The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies in Montana

The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies in Montana

If you're looking to ride your motorcycle around Montana, 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 comes from Progressive at $283 per year.

Compare Motorcycle Insurance Quotes from Providers in Montana

Currently insured?

We studied multiple major insurance companies and more than 100 quotes to determine the best motorcycle insurers in the state. Use the quote box above to compare rates, or keep reading for our analysis of the top motorcycle insurers in Montana.

Best for most people: Progressive

Progressive offers the lowest rates we found in Montana by far, paired with the best coverage options.
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The good:

  • Extremely low prices.
  • A wide range of coverage options, including a robust basic policy.

The bad:

  • No trailer coverage or rental reimbursement.

Progressive offers the cheapest motorcycle insurance we found in Montana. For a low price, you'll get some of the best coverage options, plus above-average customer service.

The average rate we found for Progressive in Montana was $283 per year. That's $145 cheaper than the next-cheapest option, Nationwide.

Progressive offers more than most insurers in its base policy. Riders don't have to pay extra for replacement cost coverage, motorcycle parts coverage and $3,000 of custom parts protection.

The company offers a good set of discounts, which includes bundling with auto or home coverage, paying in advance and taking a motorcycle safety course. Progressive also has a disappearing deductible option, which means a 25% decrease in your deductible for every year without an accident.

Progressive has good customer service ratings, although it is not at the top of the industry in Montana. The company received a complaint index of 0.82 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This means that it received 82% as many complaints as a typical company of its size.

Best customer service: Allstate

Allstate has the lowest rate of customer complaints we found among Montana insurers, along with a strong set of coverage and discount options.
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The good:

  • Customer service that's highly rated.
  • A wide range of coverage and discount options.

The bad:

  • The highest rates we found in Montana.

Allstate should be high on your list if you place a premium on customer service and ride a motorcycle in Montana. It has the lowest rate of customer complaints we found — but it also has the highest premiums we found.

Allstate's complaint index from the NAIC is 0.63. That means the company received 63% as many complaints as a typical insurer of its size. By comparison, Geico captured the next-best rating, at 0.79.

Allstate offers a range of coverage options, including towing coverage, full replacement coverage for up to two years, rental reimbursement and trailer coverage. Riders can also get discounts from Allstate for having multiple policies, taking a safety course or installing safety equipment.

Allstate is the most expensive company we surveyed in Montana, but its overall rates are not that high compared to other states. The company charges $633 per year on average — $131 more than the state average.

Best for daily riders: Dairyland

Dairyland offers a combination of features that should appeal to those who rely on their bikes for daily transit.
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The good:

  • Offers several features that will appeal to daily riders.
  • Provides several strong discount options.

The bad:

  • More expensive than the state average.
  • Poor customer service ratings.

If you're a passionate rider and your motorcycle is your only vehicle, Dairyland is worth considering. The company offers rental reimbursement, which allows you to rent a vehicle if your bike is in the shop after an accident.

Dairyland coverage is more expensive than the state average in Montana, with an average rate of $608 per year. That's 21% higher than the state's average rate.

Another drawback of Dairyland is its worse-than-average customer service ratings: It has a 2.69 score in the NAIC complaint index. That means the company received 169% of the number of complaints expected for its size in 2020, indicating issues with its service.

You can also purchase coverage add-ons that include:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Special parts coverage
  • Original equipment manufacturer coverage
  • Replacement cost coverage for motorcycles 3 years old or newer

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 five major insurers available in Montana. This involved quotes based on more than 35 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

Compare Motorcycle Insurance Quotes from Providers in Montana

Currently insured?
Company
Annual motorcycle insurance rate
Progressive$283
Nationwide$428
Average$502
Geico$557
Dairyland$608
Allstate$633

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.

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 requested policies with the following amounts of 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 insurers 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 that 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 two different metrics.

Insurer
NAIC complaint index
AM Best rating
Allstate0.63A+
Dairyland2.69A+
Geico0.79A++
Nationwide1.40A+
Progressive0.82A+
USAA0.85A++

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.

AM Best FSR: This is a financial strength rating maintained by AM 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 have higher costs for similar coverage. To see how this works in Montana, we organized our quote data by city.

City
Annual cost
Difference vs. state average
Belgrade$5060.8%
Billings$5060.8%
Bozeman$5081.1%
Browning$493-1.9%
Butte$5060.8%
Chester$5060.8%
Choteau$5060.8%
Columbia Falls$493-1.9%
Conrad$5060.8%
Cut Bank$493-1.9%
Eureka$5060.8%
Glasgow$493-1.9%
Show All Rows

As it turns 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 2% 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 type
Required 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 probably will 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 frequently ride 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's license and a motorcycle endorsement on that license. To get the endorsement, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age, or 15 years of age and pass a state-approved driver's education course
  • Have a valid Montana driver's 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 one and two headlamps that illuminate out to at least 500 feet
  • Taillight 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 one 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 179 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 2021 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.

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.