000000000
Lake County4414413.7713.733.413.4613.21
Lewis And Clark County311444.611.521.515.995.9
Liberty County0000000000
Lincoln County6141030.925.2221.045.20
Madison County2120126.0912.8625.25012.23
Mccone County0000000000
Meagher County00020000108.580
Mineral County0001000024.240
Missoula County635545.382.674.394.313.41
Musselshell County01000021.6000
Park County0142106.2925.0612.426.12
Petroleum County10010196.0800200.80
Phillips County01002024.010048.56
Pondera County0000000000
Powder River County001000056.5900
Powell County1001114.390014.614.72
Prairie County0000000000
Ravalli County411219.842.462.434.782.35
Richland County5111144.838.678.418.779.06
Roosevelt County133409.0226.626.335.650
Rosebud County02231021.4721.4232.3810.81
Sanders County122128.8517.6917.728.7217.08
Sheridan County02000054.78000
Silver Bow County212015.812.895.802.89
Stillwater County2011021.59010.6110.680
Sweet Grass County1100127.3627.50027.09
Teton County1020016.56033.0600
Toole County1011019.54019.720.160
Treasure County00031000437.96147.28
Valley County01100013.1413.1400
Wheatland County0000000000
Wibaux County0000000000
Yellowstone County6135943.918.383.25.712.52
Yellowstone National Park (Dissolved
As County Equivalent)
0000000000

Drunk driving is against the law. Please don’t drink and drive.

– Teen Drinking and Driving

For obvious reason, teen drivers don’t have a lot of driving experience — but add some alcohol to the lack of experience and you’ve got yourself a deadly mix.

Montana is ranked fifth in the U.S. for teenage drinking and driving.

DUI Arrest (Under 18 years old)DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old) Total Per Million PeopleRank
42184.535

According to Responsibility.org, in 26 states and D.C., under-21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population were at or below the national average of 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population.

Montana has the highest teenage drunk-driving fatality rate in the country with an average is 3 deaths per 100,000 population.

– EMS Response Time

Sometimes arriving seconds early to a crash site can mean the difference between saving someone’s life or sending them straight to the morgue.

Because there aren’t as many EMS services located in rural areas as there are in cities, EMS response times are generally much faster in urban environments than they are in rural areas.

AreaTime of Crash to EMS
Notification
EMS Notification to
EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash to Hospital
Arrival
Total Fatal Crashes
Rural10.01 mins12.27 mins38.66 mins52.85 mins150
Urban1.19 mins5 mins22.86 mins28.14 mins19

According to the table above, urban EMS response times are much lower than they are in rural areas.

– Transportation

Insurance companies will often base their rates on averages – the average number of cars owned per family, the average amount of time someone spends driving in traffic, and the average amount of miles a person drives per year.

This next section will cover transportation averages that will include car ownership, commuter transportation, traffic congestion and types of transportation that people use the most.

– Car Ownership

How many cars do Montana drivers own on average?

According to Data USA, the following chart displays the households in Montana distributed between a series of car ownership buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket.

The largest share of households in Montana have two cars, followed by three cars.

The orange bars represent Montana’s average while the gray bars show the country’s average.

– Commute Time

Using averages, employees in Montana have a shorter commute time (16.9 minutes) than the normal US worker (25.5 minutes). Additionally, 1.66 percent of the workforce in Montana have “super commutes” in excess of 90 minutes.

– Commuter Transportation

In 2017, the most common method of travel for workers in Montana was to drive alone, followed by those who carpooled and those who worked at home.

– Traffic Congestion in Montana

Good news for Montana drivers! Montana doesn’t have any cities on Inrix‘s worst cities for traffic list.

In the words of Porky Pig, that’s all folks! Now that we’ve covered all you need to know about Montana auto insurance, it’s time to start shopping for your very own insurance policy. To begin, use our free tool by simply entering your zip code in the box below.

Happy shopping.

References:

  1. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists
  2. https://www.nolo.com
  3. https://www.naic.org
  4. https://www.thehartford.com/aarp/car-insurance/montana/state-driving
  5. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0610/chapter_0060/part_0010/section_0030/0610-0060-0010-0030.html
  6. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/montana-car-insurance-requirements.html
  7. http://www.calculatorpro.com/calculator/insurance-cost-calculator/
  8. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/10/01/montana-implements-policy-of-unisex-insurance/c8897a22-a667-4d6e-acb2-b695702e1b31/?utm_term=.1c51be9bc0a2
  9. https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-auto-insurance-study
  10. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/state-of-credit/
  11. https://naic-cms.org
  12. https://www.iihs.org
  13. http://www.carwindshields.info
  14. https://www.responsibility.org
  15. https://www.naic.org/prod_serv/AUT-PB-15.pdf
  16. https://dojmt.gov/driving/insurance-and-verification/
  17. https://www.sr22insurancequotes.org/sr22-state-guide/mt-montana/
  18. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-insurance-fraud
  19. https://csimt.gov/contact/
  20. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/27/2/27-2-207.htm
  21. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/index.htm
  22. https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/montana-reckless-careless-driving-laws-penalties.htm
  23. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0610/chapter_0080/part_0030/section_0240/0610-0080-0030-0240.html
  24. https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/move-over-law/
  25. https://www.iihs.org/topics/advanced-driver-assistance#automation
  26. https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest
  27. https://www.responsibility.org/alcohol-statistics/state-map/state/montana/issue/marijuana-drug-impaired-driving-laws/
  28. https://www.responsibility.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2016-Under-21-Alcohol-Impaired-Driving-Fatalities-Per-100000-Population-by-State.pdf
  29. https://datausa.io
  30. https://www.census.gov
  31. https://www.fbi.gov
  32. http://inrix.com
  33. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/table-8/table-8-state-cuts/montana.xls
  34. https://www.geotab.com/the-most-dangerous-highways-in-america/
  35. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/montana/#category_transportation
  36. http://inrix.com/scorecard/