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The Best Auto Insurance for Montana

Here are the four best auto insurance companies for those driving in Big Sky Country.

Best Auto Insurance in Montana Overall
USAA Logo 2023

USAA offers auto insurance to members of the military and their families, including veterans and active-duty personnel. USAA members enjoy some of the lowest auto insurance premiums in the United States, including in Montana.

Best Auto Insurance for Roadside Assistance in Montana
AAA Logo

For more than a century, drivers have used AAA’s auto club for roadside assistance whenever they’ve experienced a breakdown. With Montana’s large network of rural roads, having reliable roadside assistance for a tow or tire change is a must.

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While Montana hosts many visitors each year, who flock to one of the state’s popular national parks, such as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the state has one of the smallest populations in the United States. Therefore, the Treasure State also has fewer licensed drivers — around 812,000. Like most states, Montana requires a minimum amount of auto insurance, which is 20 percent under the national average. In Big Sky Country, our top picks for the best auto insurance include USAA, AAA, Allstate, and Nationwide.

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance in Montana

Company Average annual cost of full coverage car insurance Discounts NAIC complaint index score Review
USAA $1,151 New car, family, low mileage, good student, etc. 2.0 USAA review
AAA $1,903 Loyalty, professional, mileage tracking, paperless billing, etc. 0.92 AAA review
Allstate $1,673 Full pay, anti-theft, early signing, multiple vehicles, etc. 3.04 Allstate review
Nationwide $1,614 Defensive driving, vanishing deductibles, easy pay sign-up, SmartRide, etc. 0.39 Nationwide review

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance in Montana

1. Best Auto Insurance in Montana Overall - USAA

What We Like Most:

  • Cheapest rates for teens on a family policy or on their own
  • Special discount for teens transitioning off their parents’ policy
  • Strong customer service and claims process

For more than 100 years, USAA has been serving the military community with auto and other insurance. In fact, in 2023, we designated USAA as the best auto insurance for military and veterans. USAA offers its members a wide range of car insurance, including usage-based insurance.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Military members and their families, including veterans
  • pro
    Military members who need vehicle storage in the U.S. while deployed
  • pro
    Those members of the military stationed overseas
  • pro
    Rideshare drivers
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Drivers not in the military
  • con
    Those who are not a USAA member
  • con
    Drivers of a hybrid or electric vehicle (no discounts available)

Usage-Based Insurance

USAA has usage-based insurance (UBI), which can provide significant savings to those who drive less. Military service members who are deployed overseas or those who don’t drive much stateside will see lower premiums. USAA allows drivers with UBI to pay for coverage by the month, rather than every six or 12 months, giving them flexibility to adjust insurance rates depending on the number of miles driven with the current policy period.

USAA also offers safe driving discounts through its telematics program, SafePilot. You could realize up to 30 percent off your auto insurance premium by participating in the program, including a 10 percent discount when you enroll.

Like similar telematics programs, the SafePilot app tracks your driving and logs your trips automatically, with USAA providing a new insurance rate whenever your policy renews. With each renewal, your driving score with SafePilot resets.

In addition, you can see savings when you maintain a good driving record for more than five years. If you successfully complete an approved basic driver training or defensive driving course, you could get a discount as well.

FYI:

USAA’s SafePilot shares information with you so you can learn about your driving habits and see how you can drive even safer. Data collected includes how much you drive, how often you brake suddenly, and how often you use your phone while behind the wheel.

Customer Satisfaction

USAA ranks high on customer satisfaction ratings from third-party companies. For example, while J.D. Power doesn’t rank the company because it offers policies to military families only, J.D. Power observed the insurance carrier outranks every other insurance company in every region, with an average customer satisfaction rating of 884.1

On financial strength, AM Best gave USAA an A++ rating,2 which means the company has superior creditworthiness. The Better Business Bureau also does not accredit USAA, but it does provide a customer satisfaction rating of 1.2 out of 5 stars.3 Many of the complaints refer to other services USAA provides, such as homeowners insurance and credit cards, and the auto insurance-related complaints centered on delayed processing of claims.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) assigned USAA a rating of AA+, the second-highest rating available.4 This score shows S&P views USAA with high confidence and that the company will be able to repay its debts with a low default risk.

International Insurance

For members of the military, having access to insurance when stationed or deployed overseas is extremely important. USAA offers insurance policies designed to make deployment or international moves as seamless as possible, such as liability coverage, vehicle storage, and personal injury coverage.

The company provides car insurance all across the United States and U.S. territories, as well as the following international locations:

  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
2. Best Auto Insurance for Roadside Assistance in Montana - AAA

What We Like Most:

  • Roadside assistance available
  • Bundling can save you money
  • Low rates for good driving records

AAA has been helping drivers with roadside assistance since 1902. The company now has a plethora of services for auto owners through its 32 motor clubs. You must be a member of a AAA club in order to purchase car insurance. AAA MountainWest covers insurance for Montana, as well as Alaska and Wyoming.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers who want to enjoy AAA Auto Club service
  • pro
    Those with a good driving record
  • pro
    Those who want to bundle their auto, home, and life insurance
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Those with a poor driving record
  • con
    Drivers who want to purchase insurance online

Roadside Assistance

In Montana, with 95 percent of its more than 1,200 miles of interstate highways in rural areas, having reliable roadside assistance is a must. AAA roadside assistance is included in its baseline AAA auto insurance.

AAA roadside assistance is available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your basic AAA membership allows you to utilize four service calls annually. However, you may upgrade to a higher membership tier for more service calls, plus additional services and higher coverage limits for lodging and meals.

AAA roadside assistance covers the following services:

  • Car battery jumps
  • Flat-tire changes
  • Fuel delivery
  • Locksmith services
  • Mechanical first aid
  • Towing
  • Winching

NOTE:

During your membership year, AAA gives you and all other family members who join up to four free calls for roadside assistance each, plus free towing up to three miles from the breakdown point or unlimited miles back to the tow company facility.

Bundling discounts

AAA gives policyholders discounts when they bundle their auto and home insurance, which translates into up to 15 percent off your auto insurance premium and 20 percent off home insurance. If you own a condo, you could save up to 10 percent on auto insurance and 20 percent on condo insurance through combining the policies. If you rent, you could realize up to an 8 percent discount on auto insurance and 20 percent on your renters insurance premium by bundling.

In addition, AAA has a multi-vehicle discount of up to 20 percent on certain coverage. Plus, you can save even more by adding other insurance options to your AAA car insurance policy:

  • Boat and RV insurance
  • Business owners’ policy insurance
  • Collector car insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

Customer Satisfaction

AAA consistently receives high ratings from third-party companies, attesting to its financial solvency and customer service. For example, AM Best gave AAA an A+ rating, which shows AAA’s strong financials.5 Since 1937, AAA has received an A rating or higher from AM Best, demonstrating the company’s ability to withstand catastrophic claims.

3. Best Auto Insurance for Bundling in Montana - Allstate

What We Like Most:

  • Three ways to earn a student discount
  • Pay-per-mile option for drivers with low mileage
  • No waiting period to purchase accident forgiveness

Allstate provides ways for policyholders to bundle their renters or homeowners insurance with their car insurance to save on their premiums. If you add more policies, you can save even more. The company lives up to its tagline, “You’re in good hands with Allstate,” through its wide range of policies and discounts.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Those who wish to bundle their renters or home insurance with their car insurance
  • pro
    Young drivers and their parents
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    People who like to contact customer service via text
  • con
    Military or veterans (no available discounts)
  • con
    Drivers of an electric or hybrid vehicle (no available discounts)

Bundling Options

Allstate gives policyholders up to a 25 percent discount when bundling car and home, renters, or condo insurance. If you add additional policies, you could save even more. Your local Allstate agent can help identify even more ways bundling could reduce your premium.

Here’s what else Allstate covers:

  • Boat
  • Business
  • Classic car
  • Condo
  • Homeowners
  • Identity protection
  • Landlord
  • Life
  • Motorcycle
  • Off-road vehicle
  • Pet
  • Phone protection
  • Renters
  • RV
  • Special event
  • Voluntary employee and supplemental

Teen Drivers

Insuring teenagers is usually more costly than older adults because young drivers’ lack of experience can lead to more accidents. When the student driver has a learner’s permit, they are covered by their parents’ policy as a member of the household. Once the driver has a license, then they would need to be listed as an operator on the policy.

Nationally, the average annual cost to insure a driver age 17 or younger is $7,024. Fortunately, Allstate offers a smart student discount for parents to save when adding a teen driver to their auto policy. To qualify, the young driver must be unmarried, under the age of 25, and:

  • Attend school full-time and achieve a grade average of B- or above or a GPA of 2.7 or above
  • Successfully finish the teenSMART® driver education program

In addition, students under the age of 21 who attend school at least 100 miles from where their vehicle is garaged would qualify for a discount.

Allstate also recommends student drivers sign up for Diverwise® to help parents coach their new driver. Drivewise provides personalized feedback on driving habits, which can translate into lower premiums for safe driving.

Extended Vehicle Care

One add-on feature Allstate provides its policyholders is extended vehicle care, which kicks in to protect you from the cost of repairs when the manufacturer’s warranty concludes. Manufacturer’s warranties generally cover your vehicle for three years and 36,000 miles, whichever you arrive at first. Allstate’s extended car warranty coverage would extend the warranty to seven years and 100,000 miles.

Allstate’s extended vehicle car provides:

  • Mechanic choice: You get to pick the repair shop for the work. The coverage pays for the mechanic’s labor as well as rental car costs while your car is in the shop.
  • Price transparency: You will receive fair and clear pricing. Plus, you can cancel anytime.
  • Repair cost coverage: Allstate will foot the bill on 100 percent of parts and labor costs after a $50 deductible. This covers your engine as well as electrical repairs.
  • Repair resolution for you: Once you’ve decided on a mechanic, Allstate will step in to work with the mechanic on the repairs.

The extended care coverage also includes alternative transportation, such as a rental car or rideshare trips, while your vehicle is being repaired. You’ll also receive roadside assistance 24/7 to tow your car or change a flat tire. In addition, you could get reimbursed up to $500 for meals and lodging if your travel plans are interrupted because of a covered claim while you’re away from home.

NOTE:

You pick the repair shop, including a dealer, as long as they are an approved, licensed repair facility for the service you need. If you’re unsure, call Allstate to verify before agreeing to the repair.

4. Best Auto Insurance for Drivers With Poor Credit in Montana - Nationwide

What We Like Most:

  • Discounts for taking a defensive driver course
  • Network of local agents
  • Usage-based insurance program for low-mileage drivers

Montana allows insurance companies to consider credit score6 when crafting policies. If your credit history has some dings, Nationwide offers competitive rates for drivers with poor credit. You can talk to local Nationwide agents throughout the state to customize your auto insurance, as well as utilize its website and mobile app to buy coverage, file claims, and make payments.

ProsWho It's Best For
  • pro
    Drivers with less-than-stellar credit
  • pro
    Good drivers
  • pro
    Those who want a local insurance agent
ConsWho It's Not Best For
  • con
    Those who have a DUI or accident on their driving record
  • con
    People who drive for a rideshare company, as Nationwide does not offer rideshare insurance

Poor Credit

Like other insurance companies, Nationwide applies a credit-based insurance score to come up with premium costs when crafting auto insurance policies for Montana drivers. By considering credit score, insurance companies can better predict insurance losses. Nationwide looks at the following factors when determining the credit portion of your insurance score:

  • Length of credit history
  • Payment history, which includes delinquencies or late payments
  • What kinds of credit, such as loans or credit cards

On average, drivers with bad credit pay $2,771 per year through Nationwide.

The insurer also allows customers to apply for a reconsideration of their premium if their credit takes a hit because of an extraordinary life circumstance. Nationwide defines that as:

  • Any federal or state government-declared catastrophic event
  • Death of a spouse, parent, or child
  • Divorce or dissolution of marriage
  • Overseas military deployment
  • Serious injury or illness to you or an immediate family member
  • Temporary loss of employment due to involuntary unemployment that lasts three or more months
  • Total or other loss that makes your home uninhabitable

According to Experian, there are ways you can improve your credit score.7 Here’s what you can do:

  • Maintain low balances on your credit cards.
  • Open accounts for cards that report to the credit bureaus.
  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Limit how often you apply for new accounts.

Once your credit score is in the good range again, you should see your car insurance premium decrease.

Local Agents

Montana has more than 100 local Nationwide agents available to assist you with your insurance needs. The company has agents on the ground in nearly 40 cities around the state. Here are the cities Nationwide has at least one agent in:

  • Anaconda
  • Baker
  • Belgrade
  • Bigfork
  • Billings
  • Bozeman
  • Butte
  • Choteau
  • Columbus
  • Conrad
  • Cut Bank
  • Deer Lodge
  • Dillon
  • Ennis
  • Fort Benton
  • Glasgow
  • Glendive
  • Great Falls
  • Hamilton
  • Harlem
  • Havre
  • Helena
  • Hobson
  • Joplin
  • Kalispell
  • Lewistown
  • Livingston
  • Malta
  • Miles City
  • Missoula
  • Plentywood
  • Polson
  • Ronan
  • Roundup
  • Scobey
  • Sidney
  • Superior
  • Three Forks
  • Whitefish

Loyalty Rewards Program

Nationwide runs a loyalty reward program designed to give customers extra benefits, such as car key replacement, minor-accident forgiveness, and pet injury coverage, at no additional cost to them.

  • Auto shopping service: Nationwide helps you save on new cars, plus shows you dealer-guaranteed sticker costs on used cars prior to your visit to the showroom.
  • Car key replacement: You must have comprehensive insurance to take advantage of Nationwide’s car key replacement benefit. This benefit will pay up to $400 if your key is lost.
  • Fender-bender forgiveness: This coverage helps you avoid a rate bump if you have a minor accident, provided you file a property damage or collision claim payout amount under the accident threshold, even if the accident was your fault. You would still need to meet your deductible and could use this feature numerous times.
  • Guaranteed repairs for life: If you choose a repair shop in Nationwide’s auto shop network, your car repairs are guaranteed for the lifetime of your vehicle.
  • Pet protection: With this coverage, you could be reimbursed up to $1,000 for the injury or loss of your or a family member’s cat or dog. Pet protection applies to reasonable and necessary vet medications and expenses. If your pet dies in a covered car accident, Nationwide would pay for the cost of replacing your pet with a similar cat or dog. No deductible will apply to this coverage.
  • Waived auto and home deductible: If a covered loss affects your house and car, your deductible will be waived, or you’ll receive reimbursement for your lowest deductible.

Methodology

How did we pick the best auto insurance providers in Montana? We found the best auto insurers in the state by using company info, proprietary data, and institutional knowledge.

  • Company information: We scour the available data about each individual company and the auto insurance it offers. This information includes coverages, discounts, and special features. We also look at third-party financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Moody’s, J.D. Power, the Better Business Bureau, Standard & Poor’s, and AM Best to conclude what others are saying about the company.
  • Proprietary data: AutoInsurance.com has been working to bring together those needing car insurance with providers of that insurance for more than two decades. That means we have gathered millions of points of data on transactions; i.e., when a person signs up for a policy. We consider that data to figure out which companies provide the best service for particular subsets of customers. This enables us to specify each company’s demographics, saving customers time weeding through companies that won’t meet their insurance needs.
  • Institutional knowledge: Because we’ve covered the auto insurance industry for more than 20 years, we have a vast institutional knowledge bank about each insurer, including its strengths and weaknesses. We also have access to consultations with Paul Ford, the president of insurance at Centerfield, the parent company of AutoInsurance.com. Because Paul has worked in the insurance industry for close to 30 years at companies such as Bankrate, Canadian Access, Capital One Insurance Services, Datalot, Inslogic, and NetQuote, we’re able to tap into his extensive knowledge about car insurance to guide customers into finding the perfect policy for their needs.

Best Car Insurance in Montana FAQ

Is vehicle insurance required in Montana?

In Montana, every car owner must carry auto insurance. The state requires the following minimum levels of insurance:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $20,000 per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident

Is Montana a fault or no-fault state?

Montana is a fault, or tort, state for car accidents. This means the driver who caused the accident is the one who pays the damages for injuries and property damage.

Do you need proof of insurance to register a car in Montana?

Yes, you need proof of insurance to register a vehicle in Montana. You’ll also need to provide the vehicle’s title and a valid driver’s license, and pay the registration fee.

Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Montana?

In Montana, car insurance generally follows the insured vehicle. The coverage that is attached to the car includes bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, and personal injury liability.

Citations

  1. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2021, Jun 15).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2021-us-auto-insurance-study

  2. Main Page. AM Best. (2024).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/CompanyProfile.aspx

  3. Business Profile: USAA. Better Business Bureau. (2024).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/tx/san-antonio/profile/insurance-companies/usaa-0825-23452

  4. Main Page. S&P Global. (2024).
    https://secure.signin.spglobal.com/oauth2/spglobal/v1/authorize

  5. AAA Life Insurance Company. AM Best. (2024).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/CompanyProfile.aspx

  6. Montana Code Annotated 2023: Use Of Credit Information. Montana Legislature – Laws. (2023).
    https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0330/chapter_0180/part_0060/section_0050/0330-0180-0060-0050.html

  7. How to Improve Your Credit Score. Experian. (2024).
    https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/improving-credit/improve-credit-score/