Best Cheap Auto Insurance Rates in Montana (2020)

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Our research found that the average cost of car insurance in Montana is $641 per year for a minimum coverage policy.

In Montana and elsewhere, it's quite simple to switch car insurance companies and save on costs. Read our recommendations for the cheapest and best insurers in Montana below, or input your ZIP above to begin comparison shopping for the best auto insurance quotes in Montana.

Cheapest auto insurance companies in Montana for minimum coverage

If you're a Montanan looking for the cheapest car insurance available, you could buy a minimum coverage policy, which only meets the coverage requirements mandated by state law.

We found that the cheapest minimum coverage policies in Montana are sold by State Farm and Progressive.

State Farm cost our sample driver $344 per year, while Progressive priced at $504 — both much more affordable than the overall state average of $641.

This graph compares the cheapest insurers in Montana against the average cost of insurance.
This graph compares the cheapest insurers in Montana against the average cost of insurance.

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Shoppers should be wary that a minimum coverage policy is the bare minimum protection you can buy. In the case of Montana, a minimum policy will only cover you up to $50,000 in bodily injury liabilities and $20,000 in property damage liability.

Another affordable option for Montana residents is USAA; in fact, if you qualify, it's the most affordable of our sample insurers. Only current and former military members and their families can buy a USAA policy.

RankInsurerAnnual premium
1State Farm$344
2Progressive$504
3GEICO$733
4Allstate$914
5Farmers$1,149
N/A*USAA$202

Rates provided are for our sample driver and may differ greatly from yours depending on your driving history, age, location and other factors.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in Montana: State Farm

Full coverage policies don't just protect you against liability costs. Through collision and comprehensive insurance, these policies cover damage to your own vehicle for incidents that happen both on and off the road.

Montanans can find the cheapest full coverage policies with State Farm. While Progressive ranks as a distant second.

The average cost of a full coverage policy in Montana is $2,525 per year. In Montana and elsewhere, it's always good to shop around if you're trying to find the cheapest option:

  • State Farm: Our sample driver paid $1,244 per year for a State Farm full coverage policy. That's less than half the price of the average Montana auto insurance policy.
  • Progressive: Progressive was one of the cheapest options available, but it was closer to average than it was to State Farm. Its policy set our driver back $2,347 per year.
  • USAA: Once again, USAA is an affordable option for those who are eligible. Its annual rate was $1,160.

Full coverage policies pay to repair damage to your car caused by driving and non-driving perils. As a rule of thumb, a full coverage policy is worth it if the value of your car exceeds the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance plus your deductible.

Cheapest full coverage car insurance in Montana after an accident: State Farm

Montana drivers who have a checkered past — at-fault accidents, speeding violations and more — will pay more for car insurance than those with a clean record. But that doesn't mean they can't save: We found that State Farm once again had the cheapest rates after our sample driver got into an at-fault accident.

RankCompanyRates after accidentRates before accidentDifference
1State Farm$1,424$1,244$180
2Progressive$3,382$2,347$1,035
3Allstate$3,541$2,531$1,009
4GEICO$3,842$2,887$956
5Farmers$7,140$4,981$2,159
N/A*USAA$1,529$1,160$369
In this scenario, our sample driver was at fault for an accident that caused $2,000 in property damage. We did not rank USAA due to its limited availability.

On average, insurance rates in Montana go up by 35% after an accident. State Farm's rates only increased by 15% from a low base, making it a particular bargain for those with an accident history.

Best auto insurance companies in Montana

Finding cheap car insurance helps Montanans put some extra money into their savings account, but you don't want to pay low rates only to face a poor service experience. Below we rate the best insurance companies in the state by two metrics: our consumer survey and customer complaints.

Based on our consumer survey, Allstate and USAA rate as the best auto insurance companies in Montana.

Rated by customer complaints (or lack thereof), Mid-Century Insurance (a Farmers subsidiary) ranks as the best company in the state.

Best auto insurance in Montana: ValuePenguin consumer survey

According to a survey commission by ValuePenguin measuring customer service and claim satisfaction, Allstate and USAA rank as the best insurers in the state. USAA is the best overall, but not everyone will be eligible for a policy.

RankCompany% who say customer service is excellent% extremely satisfied with most recent claimOverall customer satisfaction
1Allstate47%72%60%
2State Farm46%73%60%
3Progressive34%74%54%
4GEICO42%65%54%
N/AUSAA62%78%70%
N/AFarmersN/AN/AN/A
USAA was not included in rankings as only military members, veterans and their families are eligible. Farmers Insurance was not ranked in the survey due to limited respondents. Overall satisfaction is an average of both variables.

Best auto insurance in Montana: By customer complaints

Official complaints lodged by customers against their insurer are collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. These can be used to get a sense of how often customers complain about their auto insurance.

The Montana auto insurer with the lowest rate of customer complaints is Mid-Century Insurance, part of Farmers Insurance. Its complaint index is 0.46 versus a national median of 1.0, meaning customers complain about its service half as often as the median insurance company.

Below we've listed the top 10 insurance groups in Montana by their customer complaint index. Nationwide and Mountain West Farm Bureau come off the worst, with complaint ratios above 1.0.

RankCompanyMarket shareComplaint index
1Farmers Insurance (Mid-Century)18.1%0.46
2State Farm13.0%0.57
2Travelers11.7%0.57
4Liberty Mutual (Safeco)7.3%0.66
5Allstate Corp6.1%0.69
6USAA5.0%0.83
7GEICO4.7%0.92
8Progressive4.6%0.99
9Nationwide (Depositors Insurance)3.4%1.09
10Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual2.3%1.13

Auto insurance in Montana: Minimum coverage requirements in

Montana requires that car insurance policies include, at minimum, the following limits of coverage:

  • Bodily injury (BI) liability: $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage (PD) liability: $20,000 per accident

Montana requires minimum auto insurance liability of $25,000 per person for bodily injury protection and up to $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 for property damage per accident. The state doesn’t require uninsured motorist coverage but requires that insurance companies offer it as part of liability coverage. Drivers have the option of declining this coverage in writing.

While these limits represent the minimum amount of insurance coverage you can have, you should consider adding more, as damages above these limits could require that you pay out of pocket. The amount of liability insurance you should have typically depends upon the amount of assets you have at risk in the case of a lawsuit. A good rule of thumb is to have liability limits matching the value of your assets.

Cheapest car insurance rates in Montana: By city

Location can be a big factor for car insurance rates. Depending on where in Montana you live, average rates may differ by as much as $400 per year.

We've highlighted the three most affordable car insurance companies for full coverage in the 50 biggest cities in Montana.

Unsurprisingly, USAA and State Farm are consistently the cheapest options for our sample driver. Progressive insurance is the next in line, with Allstate replacing it as one of the cheapest options in seven of the 50 cities.

Drivers looking for the cheapest local auto insurance quotes in their city should shop with as many companies as possible before making a choice.

CityCompanyAnnual premium
Anaconda-Deer Lodge CountyUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,221
Progressive$2,120
BakerState Farm$1,202
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,269
BelgradeUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,246
Progressive$2,079
Big TimberState Farm$1,209
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,628
BillingsUSAA$1,154
State Farm$1,274
Progressive$2,304
BoulderUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,218
Progressive$2,118
BozemanUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,211
Progressive$2,088
ButteUSAA$1,042
State Farm$1,379
Progressive$2,137
ChinookState Farm$1,208
USAA$1,209
Allstate$2,306
ChoteauState Farm$1,208
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,179
ColstripState Farm$1,190
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,205
Columbia FallsUSAA$1,164
State Farm$1,353
Progressive$2,385
ColumbusUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,227
Progressive$2,486
ConradState Farm$1,136
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,303
Cut BankUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,247
Progressive$2,369
Deer LodgeUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,212
Progressive$2,058
DillonUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,203
Progressive$2,172
East HelenaUSAA$1,049
State Farm$1,105
Progressive$1,886
EurekaUSAA$1,145
State Farm$1,393
Progressive$2,530
ForsythState Farm$1,179
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,183
Fort BentonUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,221
Progressive$2,311
GlasgowState Farm$1,173
USAA$1,209
Allstate$2,306
GlendiveState Farm$1,140
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,275
Great FallsUSAA$1,008
State Farm$1,401
Progressive$2,055
HamiltonUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,221
Progressive$2,119
HardinState Farm$1,161
USAA$1,209
Allstate$2,375
HavreState Farm$1,200
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,336
HelenaUSAA$1,049
State Farm$1,134
Progressive$1,951
LaurelUSAA$1,154
State Farm$1,226
Progressive$2,079
LewistownState Farm$1,189
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,308
LibbyUSAA$1,145
State Farm$1,384
Progressive$2,513
LivingstonUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,289
Progressive$2,166
MaltaUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,221
Allstate$2,306
ManhattanUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,250
Progressive$2,174
Miles CityUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,221
Progressive$2,209
MissoulaUSAA$1,025
State Farm$1,232
Progressive$1,962
PlentywoodState Farm$1,160
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,294
PolsonUSAA$1,184
State Farm$1,327
Progressive$2,245
Red LodgeUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,308
Allstate$2,588
RoundupState Farm$1,209
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,349
ShelbyState Farm$1,136
USAA$1,209
Progressive$2,401
SidneyState Farm$1,180
USAA$1,209
Allstate$2,306
StevensvilleUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,276
Progressive$2,278
Thompson FallsUSAA$1,145
State Farm$1,370
Progressive$2,504
Three ForksUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,230
Progressive$2,141
TownsendUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,239
Progressive$2,167
West YellowstoneUSAA$1,150
State Farm$1,246
Progressive$2,126
WhitefishUSAA$1,164
State Farm$1,342
Progressive$2,309
WhitehallUSAA$1,086
State Farm$1,238
Progressive$2,310
Wolf PointUSAA$1,209
State Farm$1,215
Allstate$2,306

To give you even more detail of how Montana car insurance rates can change, we've analyzed the markets for the five most populous cities in the state.

  • Billings
  • Missoula
  • Great Falls
  • Bozeman
  • Butte

Often, big cities have higher insurance rates than the rest of the state, but in Montana that rule doesn't hold. These five cities are relatively cheap compared to the state average.

Auto insurance in Billings, MT

  • Average annual car insurance quote = $2,530
  • Equivalent to the state average

Auto insurance prices in Billings are right around the overall average for Montana. USAA, State Farm and Progressive all offered our driver cheaper-than-average rates. Farmers Insurance was particularly expensive in Billings, with rates over $5,000 per year.

Auto insurance in Missoula, MT

  • Average annual car insurance quote = $2,353
  • Seven percent cheaper than the state average

Missoula was the cheapest for car insurance of the big Montana cities. Here, our driver was quoted a USAA policy for only $1,025 per year.

Auto insurance in Great Falls, MT

  • Average annual car insurance quote = $2,396
  • Five percent cheaper than the state average

Great Falls is one of the cheaper cities to buy Farmers Insurance. The average rate for Farmers in Great Falls was $4,600 compared to its state average of $4,981. This is still way more expensive than our other sample insurers, but Farmers Insurance rates particularly well for customer service, as measured by customer complaint rate.

Auto insurance in Bozeman, MT

  • Average annual car insurance quote = $2,375
  • Six percent cheaper than the state average

Bozeman is one of the cheaper cities for GEICO, Progressive and Farmers. USAA and State Farm still rank as the cheapest, but you're quite likely to get a decent deal with these other insurers compared to other cities.

Auto insurance in Butte, MT

  • Average annual car insurance quote = $2,439
  • Three percent cheaper than the state average

A city like Butte shows the value of shopping around. Although State Farm is still relatively cheap ($1,379 per year), it is more expensive in Butte than it is in other cities. USAA, Progressive, Allstate, GEICO and Farmers are all cheaper in Butte than they are for Montana as a whole.

Average cost of car insurance in Montana: By city

The average cost of a minimum coverage policy in Montana is $641 per year. The average cost of a full coverage policy is $2,525 per year.

We drew these quotes from hundreds of Montana ZIP codes across six major insurers and found that prices can vary greatly by city. Among the 50 largest cities, the most expensive average quote was $400 more per year than the cheapest.

Below, we've ranked those cities by the average cost of a full coverage policy from cheapest to priciest. East Helena is the cheapest city in Montana for car insurance, while Cut Bank is the most expensive.

RankCityAnnual average premium
1East Helena$2,282
2Helena$2,286
3Missoula$2,353
4Boulder$2,355
5Three Forks$2,363
6Townsend$2,371
7Bozeman$2,375
8Belgrade$2,380
9Hamilton$2,385
10Deer Lodge$2,390
11Anaconda-Deer Lodge County$2,392
12Great Falls$2,396
13Whitehall$2,396
14Manhattan$2,396
15Stevensville$2,404
16Livingston$2,406
17Dillon$2,423
18Butte$2,439
19West Yellowstone$2,457
20Lewistown$2,465
21Laurel$2,491
22Choteau$2,504
23Plentywood$2,515
24Fort Benton$2,517
25Sidney$2,518
26Roundup$2,522
27Billings$2,530
28Glendive$2,536
29Wolf Point$2,542
30Chinook$2,549
31Colstrip$2,553
32Havre$2,555
33Forsyth$2,560
34Baker$2,565
35Polson$2,573
36Miles City$2,575
37Malta$2,579
38Glasgow$2,584
39Whitefish$2,592
40Columbia Falls$2,606
41Conrad$2,607
42Columbus$2,617
43Thompson Falls$2,626
44Libby$2,630
45Shelby$2,633
46Eureka$2,634
47Big Timber$2,649
48Red Lodge$2,655
49Hardin$2,656
50Cut Bank$2,680

Methodology

We gathered rates from six major car insurance companies in hundreds of cities in Montana. When we obtained a quote, it was for a 30-year-old male driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. This driver had a below-average credit score.

We got quotes that met both the minimum coverage requirements in the state and for a more generous full coverage policy. When we obtained a quote for a full coverage policy, it had the following limits:

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily liability$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

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