Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by Andrew Lee
When you want to own and operate a motor vehicle in the State of Montana, you have to first purchase the minimum required car insurance coverage. You need to abide by these regulations, or you can end up facing quite serious penalties. Besides, you definitely don’t want to pay for road-accident related expenses (such as medical/property damage) out of your pocket. This is why you should take the time to learn as much as you can about Montana car insurance, and the laws that surround it.
The average cost of car insurance in Montana
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claims that the average person pays roughly $678.58 for car insurance in Montana each year.
They broke this figure down to:
$389.29 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.
$256.63 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.
$198.81 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.
Young Drivers in Montana
In our case study, we found that a young driver in MT can expect to pay an average of:
- $731.6 for state minimum coverage
- $3098.4 for basic full coverage
- $4772.8 for premium full coverage
Historically and statistically, inexperienced motorists have caused a great number of accidents on the road. This is why insurance companies charge young drivers with higher rates. However, several other factors influence premiums, including vehicle safety, completion of driver’s education, and driving record. In fact, getting good academic grades can actually help lower rates.
Female Drivers in Montana
The data we’ve gathered shows that females can expect to pay the following yearly premium averages:
- $341.6 for state minimum coverage
- $1438 for basic full coverage
- $2227.6 for premium full coverage
Because women can have auto insurance at a low cost, many of them opt for more robust coverages. We found that an upgrade to premium full can only cost $77.70/month on average.
Senior Drivers in Montana
Our study found that senior drivers can expect to pay an average of:
- $348 for state minimum coverage
- $1326.4 for basic full coverage
- $2027.6 for premium full coverage
Older adults who have a clean driving record and good history can expect reasonable premiums. Our methodology suggests that the more experience a driver has, the lower insurance costs they have. Of course, insurers still factor in the type of vehicle, specific location, and gender.
To learn more about car insurance, read this article, Car Insurance: The Facts.
Minimum car insurance requirements
As a Montana resident and car owner, you should have liability insurance. This helps cover expenses such as those related to injuries or property damage resulting from an accident that you have caused.
To remain in compliance with the state’s auto insurance laws, you should make certain that your policy meets the minimum requirements. These include a $25,000/person minimum for bodily injury, a $50,000/accident minimum for total bodily injury (for accidents wherein multiple people got hurt), and a $20,000 minimum for property damage.
As long as you maintain these mandated coverage minimums, you can avoid penalties and fines. However, you should also take a closer look at the other available optional coverage types, as these will provide more rounded protection for you (as well as the other people on the road). You may want to include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and/or underinsured motorist coverage in your policy.
Violations and penalties
Motorists caught driving without the proper car insurance coverage in the State of Montana fall under one of three classifications of violators: first offenders, subsequent offenders within a 5-year duration, and third offenders within a 5-year duration.
For your first violation, you will have to pay a fine ranging anywhere from $250 to $500. You may also have to face jail time of up to 10 days.
For a second violation occurring within 5 years from your first offense, the authorities would require you to pay a fine of $350. Like your previous penalty, you may again have to undergo imprisonment of up to 10 days. You would also have to wait for the lifting of your 90-day suspension of license plates and registration (upon which, you need to show proof of insurance) before you can drive legally again.
Those caught making the same violation for the third time within a 5-year period from their first two initial offenses have to pay a $500 fine. The law may also give them jail time of up to six months. A 180-day suspension of registration and license plates will also take effect.
Driving safety in Montana
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that only 76% of drivers and front-seat passengers use seatbelts. This is lower than the national average of 86%.
A 2015 study conducted by the National Highway Safety Administration showed that there were 224 driving casualties during that year. 34% (75 cases) were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.
The CDC rates MT’s vehicle occupant death at 16.4 per 100,000 residents.
Having a well-rounded and balanced Montana car insurance policy will help you not only stay on the good side of the law; it will also protect you from legal liabilities that may otherwise cause you serious financial consequences.