On average, Montanans are paying $1,344 every month on homeownership costs. There are 500,000 homes in the Treasure State, 68% of which are occupied by owners.
- Population: 1,062,305
- Average value of homes that’s occupied by owners: $209,100
- Households: 419,975
- Average household income: $53,510
- High school grad or higher, percent of people age 25 years +: 93%
- Average travel time to work: 18 min
The average premium amount was sourced from the latest data of the Insurance Information Institute, and the statistical data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Also known as the Treasure State, Montana is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. It is home to the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and Yellowstone National Park along with many national forests and wilderness areas. However, the drawback of this natural beauty is that Montana experiences some harsh climate-related hazards. From earthquakes to tornadoes, and hail storms, it would seem that homeowners insurance is a necessity for local homeowners.
Montana experiences extremely cold winters. Across the state, temperatures are known to drop below freezing. This can be harmful for your dwelling as pipes can burst, while other structures can become stiff and brittle. On the opposite end, wildfires can be a common occurrence, particularly within the valleys of Montana. Rainfall and subsequent flooding are also a possibility.
There are many good reasons to invest in a homeowners insurance policy. You do not want to end up paying out of pocket for the expenses incurred by a random incident that damages your home.
The cost of home repair is often far higher than you would expect. Worse yet, it happens when you least expect it. If a sudden fire arises, costly damages can easily add up without insurance.
Worse yet, is the prospect of a major catastrophic event. Houses have been destroyed by hurricanes, earthquakes, and many other natural disasters that can strike seemingly at random.
Average Premiums: State Vs Nationwide
Insurance costs vary widely depending on where you live and the value of your home. With that said, you can look at the average policy premiums for Montana to get a sense of how much you will need to spend.
In the state of Montana, the annual premium (on average) is $1,130 in 2016, from Insurance Information Institute’s (III) latest data on the matter. This translates to monthly payments of $94. According to III, the average annual premium for the entire country is $1,192. As you can see, the rates in Montana are fairly standard when compared to the rest of the country and, to an extent, are slightly more affordable.
The most affordable city for purchasing home insurance in Montana is Columbia Falls. In comparison, the most expensive place is Miles City.
The market for home insurance in Montana is primarily dominated by State Farm, while Liberty Mutual and Farmers are behind it.
Average Montana Home Insurance Premiums
|National annual average||$1,192||$1,173||$1,132|
Best Providers By Market Share In Montana
Finding the right home insurance policy starts with the insurance company. It is important to make sure you get the coverage you need at affordable rates. For example, if your home is subject to flooding due to excessive rainfall, you will need to make sure you’re protected, as this kind of coverage is not typically included in standard home insurance policies.
After some research, we have determined the best companies to purchase homeowners insurance from in Montana. We based our findings on III’s recorded data of the insurers with the most market share in the state along with the number of direct premiums written. We will look at the companies’ financial strength and claims-payout abilities. We did not review all of the home insurers in MT, therefore, to guarantee that you are getting the best deal around, further your research by reviewing other companies not mentioned here.
State Farm is the largest provider of homeowners insurance in Montana, possessing 23.9 percent of the market share in the state. It has successfully established itself as a reliable insurance company, as reflected by its rankings. AM Best rated State Farm with an A++ (the highest possible rating), while JD Power gave it 3 (About average) out of 5 Power Circles Rating.
Standard policies from State Farm provide coverage for various types of dwellings, such as ranches or condominiums. You can also tweak your policies by selecting further add-on coverage for concerns such as identity theft, injury, and personal liability. If you have a home office or studio, you can also purchase coverage to protect them from damage.
Among the benefits of acquiring a policy from State Farm is the highly sophisticated claims network that it has set up. As a result, you can file claims conveniently and have them processed quickly. State Farm also offers a HomeIndex tool that allows you to create an online inventory of your belongings. Additionally, it offers customers a Premier Service Program, which helps you find contractors to repair floor damage or to take care of water mitigation.
Liberty Mutual is the second-best home insurance company in Montana, with a market share of 17 percent. It has received positive ratings from well-reputed agencies. AM Best accredited Liberty with an A (Excellent) on financial strength, and S&P awarded Liberty Mutual a rating of A (Strong).
What makes Liberty Mutual policies so attractive is that it offers comprehensive coverage and very affordable rates. It provides customers with a wide variety of optional endorsements, thus allowing you to craft a policy that caters to your every need. You can easily acquire protection against floods and/or the loss of personal property along with your standard home insurance.
Discounts are abundant with Liberty Mutual. Its eligibility criteria include (but is not limited to) bundling different policies (such as home and auto insurance), installing alarms, and selecting 100 percent replacement coverage. It also provides customers with efficient claims management and 24/7 repair services.
Farmers is the third largest home insurance company in the state, boasting a market share of 13.8 percent. It offers great value to its customers, and this is reflected by the positive ratings it has received. AM Best has consistently rated it A (Excellent), while JD Power has given it 3 (About average) out of 5 Power Circles Rating.
The primary benefit of pursuing home insurance with this company is that it processes claims very effectively. There are no unnecessary delays and no hassle. It provides you with multiple communication channels if you need to file a claim such as by phone, online, via face-to-face meetings with an agent, or even through its specially designed iClaim app.
With Farmers, you are also provided with extremely detailed guides and FAQs. The information it provides helps you determine which types of coverage are most necessary for you. It also provides details on the specific add-ons it offers and what type of coverage it includes. Additionally, Farmers has a host of discounts available to you such as renovation discounts, no-smoking discounts, and even eco-friendly housing discounts (a rare inclusion among home insurance policies).
Montana Home Insurance Companies: Market Share and Summary of Ratings
|Rank||Insurer||Market Share %||AM Best||S&P||JD Power|
|4||Mtn W Farm Bureau||8.2||A-||BBBpi||NR|
|9||Farmers Union Mutual||2.8||A-||NR||NR|
Source: Insurance Information Institute, AM Best, S&P, JD Power
Getting your home insured is not merely a smart thing to do for your future self. It also has benefits for your mental health in the present. There’s a lot of stress involved in worrying about something happening to your home.
Why go through your life with the fear of a catastrophic event damaging your home? You’ll feel much better when you know that, no matter what happens, your finances are covered. Even if your home becomes completely uninhabitable, you won’t have to worry so long as you get the right insurance policy.
Which Policy Is Right For You?
There are different levels of coverage that you can pay for depending on your risk tolerance. The best plans are the ones that cover the cost of repair, regardless of how old the house was when it got damaged.
There is an important distinction between a Montana homeowners insurance policy that covers the cost of repair and one that pays based on the value of the home when it is damaged. In the latter case, you may end up receiving far less than what it will cost to fix your home.
For example, if your garage is destroyed by a fallen tree, you will need to pay for a brand new garage. However, if the house is decades old, its overall value will be much lower than the cost of repairs. You may only receive a small fraction of the total cost from your insurance company. It’s a better idea to get a policy that covers all repairs.
Be Safe And Get Insured
Don’t take undue risks with your home insurance. Play it safe and get the fullest coverage that you can afford. That is the best way to protect yourself and your family for many years to come.
Montana is among those states which experience particularly turbulent weather conditions. As a result, you need to acquire some kind of protection for the sake of your dwelling. While acquiring homeowners insurance in Montana is not required by the law, you will still be required to purchase it in the event that you have taken a mortgage to finance your dwelling.
As mentioned earlier, you should keep the NFIP in mind. The NFIP or National Flood Insurance Program is an initiative designed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to make flood insurance accessible to all. Flood insurance is not typically included in standard homeowners insurance policies, but since flooding is a valid concern in Montana, it would be worthwhile to acquire some sort of protection through the NFIP.
For more assistance, please contact your local state department of insurance:
Montana Commissioner of Securities & Insurance
- (800) 332-6148