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Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Billings

Here's what you need to know...
  • The minimum liability limits for Billings is 25/50/10
  • Penalties for operating a motor vehicle without insurance can total over $500 or six months of jail time
  • Car insurance protects consumers from potential lawsuits
  • There are many coverages that a consumer can purchase, in addition to the state minimum requirements
  • The required state minimum coverage isn’t always adequate to cover a driver’s liability

Each state requires its motorists to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage.

Responsible motorists know what insurance coverage they are required to carry and purchase an insurance policy that also adequately meets their insurance needs.

The minimum car insurance coverage required by the state of Montana is similar to the requirements of other states.

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Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Billings


In Billings, Montana the minimum car insurance liability coverage is 25/50/10. You might be asking, “What do these numbers mean?”

The first two numbers, 25 and 50, are the bodily injury liability limits. 25/50 refers to $25,000 in bodily injury coverage which pays the medical expenses of an individual that a motorist negligibly injures, with an aggregate coverage of $50,000 for all individuals per accident.

The final number 10 refers to $10,000 in property damage coverage. Property damage coverage takes care of:

  • Vehicles
  • Fences
  • Structures
  • Other personal property

The state of Montana does not require motorists to carry coverage beyond bodily injury and property damage liability.

Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance

Operating a motor vehicle without the state minimum insurance coverage is a serious violation.

In Montana, first-time offenders receive either a fine of $250 to $500 or 10 days in jail. A second offense results in a fine of $350 and/or ten days in jail, and second-time offenders also have their licenses revoked for 90 days.

Third-time offenders receive a fine of no less than $500 and/or jail time of no more than six months and a license suspension of 180 days.

Fourth-time offenders will have their licenses suspended immediately.

These violations apply not only to those who drive without insurance, but they also apply to those who carry coverage that is less than the state minimum required liability limits.

While most insurance companies will not offer a policy that contains limits less than the state minimum requirements, it is possible to purchase these policies from smaller independent agencies.

Why Do You Need Car Insurance Coverage?

Maintaining compliance with state law is the obvious reason for purchasing an insurance policy.

The hefty fines imposed for violating these laws is enough to convince anyone to purchase an insurance policy. The money forfeited in fines alone can cover the annual premium on a car insurance policy.

Protecting oneself from liability is one of the most important reasons a motorist needs a car insurance policy. The average bodily injury liability claim in 2013 was $3,231.

Any time an individual gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they could potentially face a lawsuit.

By purchasing an insurance policy, an individual can protect themselves from these lawsuits.

If an individual were to self-insure or save the amount money needed to pay a potential lawsuit, it would require the life savings of the average person. The most important benefit of a car insurance policy is peace of mind.

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Car Accident and Insurance Stats for Billings

Thirteen percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the state of Montana between the years of 2006 to 2015 occurred in Billings. In 2015 the number of crashes in the state of Montana that resulted in an injury was 2,898.

In 2015, the number of crashes in the state of Montana that resulted in an injury was 2,898.

What is available in addition to the minimum amounts?

Motorists have many options available to them when purchasing an insurance policy. The first option that motorists might consider is increasing their bodily injury and property damage liability limits. The state minimum limits typically aren’t adequate to cover a significant loss.

Here are some other options that a driver may want to consider:

– Collision Coverage

Pays to repair a driver’s vehicle, due to a loss incurred by a collision. The collision could be the fault of the driver or another uninsured or underinsured driver.

– Comprehensive Coverage

Pays for damage to a vehicle caused by an incident other than a collision.

Common causes for a comprehensive insurance claim are:

  • Weather damage
  • Glass breakage
  • Damage caused by impact with an animal
  • Theft

– Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

This coverage is also called no-fault coverage. It pays for the medical coverage of the driver of a vehicle, drivers listed on the insurance policy, members of the policyholder’s household, and passengers injured in an accident.

This coverage is typically used to cover deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses associated with the cost of healthcare.

– Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Pays for damage caused by a driver who is either without insurance or is not adequately insured. Individuals can purchase coverage for both bodily injury and property damage.

– Rental Reimbursement Coverage

Pays for the expenses associated with renting a vehicle after a policyholder has been involved in a covered loss.

– Emergency Roadside Service

Differs depending on the insurance company, but most companies offer services such as:

  • Locksmiths
  • Jump starts
  • Battery replacement
  • Tire change
  • Towing

– GAP Insurance

Also known as guaranteed auto protection. This coverage pays for the difference when a policyholder owes more money to the lien holder of their vehicle than the vehicle’s fair market value.

Why should drivers consider getting more than the state minimum coverage?


The state minimum liability limits don’t adequately provide coverage for a major loss.

Let’s look at an example. If a driver is involved in an accident in which they are at fault, they are responsible for paying both the bodily injury and property damage realized by the claimant. If this individual sustains a brain injury, they may require surgery.

The average cost of treating a brain injury is $33,600 to $78,700. If this motorist carries the state minimum bodily injury liability limits, they are only afforded $25,000 in coverage to pay for this individual’s medical expenses.

Let’s also assume that the claimant’s vehicle was declared a total loss and the fair market value of the vehicle was $20,000.

Since the motorist only carries the state minimum liability limits, their insurance company will only pay $10,000 toward the replacement of the claimant’s vehicle.

It is up to the driver to come up with the other $10,000. With both bodily injury and property damage totaling in the tens of thousands of dollars, the motorist in our scenario will either pay for the damage out of pocket or will face a potential lawsuit.

To avoid the above scenario, motorists should consider increasing their liability limits to adequately cover potential losses.

Most insurance companies also offer personal liability umbrella policies, which can increase liability limits to one million dollars. The state minimum liability limits in Billings, Montana may not give you all the protection you need.

How do you find the best coverage and best premiums?

What is the best strategy for receiving the great coverage for the lowest premium? Shopping around is the number one way for a consumer to guarantee that they are getting the best deal.

The more quotes that an individual receives the more options are readily available to them.

It’s important to consider balancing the need for various coverage plans. Increasing deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage allow a consumer to purchase higher liability or personal injury protection limits.

It’s also important to consider liability needs. Over-insuring in one area can reduce a consumer’s ability to purchase adequate coverage in another area.

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