The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies in Montana

If you're looking to ride your motorcycle around Montanna, it's important to have motorcycle insurance but it doesn't have to break the bank. We found the cheapest annual rate for motorcycle insurance in the state to be $408.

Compare Motorcycle Insurance Quotes from Providers in Montana

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We studied hundreds of insurance companies and their quotes to determine the best motorcycle insurers in the state. Use the quote box above, or keep reading for our analysis of the top motorcycle insurers in Montana.

Best for most people: GEICO

GEICO combines cheaper rates with decent service and a good all-around set of coverages.
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The good:

  • Cheaper than the average motorcycle insurance in Montana
  • Multiple discount options for even more affordable coverage

The bad:

  • Fewer add-on coverage options means more risk for expensive vehicles

Motorcycle insurance from GEICO is the best all-around option for the majority of riders living in Montana. GEICO offered the lowest rates we found in our quotes, and it also impressed us with its good coverage options and decent customer service ratings.

The average annual cost of a policy with GEICO was $439, which was 18% less than the overall average premium in Montana. From there, you can increase your savings even further by taking advantage of GEICO's discount opportunities for the following:

  • Switching to GEICO or renewing an old policy
  • Having multiple GEICO policies
  • Completing a motorcycle safety or accident prevention course
  • Being over 65 years old

In addition to being relatively affordable, GEICO's motorcycle insurance coverage includes the option to add several supplemental features such as roadside assistance and accessory protection. However, we did note that other companies had more extensive options than GEICO for OEM parts protection, which can be important if you've invested a lot into customizing your motorcycle.

When we looked at the available numbers, GEICO also ranked decently in terms of customer service. It had slightly fewer complaints than typical for an insurance company of its size, registering an NAIC Complaint Index of 0.92. And according to J.D. Power's most recent study of auto insurance satisfaction in the U.S. Northwest, GEICO earned an "about average" rating of 813.

Best for cheap coverage: Nationwide

Nationwide gave us the cheapest quotes for motorcycle coverage in Montana.
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The good:

  • Significantly more affordable than any other insurer in the state
  • Optional coverage for custom parts on your bike

The bad:

  • Average to below-average metrics in customer satisfaction

If your top priority is to find the cheapest possible rate for Montana's legal minimum coverage, start with motorcycle insurance from Nationwide. We calculated a statewide average premium of $408 from Nationwide, which was the lowest of any company we reviewed. Nationwide's average rate represents a 23% savings compared to the typical insurance provider in Montana.

In addition to offering some of the cheapest motorcycle insurance policies in the state, Nationwide also offers numerous discounts and optional add-ons to tailor your coverage in a way that fits your situation. For instance, the company not only includes $3,000 of coverage for custom bike parts, but it also gives policyholders the option to expand that coverage up to $30,000.

However, Nationwide's affordability does seem to come at the cost of below-average scores in certain customer service metrics. It had a slightly higher Complaint Index of 1.09, according to the NAIC—this indicates that Nationwide customers filed complaints at a marginally higher rate than insurance customers at similar companies. And its J.D. Power survey rating of 765 put it at the bottom of the rankings for Montana and other states in the Northwest.

Best for customer service: State Farm

If high-quality insurance coverage is your top priority, State Farm is the place to start.
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The good:

  • Major insurance brand with top-notch service reputation
  • Broad range of other insurance products lets you bundle and save

The bad:

  • Policies can't be purchased online—you must contact a local agent

On the other hand, we recommend that riders who want great service should consider getting a motorcycle insurance policy with State Farm. Although State Farm didn't make its rates for motorcycle insurance available online, we do think that its high scores in other areas qualify it as a top choice if you think of insurance as more of an investment than a cost.

A good indicator of State Farm's high quality in service is its NAIC Complaint Index of 0.57, which essentially means that it's almost half as likely to cause a complaint than other insurers of its size. Given that State Farm is the largest insurance company in the country, this indicates a high level of consistency across its millions of customer interactions.

State Farm's J.D. Power rating was also the highest among the insurers we considered, with a score based on categories like pricing, claims handling and customer interactions. And according to State Farm's website, its motorcycle coverage can include all the standard coverages that most riders will need, from injury liability to vehicle damage and uninsured motorist protections.

One drawback of State Farm's offerings is that they are only available through agents, and not online. However, the high reputation of the company suggests that this more traditional model works well for most customers.

How we chose the best motorcycle insurers in Montana

To identify the best providers of motorcycle insurance in Montana, we graded and compared companies in three distinct categories:

  • Affordability: the cost of a typical motorcycle policy at each insurance provider
  • Coverage options: the variety of extra options that a customer can choose from
  • Customer service: the complaint history and service reputation of each company

While most people shop for insurance with the goal of minimizing their costs, it's also important to make sure that you're getting your money's worth. This means you should find out which protections your policy includes and also examine the company's track record when it comes to meeting its obligations to customers.

Affordability: Finding cheap motorcycle insurance in Montana

We began our analysis with a comparison of motorcycle insurance premiums gathered from four major insurers available in Montana. This involved quotes based on three dozen addresses scattered across the state, which enabled us to get a fuller picture of the typical charges at each company for a given rider profile.

Bar graph comparing annual insurance premiums for motorcycle riders in Montana
Bar graph comparing annual insurance premiums for motorcycle riders in Montana
CompanyAnnual motorcycle insurance rate
Nationwide$408
GEICO$439
Dairyland$628
Progressive$654
Montana average$532

While this comparison of annual insurance rates offers a good starting point, it's important to dive into the details and make sure that the comparisons are fair. For instance, we noted that Progressive's policies tended to be more expensive because they include better default coverages, such as replacement cost coverage for your bike. If you're looking for more than the legal minimum coverage, such extras may be worth the higher price tag.

It's likely that you'll be able to find lower prices for each of the insurers we researched. That's because our quotes were based on policies that would include more than just liability insurance. We also requested policies with the following amounts of collision and comprehensive coverage for the bike:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $50,000 per accident
  • Collision coverage: Included/$500 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage: Included/$500 deductible
  • All other coverages: Not included

Coverage options: comparing motorcycle insurance policies and benefits

After a comparison of costs at each insurer, we looked at the coverage details for every policy to figure out the relative strengths and weaknesses of each one. Any motorcycle insurance company will offer you enough liability coverage to meet Montana's legal requirements, but some of them also provide useful protections that go beyond that level.

While extras like original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage for replacement parts and accessory coverage usually raise the cost of a policy, having them available is often necessary if you own a vintage or high-end motorcycle. That's why we gave extra consideration to insurance providers who do offer such benefits at a reasonable cost.

Customer service: Evaluating insurer quality in service and claims

The third and final step in grading Montana's various motorcycle insurance options was to evaluate each one's track record in customer satisfaction. For this, we relied on three different metrics.

InsurerNAIC Complaint IndexJ.D. Power ratingA.M. Best FSR
Dairyland2.12-A+
GEICO0.92813A++
Nationwide1.09765A+
Progressive0.99797A+
State Farm0.57820A++
J.D. Power rankings from 2019 for 24 insurers in the North Central region, which includes Montana.

NAIC Complaint Index: As the main trade organization for the U.S. insurance industry, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks the number of complaints filed against each insurer in a given year. The NAIC Complaint Index indicates how many complaints a single insurer is responsible for, relative to the size of its market share. An Index around 1.0 is typical, while lower numbers signal fewer complaints than normal.

J.D. Power rankings: J.D. Power conducts annual consumer surveys to highlight the most popular options in everything from cars to car insurance. Since these surveys include questions about pricing, coverage options and claims handling, J.D. Power's auto insurer ratings were a useful part of our analysis.

A.M. Best FSR: This is a Financial Strength Rating maintained by A.M. Best, which indicates the financial position of every insurance company. As businesses, insurance providers must balance the premiums they collect against the claims that they must pay out every year. Most companies maintain high ratings in this area, which is a good thing—no one should have to worry about their insurance company being unable to pay a claim.

Montana motorcycle insurance: Costs by city

Like cars, motorcycles can cost different amounts to insure in different locations. For example, areas with more traffic or a higher rate of collisions may pay more for similar coverage. To see how this works in Montana, we grouped our quote data according to the city that each quoted address belonged to.

CityAverage annual costDifference vs. state average
Billings$543+2%
Missoula$543+2%
Great Falls$543+2%
Bozeman$543+2%
Butte$543+2%
Helena$513-4%
Kalispell$527-1%
Havre$513-4%
Miles City$513-4%
Belgrade$543+2%

As it turned out, Montana's motorcycle insurance costs don't vary nearly as much as we've seen in other states. In each of the state's largest cities, the average annual premium we recorded was within 5% of Montana's overall average. This suggests that your personal details—age, riding experience, make and model—will affect your final rate much more than your address.

Montana motorcycle insurance requirements

Like all other motorists in Montana, motorcycle riders must carry liability insurance that can cover the costs of bodily injury or death to other people. Your liability insurance must also apply to the costs of damage to or destruction of personal property that belongs to others. The minimum amounts for each coverage are as follows:

Coverage typeRequired amount
Bodily injury or death$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$20,000 per accident

You don't need to worry about falling under these limits in most cases, since insurers will probably not sell you a policy that doesn't include the legal minimum of liability coverage for your state. However, you should worry about whether or not the legal minimum is enough to protect you financially.

If you ride frequently in conditions that increase your risk of an accident—or if you have a lot of assets that could become the target of a liability lawsuit—you may want to purchase more liability coverage. Also note that Montana's laws don't require any type of collision or comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. That means you can skip these coverages, so long as you're willing to pay for any damage to your bike.

How do you get a motorcycle license in Montana?

Riding a motorcycle in Montana requires both a valid driver license and a motorcycle endorsement on that license. To get the endorsement, you need the following:

  • 16 years of age, OR 15 years of age and pass a state-approved driver's education course
  • Valid Montana driver license
  • Pass written and road tests for motorcycles
  • Pay an additional fee of $0.50 per year

Besides the written portion and the road test, the testing process for a Montana motorcycle endorsement also involves a review of your driving record, your physical ability to ride a motorcycle and your vision.

As for your bike, it must have the following features in order to be usable for the road test:

  • Between 1 and 2 headlamps that illuminate out to at least 500 feet
  • Tail light and reflector visible out to at least 500 feet
  • Stoplight visible out to 100 feet in normal sunlight
  • Rearview mirror providing a clear view of at least 200 feet of road behind you
  • At least 1 brake (foot or hand)
  • Muffler with no sound-amplifying modifications
  • Passenger footrests or pegs
  • Horn audible out to at least 200 feet
  • License plate light

Methodology

Our collection of motorcycle insurance quotes in Montana consisted of 144 quotes for various addresses within the state, all based on one consistent rider profile. Our numbers reflect the potential price of coverage for a 45-year-old male looking to insure a 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide. Our hypothetical rider was married and had 20 years of riding experience. The coverage amounts we selected are described above.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Product Manager for ValuePenguin with years of experience in addressing critical questions about mortgages and homeowners insurance. He spends his time evaluating insurance providers and policy features to understand where consumers might find the most cost-effective coverage. Chris has contributed insights to the New York Times and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.