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Montana Auto Insurance Laws

November 15, 2018 |

Automotive insurance helps cover the costs of repair and medical injury in the event of an accident. To encourage drivers to have this protection and keep people on the roads safe, Montana, like other states, has laws about the minimum amount of auto insurance drivers must carry. If you get into a car accident, the responsible driver’s insurance coverage will be responsible for paying for the damages. For any questions you may have, it would be wise to speak with a trusted car accident lawyer you know.

What Are the Minimum State Insurance Requirements?

All motorists must have some form of liability insurance on their automobile policies. This coverage will help pay for injuries and other damages suffered by the other party in the accident. The minimum levels of coverage required by Montana law are:

A liability-only policy will not cover damages that occur to you or your vehicle in an accident. To receive this coverage, you must extend your policy to include other factors, such a collision, comprehensive, medical payments, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you have taken out a car loan or lease, you may need these additional forms of insurance.

When Do I Need to Provide Proof of Insurance?

Under Montana law, all motorists must be able to provide proof of insurance to law enforcement if the police officer has pulled you over or if you have been involved in a car accident. Your car insurance company will be able to provide you with proof of insurance. Failure to provide proof can result in penalties.

What Are the Penalties for Violating Montana Auto Insurance Laws?

Violations of Montana auto insurance laws are a misdemeanor. If you do not have auto insurance, you can face fines, jail time, suspension or revocation of your license, and points on your driving record. You can also face these penalties if you have insurance if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.

If you cannot provide proof of insurance when requested to by a police officer but you still have appropriate coverage, you can appeal your penalties. To do so, you’ll need to provide proof of your coverage later.

What Risks Are There to Not Having Proper Auto Insurance Coverage?

Aside from the legal penalties, not having auto insurance coverage can cause many difficulties if you are in an accident. For example, if you were in a crash and the other party filed a lawsuit against you, the payment for damages could come from your insurance policy. But if you didn’t have the appropriate level of insurance or any coverage at all, you may become financially responsible for those damages.

Despite the state requirements, many motorists do not have appropriate insurance coverage. You can protect yourself by purchasing an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy to help pay for damages when the other driver cannot.

What If I’m Having Trouble Obtaining Insurance?

Sometimes, a driver can have difficulties obtaining auto insurance. Previous violations of auto insurance laws may lead to points on your license, which can cause difficulties when obtaining a policy. Any other activity that causes you to appear as a high-risk driver, such as previous traffic violations or accidents, may make you unappealing for an insurance company.

If you have this issue, you can apply for auto insurance through the Montana Automobile Insurance Plan. This plan allows car insurance companies to share the risk of insuring high-risk drivers while still letting drivers receive the coverage they need. If you have violated insurance laws before, part of your sentence may be to apply for insurance coverage through this program.

Montana auto insurance laws are in place to protect drivers. By meeting the state requirements, you protect against potential financial strain following an accident.