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From Missoula to Great Falls, Billings to Bozeman, Montana State has thousands of miles of roadways. More than 700,000 licenced drivers, each recording an average of about 11,600 miles annually, use these roadways.

These drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents annually, some of which cause serious injuries or death. If your live and drive in this northwestern state, you should carry adequate car insurance not only as a legal requirement but also as a common sense protection.

Montana basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws

The Montana state law expect you to carry a minimum amount of care insurance; otherwise, you may be subjected to severe penalties, including jail term and monetary fines. You may also be liable for economic damages, actual damages, and emotional and physical pain and suffering as prescribed in the Montana's tort system.

The law in the State of Montana require liability coverage. The bare minimum liability amounts for Montana drivers are as follows:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person in one accident
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury for all persons in one accident
  • $20,000 liability coverage for property damage
  • $25,000/$50,000 liability coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorist

The state insurers will always offer you uninsured motorist coverage policy. If you wish to reject it, you can do so in writing.

Note that these are only the minimum requirements set by the State of Montana. The state does not also necessitate carrying additional coverage, such as collision, comprehensive, or personal liability insurance policies. However, insurance experts advise that drivers should get more than the state more than the state-mandated minimums, especially if you own property or have other assets you need to protect.

Penalties for failure to carry Montana auto insurance

The law requires you to have a proof of Montana car insurance in your car always and show it to the law enforcement officers if they ask for it. If you fail to comply, you are subjected to severe penalties as shown below:

  • A first offense results in fines of between $250 and $500 or up to 10 days in jail.
  • For a second offense, you get a minimum fine of $350 and/or 10 days in jail, you also automatically lose your registration for 90 days.
  • For a third and subsequent offenses, you are fined a minimum of $500 and/or 6 months in jail. You also automatically lose your driving privileges for 180 days

Currently, the state of Montana uses the MTIVS web service for electronic verification of the proof of vehicle insurance during traffic stops.

Montana state car insurance premiums

The Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulate the car insurance premiums. The state allows the insurance companies to charge insurance premiums and offer discounts based on various factors, which can include:

  • Prior auto insurance coverage
  • The type of car you are insuring
  • How much you drive
  • Your age
  • Your driving record
  • Your marital status
  • Your gender
  • How long you've been driving
  • Your geographic location
  • Whether or not you use your car for business

The state also allows the insurance companies to consider your credit history when reviewing your application to determine your premium.

Getting the most affordable Montana car insurance policy

It is possible to lower the cost of your car insurance premiums using the following means:

  • You can ask the insurer for available discounts for anti-theft devices, good driving habits, and multiple vehicles on one policy
  • You can bundle your car insurance with your homeowners policy or renters policy
  • You can subscribe for automatic or online payments
  • You can drive a hybrid or electric car
  • You should compare quotes from various insurance companies
  • Eliminate unnecessary coverage
  • You should check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program that the state of Montana may offer

New Montana driving laws

The driving and car insurance laws in the state of Montana may change from time to time.

You should ensure that you stay updated with the legal requirements of the state. Below are some of the laws that have been recently instituted in the state of Montana, and they may affect your insurance policy decisions:

  • The state has instituted a new allowable threshold for THC in the blood for those suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana
  • Courts may consider past drunk-driving offenses while weighing the punishment for a repeat driving-under-influence offender